LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Arkansas ended a seven-match losing streak Monday afternoon by knocking off New Mexico St., 5-2, at the Fertitta Tennis Complex in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Razorbacks (7-13), who were defeated in Las Vegas Sunday by UNLV, defeated the Aggies (5-7) for their first victory since blanking Pacific, 7-0, on Feb. 24.
Arkansas won the doubles point for the second consecutive day and the third time in four matches. The Hogs have now won doubles seven times this season, and are 4-3 in those matches.
"It was tough," Coach Robert Cox said, "I’m real proud of us, after a tough match yesterday. We’re playing in some real heat out here. We’re playing much better doubles, and maybe we can make a push the last third of the season."
Arkansas swept all three matches in doubles to take a 1-0 advantage. Blake Strode and Colin Mascall improved to 16-4 on the season and 12-3 in dual matches, all at No. 1, with a win over Roman Stoisavljevic and Stjepan Beg, 8-5. Freshmen Jorge Villanueva and Dmitry Vlaskin won for the second straight day at No. 2, besting Gustave Diep and Alejandro de Mucha, 8-2. Villanueva and Vlaskin are now 6-7 on the season and 4-6 in dual matches. Another team of freshmen, Bradwin Williams and Gabriel Mattos, completed the sweep for the Hogs at No. 3, defeating Brice Magnanou and Eduardo Salas, 8-6.
Strode, the nation’s 90th-ranked player, started the Hogs off in singles with a straight set win over Stoisavljevic, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 1 singles. The win was Strode’s 20th of the season, giving the sophomore 20 wins in each of his first two seasons as a Razorback. The St. Louis, Mo. native is 20-9 on the season and 11-6 in dual matches. Strode won 27 matches in his freshman season.
The Razorbacks also earned a quick win at No. 4, where Dmitry Lebedev won for the second consecutive day, knocking off Salas, 6-0, 6-3. Lebedev, a freshman, betters his season totals to 12-15 overall and 9-8 in dual matches.
Vlaskin and Villanueva each added a singles win to their win in doubles. Vlaskin defeated Magnanou in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, while Villanueva bested de Mucha, 6-4, 7-6. Vlaskin notched his ninth win of the season, while Villanueva garnered his 10th victory.
The Aggies won the matches on courts two and three.
The Razorbacks are back in action Friday when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face SEC rival Florida. The match with the 23rd-ranked Gators is set to begin at 1 p.m., central time.
Arkansas 5, New Mexico St. 2
1. #90 Blake Strode (ARK) def. Roman Stoisavljevic (NMSU), 6-2, 6-0
2. Gustave Diep (NMSU) def. Andrei Nicoara (ARK), 6-3, 6-1
3. Stjepan Beg (NMSU) def. Colin Mascall (ARK), 7-5, 6-2
4. Dmitry Lebedev (ARK) def. Eduardo Salas (NMSU), 6-0, 6-3
5. Dmitry Vlaskin (ARK) def. Brice Magnanou (NMSU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. Jorge Villanueva (ARK) def. Alejandro de Mucha (NMSU), 6-4, 7-6
1. Strode/Mascall (ARK) def. Stoisavljevic/Beg (NMSU), 8-5
2. Vlaskin/Villanueva (ARK) def. Diep/de Mucha (NMSU), 8-2
3. Bradwin Williams/Gabriel Mattos (ARK) def. Magnanou/Salas (NMSU), 8-6