FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team was defeated by the No. 21-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks by a score of, 4-2, in the opening round of the SEC Tournament at Knoxville, Tenn., on Thursday.
In doubles play, the Hogs lost at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions to lose the doubles point. At the No. 1 spot, UA’s Oggie Kolev and Aleksey Bubis were beating Marcus Westman and Angelo Niculescu, 7-5, as the match was suspended to move on to singles play.
In singles action, the Razorbacks earned victories at the No. 2 and No. 5 positions. Sophomore Nathan Price, ranked 102nd in singles, defeated 70th-ranked Angelo Niculescu by a score of 6-3, 0-6, 6-3. At the No. 5 position, Razorback junior Aleksey Bubis earned the first point for the Hogs by defeating Carl Wermee, 6-4, 6-0.
“This match was much closer than a 4-2 score,” head coach Robert Cox said. “We truly played SEC tennis today. I would have to say that this is the best match that we have played all year, we played unbelievable, even in doubles. All in all I think the heat got to us in the end, but you have to give South Carolina credit. They played great tennis and really turned it up at the end, we just couldn’t hang on.”
The Hogs hope to return to the courts May 10, when the NCAA regionals begin. The selection process will begin at the first of May.
“I think we’ve put ourselves in great position to earn a tournament bid,” Cox said. “Hopefully we will have the opportunity to host a tournament match. This has been a great season. I couldn’t be any prouder of my guys this year.”
No. 21 South Carolina 4, No. 22 Arkansas 2
No. 1 Seth Rose (USC) def. Oggie Kolev (UA), 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Nathan Price (UA) def. Angelo Niculescu (USC), 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
No. 3 David Nelson (USC) def. Magnus Kullenberg (UA), 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
No. 4 Marcus Westman (USC) def. Eduardo Pacheco (UA), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 5 Aleksey Bubis (UA) def. Carl Wermee (USC), 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 Rose/Wermee (USC) Pacheco/Kullenberg (UA), 8-3
No. 3 Nelson/Atkinson (USC) def. Price/Azevedo (UA), 8-5