FAYETTEVILLE– The No. 52 Arkansas Razorbacks continue onward deep into their tough schedule with the start of SEC play against the No.7 Florida Gators (8-2) and the No. 41 South Carolina (6-2) this weekend at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center, in Fayetteville. The Hogs (8-4) look to extend their four game winning-streak against two highly ranked teams.
The Hogs are ready for rematches against their conference foes, after notching, two more wins at home last weekend. They kicked things off with a 7-0 sweep of UMKC before defeating Johnson County C.C., 7-0.
Junior Christopher Nott, ranked No. 57, continues to spearhead the Hogs’ success at the top of the lineup, with a 7-2 dual record in singles and 14-7 overall. Freshman Gregoire Lehmann is also having a strong start to his first dual season with the team, going 9-2 between the No. 4 and No.5 singles position.
Arkansas’ doubles tandem is gaining national recognition with two teams ranked in the Top 60. Moving up four spots, the duo of senior Dmitry Lebedev and Nott lead the Hogs at No. 26, followed by the senior duo of Taylor King and Bradwin Williams, ranked No. 56 in the country. Arkansas has won ten of twelve doubles point this season.
“We have seen great things from our depth and it is a luxury to have the ability to have players that can step up if someone is struggling, “ Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “We are were we need to be, if anything we need to be more consistent in the middle of the lineup. We have are strong at the top and have some good players there and will continue to work hard and improve.”
The Hogs will open with a dual match against No. 7 Florida on Friday and look to bounce back after dropping last year at Florida, 7-0.
No. 7 Florida has two players ranked nationally in singles play, leading the team is No. 6 Alexandre Lacroix, followed by No. 121 Antoine Fanselow. Teamed together the pair is ranked No. 16 in doubles with an 8-1 dual match record. Also listed in the top 50 is No. 43 Sekou Bagoura Jr. and Joey Burkhardt.
Conference play matches will continue on Sunday at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center Dills Indoor Tennis Center, as the No. 41 South Carolina will come to town after playing at LSU on Friday.
Last time the two teams met the Hogs powered past the then ranked No. 17 Gamecocks, 6-1. The top of the Razorbacks’ singles lineup went 4-0 against South Carolina. The Hogs were able to clinch the doubles point win at the No. 3 position as Matt Walters and Taylor King defeated Jamie Cuellar and Johannes Pulsfort, 8-6. The Hogs momentum continued as Nott and junior Matthew Hogan picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Lebedev scored a victory for Arkansas on Court 4, playing in a monster match against Machado, taking the match, 7-6(5), 6-7(8), (10-6).
“Florida and South Carolina will present a great test for us,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “Hopefully all the lessons we learned will be put to use on Friday when we play Florida and carry on into our match against South Carolina.”
The Razorbacks match with Oral Roberts was canceled and the two teams will match up next in Tulsa, Okla., on March 30. The Hogs begin play on Friday against No. 7 Florida at 1:30 p.m. and will close the weekend against No. 41 South Carolina at noon, on Sunday. For complete coverage and live stats on Arkansas men’s tennis visit ArakansasRazorbacks.com.