FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 16 Arkansas fell behind early to No. 8 Florida and could not climbits way back, dropping a, 6-1, decision to the Gators in a Southeastern Conference match Friday afternoon at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks (11-6, 2-3 SEC) have now lost two consecutive matches. The Hogs dropped their previous outing at then-No. 29 Kentucky on March 12. Each of Arkansas’ six losses has come to top-30 opponents, with the Gators (9-5, 3-2) becoming the fifth top-20 team to knock off the Hogs.
Friday’s match marks the 14th consecutive time the Razorbacks have lost to Florida. The Hogs last beat the Gators in 1992, their first season in the SEC. UF leads the series between the schools, 16-1.
In doubles, Arkansas could not overcome early deficits on courts two and three, giving the Gators a 1-0 advantage. The Razorbacks did hold off Florida on court one, with seniors Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar defeating Stefan Tell and Nestor Briceno in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (4). The win is the 10th of the season for the Razorback duo.
Florida stormed out to early leads in every singles match. The Hogs were down a set on every court. After the Gators went on to claim wins on courts five and six, UA needed to force a third-set in each of the remaining four matches to have a chance. The Razorbacks did force third-sets on three of the four courts, but Florida clinched the dual-match victory with 38th-ranked Nestor Briceno knocking off 102nd-ranked Razorback freshman Blake Strode at No. 4, 7-5, 6-3.
Senior Rohan Gajjar tallied the only Razorback win of the day. The 74th-ranked Gajjar defeated Janne Holmia, 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (5). Gajjar is now 15-6 on the season and 3-2 in SEC play.
Arkansas will have an opportunity to bounce back Sunday, as the Razorbacks host No. 49 South Carolina in a SEC matchup. Due to construction on the UA Outdoor Tennis Complex, the Hogs and Gamecocks are scheduled to meet at 11:30 a.m. at the Wal-Mart Life & Tennis Center in Bentonville, weather permitting. To find out the definite location of Sunday’s match with South Carolina, please check www.hogwired.com or call (479)575-4949 after 9 a.m. Sunday.
#8 Florida 6, #16 Arkansas 1
March 24, 2006
1. Roberts/Gajjar (AR) def. Tell/Briceno (UF), 9-8 (4)
2. #58 Holmia/Obradovic (UF) def. #39 Zguns/Strode (AR), 8-5
3. Brandi/Ouelette (UF) def. Mascall/King (AR), 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. #95 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) def. #13 Adrians Zguns (AR), 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (6)
2. #32 Greg Ouelette (UF) def. #49 Matt Roberts (AR), 6-0, 1-6, 6-2
3. #74 Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. Janne Holmia (UF), 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (5)
4. #38 Nestor Briceno (UF) def. #102 Blake Strode (AR), 7-5, 6-3
5. Chris Brandi (UF) def. Colin Mascall (AR), 6-4, 6-1
6. #100 Stefan Tell def. Michael Jung (AR), 6-2. 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 4, 1, 2, 3
#8 Florida (9-5, 3-2 SEC)
#16 Arkansas (11-6, 2-3 SEC)
Clinchers: No. 2 doubles, No. 4 singles