FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback tennis team defeated Purdue and Cowley College in a doubleheader Sunday at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center. Arkansas (5-2) downed the Boilermakers, 4-3, in the first match and swept Cowley, 7-0, in the evening match. No. 76 Blake Strode picked up two singles matches and a pair of doubles victories on the day.
In the day’s first dual, the doubles point was decided by a tiebreak at the No. 3 spot that featured Razorbacks Matt Hogan and Tyler Tarnasky against Griff Nienberg and Jose Fuenmayor. Purdue won the first doubles match with a victory at the No. 2 position as Eric Ramos and Patrick Rose beat Chris Nott and Dmitry Lebedev, 8-4. Strode and Colin Mascall forced the split with an 8-3 win over Branko Kuzmanovic and Slavko Bijelica at the top of the doubles lineup.
With the match tied at 7-7, Hogan and Tarnasky broke the Boilermakers’ serve to put themselves in position to serve it out, but they were broken back in the next service game to force the tiebreak. The Razorback duo jumped ahead to a 4-1 lead and maintained the advantage to take the match, 9-8(3), and give UA the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
At the top singles spot, Strode won his fourth consecutive match with a straight set victory over Kuzmanovic, 6-4, 6-2. The Razorbacks went ahead 3-0 when Hogan defeated Ramos, 7-5, 6-4, at the No. 4 spot. Hogan was down 5-2 in the first before rallying to win the last five games of the set.
Purdue got on the board with a win at No. 5 singles—Nienberg over Lebedev, 7-6(1), 7-5—but on court 3, Nott rebounded from losing the first set to serve out his match against Rose, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The win by Nott clinched the match for the Hogs. Purdue’s Bijelica and Paul Foley, at No. 2 and 6, respectively, won their matches to give Arkansas its final 4-3 margin.
Against Cowley, UA won all nine matches for their third sweep of the season. At the top of the line-up, Strode and Mascall defeated Richard Filkuka and Diego Motivar, 8-2. Razorback duos Chris Nott and Dmitry Lebedev, at the No. 2 spot, and Branden Joost and Nick Spinazze were also victorious.
Strode earned his 11th singles win of the season with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Motivar. The junior netter dropped just seven games in his two matches Sunday. Lebedev, playing at the second spot, beat Filkuka, 6-2, 6-2. The dual clincher came on court 3 where Bradwin Williams defeated Ignacio Velez, 6-1, 6-2, to secure the UA victory.
In his first dual match as a Razorback, junior Connor Smith rolled past Bruce Maytubby, 6-0, 6-0, at the No. 6 line-up spot. Spinazze and Joost coupled their doubles win with a pair of victories in singles at the No. 4 and 5 spots, respectively.
The Razorbacks will return to action when they face No. 25 Tulsa on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m. It will be the Razorbacks’ first of eight consecutive matches against opponents currently ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Log on to www.hogwired.com for continued coverage of Arkansas tennis.
Arkansas 4, Purdue 3Feb. 10, 2008Fayetteville, Ark.Singles1. #76 Blake Strode (UA) def. Branko Kuzmanovic (PU), 6-4, 6-22. Slavko Bijelica (PU) def. Colin Mascall (UA), 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4*3. Chris Nott (UA) def. Patrick Rose (PU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-44. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Eric Ramos (PU), 7-5, 6-45. Griff Nienberg (PU) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 7-6(1), 7-56. Paul Foley (PU) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3Doubles1. Blake Strode/Colin Mascall (UA) def. Slavko Bijelica/Branko Kuzmanovic (PU), 8-32. Eric Ramos/Patrick Rose (PU) def. Chris Nott/Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 8-43. Matt Hogan/Tyler Tarnasky (UA) def. Griff Nienberg/Jose Fuenmayor (PU), 9-8(3)Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (1, 4, 5, 3*, 6, 2)* – clinching match
Arkansas 7, Cowley College 0Feb. 10, 2008Fayetteville, Ark.Singles1. Blake Strode (UA) def. Diego Motivar (CC), 6-1, 6-02. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Richard Filkuka (CC), 6-2, 6-2*3. Bradwin Williams (UA) def. Ignacio Velez (CC), 6-1, 6-24. Nick Spinazze (UA) def. Sean Cobble (CC), 6-2, 6-15. Branden Joost (UA) def. Boomer Saia (CC), 6-0, 6-16. Connor Smith (UA) def. Bruce Maytubby (CC), 6-0, 6-0Doubles1. Blake Strode/Colin Mascall (UA) def. Diego Motivar/Richard Filkuka (CC), 8-22. Chris Nott/Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Ignacio Velez/Sean Cobble (CC), 8-33. Branden Joost/Nick Spinazze (UA) def. Boomer Saia/David Whitley (CC), 8-2Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2); Singles (5, 6, 3*, 1, 4, 2 )* – clinching match