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Razorbacks Advance to Semifinals of ITA Central Region Playoff

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks Advance to Semifinals of ITA Central Region Playoff

TULSA, Okla. — Arkansas started the 2007 tennis campaign off on the right foot Saturday, defeating Illinois St., 4-1, in the opening round of the ITA Central Region Team Playoff at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

The 30th-ranked Razorbacks, the event’s defending champion and this year’s third seed, wereeliminated in the semifinals by 27th-ranked and second seed Tulsa late Saturday night.

Against Illinois St., the Hogs took the first four singles matches to finish.

With four players making their collegiate dual-match debuts, each of Arkansas’ wins came in straight sets.

Blake Strode, the nation’s 57th-ranked player, cruised to a, 6-4, 6-1, victory over Illinois St.’s Yohann Nograbat at No. 1 singles. Colin Mascall earned a, 6-2, 6-2, win over Alfredo Lagarda at No. 2.

Strode and Mascall are the Hogs’ only two returning players from last year’s lineup.

Gabriel Mattos, a true freshman, added a point for UA at No. 4 singles, defeating Xavier Riart-Ferrer, 6-2, 6-3. Redshirt freshman Drew Sosebee bested Oscar Beich, 6-4, 6-4, on the No. 6 court.

Freshmen Dmitri Lebedev and Dmitry Vlaskin were both even in their matches at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.

The Redbirdstook the doubles point, winning two of the three contests. Arkansas’pair of Strode and Mascall scored the Hogs’ doubles triumph, knocking off Nograbat and Lagarda, 8-6, at No. 1.

Against Tulsa, the Razorbacks also were denied in doubles, losing the first two matches to the Golden Hurricane, who feature two doubles teams ranked in the top 15 and three in the top 45, nationally.

On the singles courts, the Hurricane took wins on courts three, five and six. When play was stopped, Strode led the nation’s No. 6 player, Arnau Brugues, 7-6 (5), 3-2.

Arkansas is off until Jan. 30, when the Hogs return to Tulsa for a rematch with the Golden Hurricane. The match will begin at 6 p.m. at the Case Tennis Center.

#30 Arkasnas 4, Illinois St. 1

ITA Central Region Playoff – Quarterfinal

Michael D. Case Tennis Center, Tulsa, Okla.

Singles

#57 Blake Strode (UA) def. Yohann Nograbat, 6-4, 6-1
Colin Mascall (UA) def. Alfredo Lagarda, 6-2, 6-2
Dmitri Lebedev (UA) vs. Nuno Jacinto, 3-6, 6-5, unfinished
Gabriel Mattos (UA) def. Xavier Riart-Ferrer, 6-2, 6-3
Dmitry Vlaskin (UA) vs. Luka Marinkavic, 3-6, 7-5, unfinished
Drew Sosebee (UA) def. Oscar Beich, 6-4, 6-4

Doubles

Strode/Mascall (UA) def. Nograbat/Lagarda, 8-6
Jacinto/Daniel Tobar (ISU) def. Andy Nicoara/Branden Joost, 9-8
Marinkavic/Beich (ISU) def. Mattos/Vlaskin, 8-6

#27 Tulsa 4, #30 Arkansas 0

ITA Central Region Playoff – Semifinal

Michael D. Case Tennis Center, Tulsa, Okla.

Singles

1. #57 Blake Strode (UA)vs. #6 Arnau Brugues, 7-6 (5), 3-2,unfinished

2. #34 Will Gray (TU) vs. Colin Mascall, 7-6 (3), 4-2, unfinished

3. #90 Ricardo Soriano (TU) def. Dmitri Lebedev, 6-3, 6-2

4. Gabriel Mattos (UA) vs. Federico Soriano, no result

5. Ross Cunningham (TU) def. Dmitry Vlaskin, 6-1, 6-2

6. Diego Camacho (TU) def. Drew Sosebee, 6-3. 6-0

Doubles

1. #8 Camacho/Cunningham (TU) vs. Mascall/Strode, 6-4, unfinished

2. #12 Brugues/F. Soriano (TU) def. Joost/Nicoara, 8-2

3. #43 R. Soriano/Lucques Maasdorp (TU) def. Mattos/Vlaskin, 8-5



Sports Category : Tennis (M)