FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 69 Arkansas men’s tennis team will play host to No. 22 Vanderbilt and No. 55 Kentucky on Friday and Sunday, respectively, as the Razorbacks open their home SEC schedule. UA will be looking for its first conference win of the season. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Razorback sophomore Dmitry Lebedev has won a career-high seven consecutive matches which has boosted his season record to 15-6 and 2-0 in conference play. Freshman Matt Hogan is 1-0 in conference matches—his match against Auburn’s Sammy Struyf was suspended with the score tied, 4-4, in the third set—and has won 10 of 13 since joining the team in January. Blake Strode and Colin Mascall are 13-8 in doubles action and 2-0 in SEC matches, including a 9-7 win over the No. 31 team of Lukas Marsoun and Tim Puetz of Auburn.
Since joining the SEC in 1992, UA holds a 14-5 advantage in its meetings with Vanderbilt (9-2, 1-1). Last season, the Commodores defeated Arkansas, 5-2, in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks last wins against Vanderbilt came in 2006 when Arkansas won a 7-0 decision in Nashville and then defeated the Commodores, 4-3, in the first round of the conference tournament.
Two Commodores are positioned in the latest ITA singles rankings. Senior Ryan Preston is the 65th-ranked player in the nation with a 12-7 record, while sophomore Vijay Paul is 18-7 on the season and is ranked No. 82. The Commodores have won four of their last five matches.
Kentucky (6-6, 1-1) has won 17 of 18 conference matches against the Razorbacks, including the first 11 contests between the two teams. Arkansas’ win during the stretch came in 2002 with a 4-3 win over the Wildcats in Lexington. Kentucky won last season’s match in Fayetteville, 6-1. The Wildcats are led by No. 56 Bruno Agostinelli.
Both matches are scheduled to be played at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center, Arkansas’ newly renovated outdoor venue. In the event of inclement weather, the matches will be moved inside the Dills Indoor Tennis Center. Log on to www.hogwired.com for live stats and complete results.