BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas seniors Adrians Zguns, Rohan Gajjar and Matt Roberts, along with freshman Blake Strode, each posted victories Sunday, pacing the 21st-ranked Razorbacks in a, 5-2, win over 28th-ranked Tennessee at the Wal-Mart Health & Tennis Center in Bentonville.
Zguns, Gajjar, Roberts and Strode, the top four in the Razorback lineup, are each ranked in the national top-55.
Arkansas (9-4, 1-1 SEC), which lost its Southeastern Conference opener Friday against top-ranked Georgia, took command of the match by winning the doubles point. It was only the second time this season Tennessee (5-3, 0-2) has dropped the doubles point.
The Hog tandem of freshman Austin King and sophomore Colin Mascall ended a five-match losing streak at No. 3, knocking off Derek Stephens and David Baxendine, 8-6. Zguns and Strode won their second SEC match in as many tries at No. 2, and clinched the Hogs’ doubles win, defeating Bobby Cameron and Kaden Hensel, 8-5. Tennessee claimed the match at No. 1 doubles, with Adam Hubble and Ben Rogers upsetting the Razorbacks’ 22nd-ranked duo of Roberts and Gajjar.
It was the second win of the weekend for Zguns and Strode, who defeated the nation’s 7th-ranked team on Friday against Georgia.
Sunday was the first time UA has won the doubles point since Feb. 12 against Wichita St., a span of four matches. The Razorbacks have taken the doubles point in eight of their 13 matches this season, and are 8-0 in those matches.
Tennessee quickly evened the score, 1-1, as Rogers defeated UA sophomore Jimmy Khougassian, 7-5, 6-2, at No. 6. Gajjar, ranked 54th, then notched his 12th victory of the season and the 70th of his career, knocking off Baxendine, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 2. The Volunteers would match the Hogs, 2-2, when Hubble beat Mascall, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5.
The match was dead even at that point, with Arkansas up a set at No. 4, Tennessee up a set at No. 1, and the contest at No. 3 even at a set apiece. Strode, ranked 41st, then finished off his match with Kiril Tcherveniachki, on court four, 7-6, 6-4. Roberts, ranked 40th, went up 5-1 in the third set of his match at No. 3, but had to fight off a rally from Hensel, winning, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
Zguns, ranked 25th, was down a set and 5-2 in the second before winning five consecutive games, the decisive third-set tiebreaker and the match, 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5). The win leaves Zguns only four shy of becoming only the fourth Razorback in school history with 100 career victories.
For the season, Zguns improved to 18-3, 10-0 in dual matches and 2-0 in conference play. Gajjar bettered his mark to 12-5 overall, 7-2 in duals and 1-1 in the SEC. Roberts is now 18-5, 9-2 in duals and 2-0 in league action. Strode is 15-3, 7-1 and 1-1 in conference. Mascall is 6-5 and 0-2 in SEC play, while Khougassian falls to 11-6, 2-3 in duals and 0-2 in the SEC.
Arkansas returns to the courts Wednesday night for a regional tilt with 55th-ranked Tulsa. The match is set for 6 p.m. at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
#21 Arkansas 5, #28 Tennessee 2
March 5, 2006
1. Adam Hubble/Ben Rogers (UT) def. #22 Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR), 8-6
2. Blake Strode/Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Bobby Cameron/Kaden Hensel (UT), 8-5
3. Austin King/Colin Mascall (AR) def. Derek Stephens/David Baxendine (UT), 8-6
Order of Finish: 3, 2*, 1
1. #25 Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Bobby Cameron (UT), 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5)
2. #54 Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. David Baxendine (UT), 6-4, 6-2
3. #40 Matt Roberts (AR) def. Kaden Hensel (UT), 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
4. $41 Blake Strode (AR) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT), 7-6, 6-4
5. Adam Hubble (UT) def. Colin Mascall (AR), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Ben Rogers (UT) def. Jimmy Khougassian (AR), 7-5, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 5, 4, 3*, 1
#21 Arkansas (9-4, 1-1 SEC), #28 Tennessee (5-3, 0-2 SEC)
Clinchers — No. 2 doubles, No. 3 singles
Match played at Wal-Mart Health & Tennis Center in Bentonville.