FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On Sunday, the Arkansas men’s tennis team recorded its biggest win in recent memory, taking down No. 10 Oklahoma on the road by a score of 5-2. But with the Razorbacks outlasting the Sooners five days ago, they move right on to SEC play, where things don’t get any easier for Andy Jackson’s squad.
Arkansas continues its road run on Friday, when the team travels to Lexington to face No. 22 Kentucky at 4 p.m. The Wildcats boast an 8-2 record – including notable wins vs. No. 13 Duke (4-3) on Jan. 17 and at No. 31 Notre Dame (4-0) on Feb. 21 – with four victories in their last five dual matches.
“We’re exciting about the opportunity to play another top 25 team on the road,” Jackson said. “Kentucky is always one of the contenders in the SEC and has been a high-quality program for decades.”
The 10-2 Razorbacks carry their own momentum into the weekend, riding a seven-match winning streak that includes the aforementioned victory over No. 10 Oklahoma (5-2), as well as another road win against SMU (4-3) on Feb. 14 that started the streak.
Coming in at No. 27 in the most recent ITA rankings, the Razorbacks claimed their highest national ranking since reaching the No. 32 spot on March 20, 2012.
The entire team has been hot as of late, but Mike Redlicki has been especially good. He boasts a 6-1 record at the top singles spot, including three consecutive wins. Most recently, Redlicki defeated the Sooners’ Axel Alvarez Llamas – the 2015 ITA National Player of the Year – who is currently No. 63 in the country.
In conjunction with a win alongside doubles partner Giammarco Micolani over Oklahoma’s No. 35 pair of Alex Ghilea and Andrew Harris by a score of 6-3, Redlicki earned SEC Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
While Arkansas’ top doubles pair ranks No. 49 in the nation and Redlicki comes in at No. 82 in singles, Kentucky counters with two ranked singles players of its own: No. 31 William Bushamuka and No. 90 Ryotaro Matsamura.
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