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Razorbacks Qualify for ITA National Indoor Tou

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks Qualify for ITA National Indoor Tou
TULSA, Okla. – Head Coach Robert Cox and his Razorback tennis team continued their great play at the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Arkansas Razorbacks qualified for the play-in competition with a strong finish at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Region V individual tournament Oct 19-21, also held at Tulsa’s facility.

The Razorbacks spent 11 hours at the facility on Sunday, nine of them were on the court. A two hour break was given to the teams between the semifinal and final rounds.

In the semis, Arkansas, seeded second, took on Indiana State, last year’s Region V Team Qualifier Champion and this year’s third-seeded team, and won a grueling match. The Sycamores were undermanned, only having five players.

The weakness in personnel for ISU allowed Arkansas to win two matches by default, the number six singles and number three doubles. Nathan Price and Eduardo Pacheco would win the number two doubles match to secure the doubles point for the Razorbacks, giving them a 2-0 lead.

Price (No. 56 in the nation) would play his third collegiate match for the Hogs against Indiana State and lose the number one singles slot to Vedran Vidovic, No. 60, 6-3, 6-4. The Hogs would continue to slide and go down 3-2 as Aleksey Bubis and Pacheco lost the No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches, respectively.

Bubis would fall to Lovre Brajkovic 7-6, 4-6, 6-1. Pacheco fell to Henry Choi, 7-6, 6-3.

Coming up big for the Hogs would be their youth as sophomore Kristofer Ivarsson defeated Dalibor Mihajlovic, 6-2, 6-4, to tie the score at three. It was then that red shirt freshman Adrians Zguns won the number four singles as his opponent, David O’Connell, was forced to retire. The retirement clinched a finals berth against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for the Hogs.

In the finals, the Hurricane won the No. 2 and 3 spots in doubles competition to secure the doubles point, but lost the No. 2, 3, 5 and 6 spots in singles, allowing the Hogs to win.

In doubles, Ryan Livesay and Dustin Taylor defeated Bubis and Ivarsson, 8-4, at the No. 1 position. It was the second meeting between the two doubles squads.

At the number two doubles spot, Alejandro Tejerina and John Matthews defeated Adrians Zguns and Matt Roberts, 8-5, to clinch the doubles point. Play between Olof Sjolund and Tom Murray and Arkansas’ duo of Price and Pacheco was suspended.

With the Hogs down 1-0, singles would again be key for the Hogs. It was as the Hogs would win four straight singles matches at the No. 2, 3, 5 and 6 positions to pick up the 4-1 win and a national tournament berth.

At the number two spot, Bubis would go the longest against Tulsa’s Ryan Livesay. Bubis picked up the win to clinch the dual match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The number three position would find Pacheco knocking off Tom Murray, 7-6, 6-4, to help push the Hogs along. At the number five spot was Ivarsson picking up a win over Olof Sjolund, 7-5, 7-5. Freshman Matt Roberts finished his first match of the weekend with a win over John Matthews, 6-1, 6-0.

With Bubis’s clinching win, competition at the No. 1 and 4 spot were suspended. Competing in the first position was Tulsa’s Alejandro Tejerina and Arkansas’ Nathan Price. At the fourth position for the Hogs was Zguns playing Tulsa’s Dustin Taylor.

The Hogs will compete in the ITA Indoor Tournament in February. They will be one of 16 teams from across the nation vying for the title of ITA National Champions. Next up for the Hogs is Bubis’ competition at the ITA National Indoor Tournament. Bubis qualified for the event by making it to the finals of the ITA/Omni Hotels Region V Tournament.
Semifinal Duels
Arkansas vs. Indiana State
Doubles
1. Aleksey Bubis/Kristofer Ivarsson (Ark.) vs. Dalibor Mihajlovic/Henry Choi (ISU), match suspended
2. Nathan Price/Eduardo Pacheco (Ark.) def. Vedran Vidovic/Lovre Brajkovic (ISU), 8-4
3. Adrians Zguns/Matt Roberts (Ark), won by default

Singles
1. Vedran Vidovic #60 (ISU) def. Nathan Price #56 (Ark.), 6-3, 6-4
2. Lovre Brajkovic (ISU) def. Aleksey Bubis (Ark.), 7-6, 4-6, 6-1
3. Henry Choi (ISU) def. Eduardo Pacheco (Ark.), 7-6, 6-3
4. Adrians Zguns (Ark.) def. David O’Connell (ISU), 3-6, 7-6, 1-1 Inj. Def.
5. Kristofer Ivarsson (Ark.) def. Dalibor Mihajlovic (ISU), 6-2, 6-4
6. Matt Roberts (Ark.), won by default

Finals
Tulsa vs. Arkansas
Doubles
1. Ryan Livesay/Dustin Taylor (TU) def. Aleksey Bubis/Kristofer Ivarsson (Ark.), 8-4
2. Olof Sjolund/Tom Murray (TU) vs. Nathan Price/Eduardo Pacheco (Ark.), suspended
3. Alejandro Tejerina/John Matthews (TU) def. Adrians Zguns/Matt Roberts (Ark.), 8-5

Singles
1. Alejandro Tejerina #97 (TU) vs. Nathan Price #56 (Ark.), suspended
2. Aleksey Bubis (Ark.) def. Ryan Livesay (TU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Eduardo Pacheco (Ark.) def. Tom Murray (TU), 7-6, 6-4
4. Dustin Taylor (TU) vs. Adrians Zguns (Ark.), suspended
5. Kristofer Ivarsson (Ark.) def. Olof Sjolund (TU), 7-5, 7-5
6. Matt Roberts (Ark.) def. John Matthews (TU), 6-1, 6-0



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