FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Less than one day removed from a 4-3 win over Alabama, the University of Arkansas men’s tennis team (11-5, 1-1 SEC) travels to face Mississippi State (9-3, 1-0) at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre at 12 p.m., CT on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT:
Arkansas men’s tennis claimed its first Southeastern Conference win of the season, defeating Alabama in a 4-3 nail-biter at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center on Thursday.
Doubles play got off to an exciting start. After the Razorback duo of junior Santiago Munoz and freshman Branch Terrell fell to No. 26-ranked Becker O’Shaughnessey and Korey Lovett 6-3 in the No. 1 position, sophomore Johan den Toom and junior William Albanese made up for the loss by taking the No. 3 spot, 6-3, over Danny Kerznerman and Nikko Madregallejo. With the No. 2 court as the deciding match of the doubles point, Arkansas pair senior Jovan Parlic and junior Giammarco Micolani fought to a tiebreaker with Sean Donohue and Stuart Kenyon, but ultimately won 7-6 (7-4).
In singles, the Razorbacks quickly collected five out of six first sets. Freshman David Herrerias was able to keep that momentum going as he claimed the first Arkansas singles victory of the day against Donohue 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 6 position. Also wrapping up in two sets was Munoz who netted a 6-4, 6-3 win over Kenyon.
The final singles victory was hard fought by Arkansas. Despite winning first sets on the No. 3 and 4 courts, the Razorbacks could not hold on for wins in the second and third sets. The match came down to the No. 1 spot. Micolani split the first two sets with Lovett, but eventually battled to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory to clinch.
– The Razorbacks look to collect their second SEC win and first conference road win of the season.
– Playing primarily in the No. 6 spot, freshman David Herrerias has won seven consecutive singles matches. 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 Thursday and his 9-2 dual record is the best on the team.
– After struggling in the beginning of dual play, junior Giammarco Micolani has won six of his last seven matches in the No. 1 position. Most notably, Micolani defeated then-No. 98 ranked Jakob Sude (now 92) of Oklahoma State 6-4, 6-7 (4), 10-8 on Feb. 8.
– Leading the Razorbacks in dual doubles play is the duo of den Toom and Alabanese. Competing in the No. 3 spot, the pair holds a 5-1 record and has not faced defeat since Feb. 8.
A LOOK AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-3, 1-0 SEC):
Mississippi State Men’s Tennis most recently defeated Alabama 4-0 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Feb. 27. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide played a much closer match just a week before that when Mississippi State narrowly escaped Alabama 4-3 at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Alabama on Feb. 21. In both meetings, Mississippi State was able to claim the doubles point by winning the No. 2 and 3 positions. The bulldogs kept this momentum going in the more recent of the two matches, collecting five first sets and taking the No. 1, 4 and 6 spots in straight sets to claim the 4-0 win.
Two Mississippi State players are currently ranked on the ITA singles top 125. Senior Tasilio Schmid (3-4) was No. 97, while sophomore Florian Lakat (8-2) came in at No. 114 in the ITA rankings released on Feb. 24. In doubles, Lakat and freshman Julian Cash are ranked No. 27, while Schmid and junior Mate Cutura are No. 46.
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