FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –
Arkansas took five of six singles matches and rallied to overcome losing the doubles point, defeating No. 36 Tulsa, 5-2, in a tight regional dual match at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
The win is the second straight for the Razorbacks (10-4, 1-1 SEC). The Hogs are off to their best start since 2003, when UA also began 10-4.
The Golden Hurricane (9-4) were the ninth ranked opponent of the season thus far for the Razorbacks. Arkansas is 5-4 against ranked opposition, and 2-0 against Tulsa. The Hogs ousted TU from the ITA Central Region Team Playoff in January, 4-0.
Tulsa jumped out to the early advantage, winning the doubles point. The Golden Hurricane took matches at No. 1 and No. 3, with Arkansas’ team of freshman Blake Strode and sophomore Adrians Zguns winning their third consecutive match at No. 2, 8-1, over Tulsa’s Andy Connelly and Diego Camacho.
The doubles loss was the sixth in 14 matches this spring for the Razorbacks. Wednesday’s match was only the second time the Hogs have won the dual match despite dropping the doubles point.
Tulsa jumped out to early advantages on three of the six singles courts. After 57th-ranked Arnau Brugues, 6-3, 6-3, upset Zguns, ranked 25th, at No. 1, the Razorbacks trailed, 2-0. Tulsa was up a set on courts No. 5 and No. 6, and it looked as though the Golden Hurricane would defeat the Hogs for only the second time in 21 years. But, Arkansas sophomore Michael Jung fought back to upset the 93rd-ranked Connelly at No. 6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, and classmate Colin Mascall soon followed with a come-from-behind win over Camacho at No. 5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, tying the match, 2-2.
Senior Rohan Gajjar, ranked 54th, quickly followed with a, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, triumph over Federico Soriano at No. 3 to give UA the lead, 3-2. Fellow senior Matt Roberts, ranked 40th, clinched the Razorback win with his, 6-4, 7-6 (4), victory over Ricardo Soriano at No. 2. The 41st-ranked Strode finished off a close match with Will Gray at No. 4, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), to complete the scoring.
On the year, Roberts improved to 19-5, 10-2 in dual matches. Gajjar bettered his mark to 13-5 overall and 8-2 in duals. Strode is now 16-3 overall and 8-1 in duals. Mascall improved to 7-5, while Jung is now 20-6 overall and 6-2 in dual matches.
Zguns’ loss was his first of the spring. The senior is now 18-4 overall, and 10-1 in dual matches. He remains fourth on UA’s career wins list with 96, five behind Oskar Johansson for third all-time.
Arkansas is back in action this weekend when they hit the road for a pair SEC showdowns. The Hogs visit Nashville, Tenn. Friday for a 3 p.m. tilt with 62nd-ranked Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks conclude their weekend with a trip to Lexington, Ky. to take on 29th-ranked Kentucky at 1 p.m. Sunday.
#20 Arkansas 5, #36 Tulsa 2
March 8, 2006
1. Arnau Brugues/Aleksander Charpantidis (TU) def. #22 Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR), 8-5
2. Blake Strode/Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Andy Connelly/Diego Camacho (TU), 8-1
3. Will Gray/Federico Soriano (TU) def. Austin King/Colin Mascall (AR), 9-7
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. #57 Arnau Brugues (TU) def. #25 Adrians Zguns (AR), 6-3, 6-3
2. #40 Matt Roberts (AR) def. #85 Ricardo Soriano (TU), 6-4, 7-6 (4)
3. #54 Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. Federico Soriano (TU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
4. #41 Blake Strode (AR) def. Will Gray (TU), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2)
5. Colin Mascall (AR) def. Diego Camacho (TU), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
6. Michael Jung (AR) def. Andy Connelly (TU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 3, 2*, 4
#21 Arkansas (10-4), #36 Tulsa (9-4)
Clinchers: No. 1 doubles, No. 2 singles