COLUMBIA, S.C. – Arkansas’ contingent swept through singles play Friday, with all five Razorback participants winning their first-round matches at the University of South Carolina Fall Invitational in Columbia, S.C.
The USC Invitational, which features over 150 players from almost 30 schools, is divided into six different 32-man singles flights, and two doubles flights. All five Hogs advanced to the round of 16 in singles, while one doubles team won a pair of matches. Overall, the Razorbacks were 8-1 Friday.
“8-1 is definitely not a bad start,” Razorback head coach Robert Cox said, “It’s good experience for these young guys and I’m very proud of the way they’re playing.”
Freshman Blake Strode, of St. Louis, Mo., improved to 3-1 this fall with a, 6-1, 6-0, win over South Carolina’s own Adam Adler in flight A-1. Fellow freshman Taylor King, competing in flight B-1, remained unblemished this fall with a, 6-0, 6-1, victory over Jon Staton of Wake Forest. The Rogers, Ark. native is now 4-0. In doubles, Strode and King teamed to win both their matches Friday in doubles flight A-1. The pair is now 5-0 in doubles.
Also in flight B-1, sophomore Michael Jung cruised to a, 6-3, 6-0, triumph over North Carolina State’s jay Weinacker. The Atlanta, Ga. native, playing in his third fall tournament, improved to 5-1.
Junior Andy Nicoara advanced to the round of 16 in flight B-2, knocking off Jackson State’s Diego Pazsoldan, 6-2, 6-4. Nicoara evened his fall record at 3-3. Sophomore Jimmy Khougassian, playing in flight B-3, won a three-set match against Andrew Monje of North Florida, bettering his record to 4-2 this fall. Nicoara and Khougassian split a pair of doubles contests, taking their opener before being eliminated from doubles flight B-3 in the second round.
The Hogs continue play at the USC Fall Invitational Saturday. Check www.hogwired.com for the latest results.