BATON ROUGE, La. – Blake Strode and Dmitry Lebedev each pulled out three set victories, but No. 12 LSU proved too powerful for Arkansas, beating the Hogs, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Center in Baton Rouge, La.
The Razorbacks (7-21, 0-11 SEC) head into SEC Tournament play next weekend, and will open action Thursday as the field’s No. 12 seed. The Hogs’ opponent will be known Sunday.
Blake Strode continued his hot play at No. 1 singles, upsetting the nation’s 24th-ranked player, Ken Skupski, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, on Skupski’s Senior Day. The 77th-ranked Strode has won six consecutive matches, with his last five wins coming against nationally-ranked opponents. The sophomore now has nine wins against ranked opponents in 2007. Strode, a product of St. Louis, Mo., is now 26-10 on the season, including a 17-7 dual-match mark and a stellar 7-4 in the SEC, all at No. 1 singles.
Arkansas freshman Dmitry Lebedev also grabbed a win at No. 3 singles, out-dueling LSU’s Colt Gaston in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. Lebedev, a Moscow, Russia native, improves to 13-21 on the season, 10-14 in duals and 2-8 in the SEC.
LSU (15-5, 7-4 SEC) used one of the SEC’s most potent doubles lineups to take the doubles point. The Tigers, winners of 16 of their 20 doubles points this season, cruised on court three before outlasting the Hogs on courts two and one to take the point. At No. 1, the Razorbacks’ 49th-ranked tandem of Colin Mascall and Strode were downed, 8-6, by the nation’s No. 7 pair of Danny Bryan and Gaston.
The Hogs open Southeastern Conference Tournament play Thursday at the Robinson Tennis Center in Baton Rouge. The Razorbacks are the No. 12 seed in the tournament, and will open play Thursday against the field’s fifth-seed. More information will be available on www.hogwired.com during the week.
#12 LSU 5, Arkansas 2
April 14, 2007
W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Center, Baton Rouge, La.
Singles:1. #77 Blake Strode (ARK) def. #24 Ken Skupski (LSU), 1-6, 6-1, 6-42. #34 Danny Bryan (LSU) def. Colin Mascall (ARK), 6-1, 6-13. Dmitry Lebedev (ARK) def. Colt Gaston (LSU), 2-6, 6-2, 6-44. #76 Kevin Dessauer (LSU) def. Andrei Nicoara (ARK), 6-0, 6-05. Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. Gabriel Mattos (ARK), 6-2, 6-06. Eric DeRoche (LSU) def. Bradwin Williams (ARK), 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 2*, 6, 3, 1
1. #7 Bryan/Gaston (LSU) def. #49 Mascall/Strode (ARK), 8-6
2. #19 Cluskey/Skupski (LSU) def. Mattos/Williams (ARK), 8-5
3. Dessauer/Zelezny (LSU) def. Lebedev/Nicoara (ARK), 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1