FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas will spend time at home and on the road this weekend, as the Razorbacks host 61st-ranked Mississippi St. Friday before hitting the road Sunday to battle 10th-ranked Ole Miss.
The Razorbacks (7-14, 0-6 SEC) are fresh off a four-match road trip, where they went 1-3 with a, 5-2, victory over New Mexico St. in Las Vegas, Nev.
Friday, Mississippi St. (5-9, 2-4 SEC) visits Fayetteville. The Bulldogs are fresh off a weekend sweep of Vanderbilt and Kentucky, which snapped a previous seven-match losing streak. MSU is led by junior Ivan Bjelica. Bjelica is ranked 39th in the nation and sports a 22-10 record.
The Bulldogs lead the series with the Razorbacks 15-4. Arkansas won last year’s meeting in Starkville, 4-3. Friday’s match is set for a 1:30 p.m. first serve at the UA Outdoor Complex across from Bud Walton Arena on Razorback Road in Fayetteville.
The Hogs head off to Oxford, Miss. Sunday to face 10th-ranked Ole Miss. The Rebels (16-2, 5-1 SEC) are the fourth top-20 opponent the Razorbacks have faced this season. Ole Miss features four ranked singles players, including the nation’s 15th-ranked player in Erling Tveit. The Rebels also boast 32nd-ranked Robbye Poole, 85th-ranked Matthias Wellermann and 109th-ranked Eric Claesson.
Coach Robert Cox’s lineup will feature sophomore Blake Strode at the top. The St. Louis, Mo. native is 21-10 on the season and 12-7 in dual matches. Strode has won 20 matches in each of his first two seasons in Fayetteville. Junior Colin Mascall, senior Andrei Nicoara and freshmen Dmitry Lebedev, Dmitry Vlaskin and Jorge Villanueva will likely fill out the remainder of the Razorback singles lineup.
Arkansas’ doubles has been steady of late, as the Razorbacks have won the doubles point in four of their previous six outings. Strode and Mascall form the nation’s 27th-ranked doubles team and boast a record of 17-5 overall, 13-4 in dual matches and 4-2 in SEC.
Live scoring and results will be available on www.hogwired.com.