STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 16 Arkansas endured a long rain delay to earn its second consecutive Southeastern Conference victory Friday evening, edging No. 57 Mississippi St., 4-3, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre in Starkville, Miss.
The match was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., but due to rain, the match began at 4:42 p.m. after a two hour and 42 minute delay and lasted nearly four hours.
The Razorbacks have won two SEC matches in a row. The Hogs defeated South Carolina, 4-0, last Sunday in Fayetteville.
It was the eighth win of the season for the Hogs against a ranked opponent. Arkansas is 8-6 against teams ranked in the FILA top 75.
Arkansas (13-6, 4-3 SEC) claimed what turned to be a crucial doubles point to gain a 1-0 advantage. It was the 11th time this season the Hogs have won the doubles point. The Razorbacks are 11-0 when winning the doubles point.
The Razorback combo of sophomore Colin Mascall and freshman Austin King earned their second straight SEC victory at No. 3, 8-3, over Phillippe Frayssinoux and Ryan Farlow. Arkansas’ 39th-ranked duo of senior Adrians Zguns and freshman Blake Strode clinched the doubles point with a, 8-3, win against Florent Girod and Pierre Mouillon at No. 2.
Mascall and King improved to 7-9 this season and 4-3 in the SEC, while Zguns and Strode bettered their mark to 10-4 and 4-2 in league play.
In singles, Mississippi St. (4-9, 1-6) evened the score at 1-1 when the Bulldogs’ Ivan Bjelica upset 13th-ranked Zguns, 7-5, 6-2, at No. 1. Zguns is now 20-6 this season, 12-3 in dual matches and 4-2 in SEC play.
The Hogs quickly bounced back when sophomore Michael Jung came from down a set to post a win at No. 6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0, over Farlow. Jung is a team-best 22-6 overall this season, 8-4 in duals and 2-2 in conference action.
The Bulldogs again matched the Hogs after Mouillon came back to upset UA’s 49th-ranked senior Matt Roberts, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2. Roberts is 22-7 overall, 13-4 in duals and 5-2 in the SEC.
The Razorbacks answered at No. 4 when Strode outlasted Girod, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Strode, ranked 102nd, is now 19-5 overall, 11-3 in duals and 4-3 in the SEC.
Senior Rohan Gajjar clinched the Arkansas win at No. 3, 7-5, 7-5, over Juan Carlos Pinto. Gajjar, ranked 74th, improved to 16-6 this season, 11-3 in duals and 4-2 in the SEC.
Mascall won his first set, but could not hold a 5-3 advantage in the second set, dropping a, 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(2), decision to Frayssinoux at No. 5. Mascall is 9-7 this season and 2-4 in the SEC.
Arkansas looks for its third consecutive win Sunday at home against No. 10 Ole Miss. The Razorbacks and Rebels are set for a 1 p.m. first serve at the Wal-Mart Life & Tennis Center in Bentonville, weather permitting. If the weather is questionable, the match will be moved to the Dills Indoor Tennis Center on the UA campus. For definite match location, call (479)575-4949 or log on to www.hogwired.com after 10 a.m. on Sunday.
#16 Arkansas 4 , #57 Mississippi St. 3
March 31, 2006
1. Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR) vs. Ivan Bjelica/Juan Carlos Pinto (MSU), 6-3 (susp.)
2. #39 Blake Strode/Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Florent Girod/Pierre Mouillon (MSU), 8-3
3. Austin King/Colin Mascall (AR) def. Ryan Farlow/Phillippe Frayssinoux (MSU), 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2
1. Ivan Bjelica (MSU) vs. #13 Adrians Zguns (AR), 7-5, 6-2
2. Pierre Mouillon (MSU) def. #49 Matt Roberts (AR), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
3. #74 Rohan Gajjar (AR) vs. Juan Carlos Pinto (MSU), 7-5, 7-5
4. #102 Blake Strode (AR) def. Florent Girod (MSU), 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
5. Phillippe Frayssinoux (MSU) def. Colin Mascall (AR), 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(2)
6. Michael Jung (AR) def. Ryan Farlow (MSU), 6-4, 1-6, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 2, 4, 5*, 6
#16 Arkansas (13-6, 4-3 SEC), #57 Mississippi St. (4-9, 1-6 SEC)
Clinchers: No. 2 doubles, No. 3 singles
Match began at 4:42 p.m. following a 2 hour and 42 minute rain delay.