LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 20 Arkansas dropped a pair of matches in three sets and the Hogs could not overcome No. 29 Kentucky, as the Wildcats defeated the Razorbacks in a Southeastern Conference match at the Boone Tennis Courts in Lexington, Ky.
Arkansas (11-5, 2-2 SEC) has now lost four straight matches to Kentucky (11-3, 4-0 SEC). The Razorbacks dropped last year’s contest in Fayetteville, 4-3.
The Hogs lost the doubles point for the first time in three matches. UA last lost the doubles against No. 1 Georgia March 3. Arkansas is 2-5 this season when losing the doubles point.
The dual match was forced indoors and played on four singles courts, with numbers one through four preceding matches five and six.
In singles, the Razorbacks quickly fought their way back into the match. 15th-ranked senior Adrians Zguns raced to a, 6-4, 6-2, victory over Kentucky’s 32nd-ranked Bruno Agostinelli at No. 1. Fellow senior Matt Roberts, ranked 46th, followed with a, 6-2, 7-5, win over 121st-ranked Nate Emge at No. 3. UA led 2-1 at that point.
Zguns’ win was his 20th of the season. It is the third time in his career he has won 20 matches in a season. Zguns now has 98 wins in his career, three behind Oskar Johansson (101) for third on the school’s all-time list. He is 20-4 overall this season, 12-1 in dual matches, 4-0 in the SEC and 8-2 against ranked opponents. Roberts is 21-5 this season, 12-2 in duals and 4-0 in SEC play. The Little Rock, Ark. native has won five in a row and 17 of his last 19 matches.
Kentucky bounced right back at No.’s 2 and 4. Razorback senior Rohan Gajjar, ranked 82nd, fell, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, to 41st-ranked Alex Hume at No. 2. UA freshman Blake Strode, ranked 101st, was upset at No. 4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, by Carey Rubin, giving UK a 3-2 edge.
Gajjar is now 14-6 this season, 9-3 in duals and 2-2 in SEC action. Strode falls to 17-4 overall, 9-2 in duals and 2-2 in conference play.
Arkansas evened the dual match when sophomore Colin Mascall notched a, 6-4, 6-3 win over Greg Johnstone at No. 5. The Wildcats ultimately would clinch the win at No. 6 when Razorback sophomore Michael Jung dropped a, 6-4, 6-2, decision to Marcus Sundh.
Mascall is 9-5 as a Hog, 2-2 in SEC play and has won three consecutive matches. Jung is 21-5 overall, 7-3 in duals and 1-1 in league play.
Arkansas will take an almost two-week break before it hosts the Florida Gators on March 24. The Razorbacks will venture to Daytona Beach, Fla. for their spring break March 17-21.
#29 Kentucky 4, #20 Arkansas 3
March 12, 2006
1. Hume/Emge (UK) vs. #47 Roberts/Gajjar (AR), 7-6 susp.
2. Johnstone/Sundh (UK) vs. #25 Zguns/Strode (AR), 8-6
3. Hodge/Agostinelli (UK) vs. Mascall/King (AR), 8-6
1. #15 Adrians Zguns (AR) def. #32 Bruno Agostinelli (UK), 6-4, 6-2
2. #41 Alex Hume (UK) def. #82 Rohan Gajjar (AR), 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
3. #46 Matt Robets (AR) def. #121 Nate Emge (UK), 6-2, 7-5
4. Carey Rubin (UK) def. #101 Blake Strode (AR), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5. Colin Mascall (AR) def. Greg Johnstone (UK), 6-4, 6-3
6. Marcus Sundh (UK) def. Michael Jung (AR), 6-4. 6-2