FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team (11-9, 1-5 SEC) hits the road this weekend to battle a pair of nationally-ranked Southeastern Conference opponents. The Razorbacks will face No. 9 Texas A&M (11-3, 6-1 SEC) at 6 p.m., CT on Friday before taking on No. 24 LSU (14-3, 3-2 SEC) at 1 p.m., CT on Sunday.
LAST TIME OUT:
In a hard-fought match that came down to heated third sets on courts 2 and 6, Arkansas fell to Auburn 4-2 in Fayetteville on Sunday.
Auburn claimed the first win of the day as Lukas Ollert and Marko Krickovic defeated Razorback pair junior Santiago Munoz and freshman Branch Terrell 6-3 in the No. 1 position. Arkansas rallied back with sophomore Johan den Toom and junior William Albanese netting a 6-3 win over Joseph Van Dooren and Maxime Hinnisdaels in the No. 3 spot. Playing on the No. 2 court, senior Jovan Parlic and Giammarco Micolani clinched the point for the Razorbacks when they beat Petar Tomic and Oliver Plaskett 6-4.
With momentum in its favor, Arkansas collected the first singles victory of the match. Playing in the No. 4 spot for his third consecutive match, den Toom quickly bettered Van Dooren 6-3, 6-2. But the Tigers took control back, winning in straight sets on courts 3 and 4 to bring the overall score to 2-2.
Micolani played a strong first set, bageling No. 59 Ollert in the No. 1 position. However, the Razorback could not hold on, falling 6-3, 6-1 in the second and third sets.
With Auburn ahead 3-2, the match came down to courts 2 and 6. Parlic rallied back from a 6-2 loss to No. 103 Hinnisdaels in the first set to win the second 7-6 (7-3). Freshman David Herrerias collected an easy 6-1 win in his first, but then fell 6-2, 6-4 to Oliver Plaskett in the No. 6 spot. Parlic was tied 3-3 with Hinnisdaels in his third set when Plaskett clinched the match for Auburn.
– The Razorbacks look to collect their second SEC win and first conference road victory of the season.
– Doubles duo of den Toom and Alabanese is on a five-match hot streak. Competing mainly in the No. 3 spot, the pair holds an 8-1 dual record and has not faced defeat since Feb. 8.
– Playing primarily in the No. 6 spot, freshman David Herrerias owns the best dual performance on the team with a 9-3 record. The Castro Urdiales, Spain native’s 6-2, 6-2 win over Alabama’s Sean Donohue proved key in the Razorbacks’ victory against the Crimson Tide on March 5.
– After struggling in the beginning of dual play, junior Giammarco Micolani has won seven of his last nine completed matches in the No. 1 position. Most notably, Micolani defeated reigning SEC Player of the Year and No. 23 ITA-ranked Nik Scholtz (Ole Miss) on March 12.
IN THE RANKINGS:
Micolani came in at No. 81 in the ITA singles rankings released on March 24, marking the first time this season that a Razorback was on the list. The junior claimed the spot after beating two ranked opponents this spring. Micolani defeated No. 98 Jacob Sude of Oklahoma State, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 10-8, on Feb. 8 and reigning SEC Player of the Year, No. 23 Nik Scholtz (Ole Miss), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, on March 12.
A LOOK AT NO. 9 TEXAS A&M (11-3, 6-1 SEC):
Texas A&M men’s tennis collected a pair road SEC wins last weekend, defeating Mississippi State 4-2 Friday and Alabama 4-1 on Sunday. The Aggies are on a three-match win streak and have only dropped one conference match this season in a 4-1 loss to No. 4 Georgia on March 4.
Four Texas A&M players are currently ranked in the ITA singles top 125: Harrison Adams (No. 51), Jeremy Efferding (No. 59), Shane Vinsant (No. 67) and AJ Catanzariti (No. 79). The Aggies also have two doubles teams in the rankings: Adams and Vinsant (No. 13) and Effereding and Jordan Szabo (No. 33).
A LOOK AT NO. 24 LSU (14-3, 3-2 SEC):
The LSU men’s tennis team is also on a three-match win streak having most recently beaten Alabama 4-3 on the road. Senior Chris Simpson clinched the victory for the Tigers with a three-set win on court two. LSU will face No. 13 Ole Miss on Friday before competing against Arkansas on Sunday.
One LSU player is currently ranked in the ITA singles top 125: Jordan Daigle (No. 75). The Tigers also have one doubles team in the rankings: Daigle and Boris Arias (No. 20).
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