ATHENS, Ga. – Arkansas opened the Southeastern Conference season with the defending league champion, but the young Razorbacks were out-manned by top-ranked Georgia, 7-0, Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
The Razorbacks (6-8, 0-1 SEC) played five freshmen Friday against the veteran Bulldogs (11-0, 1-0), who feature six ranked singles players and three ranked doubles teams.
The Hogs have now lost five of six matches.
Georgia’s potent doubles lineup claimed the doubles point and put Arkansas in an early 1-0 hole. The Hogs’ duo of freshmen Jorge Villanueva and Dmitry Vlaskin fell at No. 2 to the nation’s fifth-ranked tandem of Travis Helgeson and Matic Omerzel, 8-3.
UA lost two tough matches at No.’s 1 and 3, respectively. The Hogs’ 15th-ranked team of Colin Mascall and Blake Strode were outlasted by the Bulldogs top-ranked pair of Luis Flores and John Isner, 8-6, at No. 1 to clinch the doubles point. UA’s other duo of freshmen, Gabriel Mattos and Bradwin Williams, were up 6-3 at No. 3 doubles, but could not hold on against the 42nd-ranked team of Jamie Hung and Nate Schnugg, falling, 8-6.
The powerful Georgia singles lineup swept past the young Razorbacks. Arkansas played freshmen at spots three through six. In the feature match at No. 1 singles, Flores, ranked ninth, knocked off 72nd-ranked Strode, 6-2, 7-5. The loss snapped an eight-match win streak for Strode, who falls to 18-5 on the season and 9-2 in dual matches.
Arkansas returns to action Sunday when it travels to 30th-ranked Tennessee, who also dropped their SEC opener Friday, 4-3, to 20th-ranked LSU. The Hogs and Vols will hook up at 1 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Courts in Knoxville, Tenn. Live scoring is available at Hogwired.com.
#1 Georgia 7, Arkansas 0
March 2, 2007, Athens, Ga.
1. #9 Luis Flores (UGA) def. #72 Blake Strode (ARK) 6-2, 7-5
2. #3 John Isner (UGA) def. Colin Mascall (ARK) 6-1, 6-2
3. #13 Travis Helgeson (UGA) def. Dmitry Vlaskin (ARK) 6-1, 6-1
4. #78 Jamie Hunt (UGA) def. Dmitry Lebedev (ARK) 6-0, 6-2
5. Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Bradwin Williams (ARK) 6-3, 6-3
6. Ricardo Gonzalez (UGA) def. Gabriel Mattos (ARK) 6-3, 6-1
1. #1 Luis Flores/John Isner (UGA) def. #15 Colin Mascall/Blake Strode (ARK) 8-6
2. #5 Travis Helgeson/Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Jorge Villanueva/Dmitry Vlaskin (ARK) 8-3
3. #42 Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. Gabriel Mattos/Bradwin Williams (ARK), 8-6