comscore script

Tennis Hogs Reach NCAA Regional Final With 4-3

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Tennis Hogs Reach NCAA Regional Final With 4-3
TULSA, Okla. — Sophomore Nathan Price, playing in his hometown, was the deciding factor in both doubles and singles as Arkansas’ tennis team advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional final with a 4-3 victory at Tulsa on Saturday.

Arkansas, ranked No. 24 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, meets No. 11 Southern California on Sunday at noon with the winner advancing to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 at College Station, Texas, on May 18. USC, the top seed in the region, beat Oral Roberts, 5-0, in Saturday’s second match.

“We got off to a good start by winning the doubles point and that was a key,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “That had been a problem area for us and we worked on improving there and it showed today. Even after getting the doubles point, Tulsa fought hard. We knew, playing on their courts, it would be a tough match, but we played hard as well.”

The Razorbacks, the second seed, won the doubles point against the third-seeded Golden Hurricane and split the three singles matches to get the victory. Arkansas, which has now won its opening match in NCAA Tournament play for the fourth straight time and the seventh time in its last eight tries, won the doubles point for the first time in eight matches.

UT’s Dane McGregor and Shriranga Sudhakara beat Oggie Kolev and Aleksey Bubis at No. 1, 8-6, and UA’s Magnus Kullenberg and Eduardo Pacheco downed Ryan Livesay and Dustin Taylor at No. 2, 9-7.

Price and Tiago Azevedo won the doubles point in a tiebreaker at No. 3, 9-8 (8-4) over Pawel Sebastyanski and Alejandro Tejerina.

The Hogs, now 15-9, took a quick 2-0 lead with Kolev cruising to a 6-0, 6-2 win over Sebastyanski at No. 1, but Tulsa, 16-12 and ranked No. 42, won three of the next four decisions.

Kullenberg lost to Livesay at No. 3, 6-2, 7-5, Pacheco fell to Tejerina at No. 4, 6-4, 7-5, and Sudhakara beat Kristofer Ivarsson at No. 6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, while Bubis beat Taylor at No. 5, 6-4, 7-5.

The match came down to No. 2 where Price, a transfer from Texas A&M who is now 14-9 on the season, dropped the first set, 7-6, to McGregor. He won the next two sets, 6-4, 6-2, to give Arkansas its second victory over Tulsa this season. UA beat Tulsa in Fayetteville on Feb. 12, 6-1, with the Razorbacks winning the doubles point and three matches in three sets.

“What a great day for Nathan,” Cox said. “Playing in his hometown, he obviously was a big key for us. Oggie played really well as well, as did Aleksey. Now we have to bounce back and get ready to play USC on Sunday.”

Last year, Arkansas won its opening NCAA Tournament match, 4-0 over North Carolina, before falling to host and seventh-ranked SMU, 4-3, in the regional final.

Kolev improved to 26-13 with his victory while Bubis is now 23-12.

Men’s Tennis
NCAA Regional
No. 24 Arkansas 4, No. 42 Tulsa 3

Singles
No. 1 Oggie Kolev (UA) def. Pawel Sebastyanski 6-0, 6-2
No. 2 Nathan Price (UA) def. Dane McGregor 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
No. 3 Ryan Livesay (UT) def. Magnus Kullenberg 6-2, 7-5
No. 4 Alejandro Tejerina (UT) def. Eduardo Pacheco 6-4, 7-5
No. 5 Aleksey Bubis (UA) def. Dustin Taylor 6-4, 7-5
No. 6 Shriranga Sudhakara (UT) def. Kristofer Ivarsson 5-7, 6-1, 6-4

Doubles
No. 1 McGregor/Sudhakara (UT) def. Kolev/Bubis 8-6
No. 2 Kullenberg/Pacheco (UA) def. Livesay/Taylor 9-7
No. 3 Price/Azevedo (UA) def. Sebastyanski/Tejerina 9-8 (8-4)



Sports Category :