FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second time in his career, Arkansas netter Blake Strode was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week by the league office Wednesday. The Razorback junior was 2-0 in singles action as Arkansas defeated No. 22 Vanderbilt, 4-3, and No. 55 Kentucky, 4-2. In both matches, Strode clinched the dual with victories at No. 1 singles.
With the team dual tied, 3-3, against Vanderbilt, Strode beat No. 65 Ryan Preston, 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 7-6(2), in a match that finished just short of three hours. Strode rallied from a 5-3 deficit in the third set and saved a match point against Preston. Against the Wildcats, Strode beat No. 56 Bruno Agostinelli in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, as the Razorbacks beat Kentucky for just the second time since joining the SEC in 1992.
Strode is 3-2 against ranked opponents during the spring. The St. Louis, Mo., native is 15-10 overall this season and 2-2 in conference play. Strode and the Razorbacks will take a break from SEC action and travel to Honolulu for matches March 16 and 17 against Hawaii and BYU-Hawaii, respectively. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Hog tennis.