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Tigers Drop Razorbacks in First Round of Tourn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Tigers Drop Razorbacks in First Round of Tourn
Oxford, Miss. – Doubles woes continued for the Hogs as they were ousted in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Oxford by the fifth-seeded Tigers of LSU, 4-0.

Despite the loss and possible end to their season, head coach Robert Cox was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We’ve had a struggle over the last few months with injuries,” Cox said. “We were hoping to come in here today and turn this thing around. Unfortunately for us it didn’t happen. What has happened over the last three matches is that our doubles have greatly improved. Today was no exception. We played great doubles and then during singles our guys went out there and gave it all they had. As a coach, I am very proud of my guys and couldn’t ask for more.”

Doubles struggle continued for the Hogs, but there were some bright spots in the number one and three matches. Number two doubles was an uneventful match for the Hogs as Matt Roberts and Adrians Zguns got behind early and were neverable to get back into the match, falling to Cory Ross and Sebastian Rutka, 8-3.

At number one, Aleksey Bubis and Eduardo Pacheco took on the No. 21 duo of Jason Hazley and Bryan Fisher. The Hogs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before the Tigers began to claw their way back into the match. Hazley and Fisher would fight back to tie it up at three all. From there the match was back and forth as it eventually went to a tiebreaker. In the breaker, LSU proved too strong as they defeated Arkansas 7-1 to clinch the doubles point.

The number three match was suspended at seven all. However, Talley Parker and Rohan Gajjar looked solid. Their tennis was great as they lead by as many as two games and trailed only twice throughout the entire match.

Singles wouldn’t pay the dividends that the Razorbacks had hoped for, but according to Cox the Hogs played a lot better than their last outing against LSU.

“We had more spring in our step than we did last week against LSU,” Cox said. “We were able to get better play out of ourselves and really get a good handle on how good LSU really is. We made a nice little comeback here but LSU just beat us. They’re a great team and now we have to move on.”

At the number four position, LSU’s Rutka would knock off Roberts in straight sets. The junior from Poland was just to strong for the Arkansas freshman as he beat him down the stretch in a 6-2, 6-1 affair. Next off the courts for the Hogs was Gajjar. Gajjar was up on Ross with a 4-1 lead in the first set, but was unable to close it out. Ross came back and won the next five matches and then won the second set 6-2 to put the Tigers up 3-0.

Clinching the match would be LSU’s Paul White who defeated Talley Parker 6-2, 6-2 at the six position. Parker was down early in the match, but managed to fight to prolong the match. He was unable to as White secured the match for the Tigers allowing them to move on to the second round.

In the suspended matches, the outlook was brighter as Bubis was playing Richman (No. 52) at the one slot. Bubis lost the first 6-1, but fought hard to come back and win the second 6-3. When the match was called, the pair had played to a 5-5 tie.

At the two slot, Zguns and Fisher were grinding it out as Arkansas’ freshman won the first in a7-6(6) first set. The duo had only finished five games when the match was called. Zguns was leading 3-2.

At number three, Eduardo Pacheco was playing a long match of his own as he lost the first 7-6(7). In the second set, however, Jason Hazley had the 4-1 lead when the match was suspended.

The Hogs will now have to wait on the NCAA selection committee to determine the fate of their season. If the Hogs receive a bid into the NCAA tournament, regionals are scheduled for May 9-11.

No. 18 LSU, No. 35 Arkansas
Singles
No. 1: #57 Peter Richman (LSU) vs. Aleksey Bubis, 6-1, 3-6, 5-5 susp.
No. 2: Bryan Fisher (LSU) vs. Adrians Zguns, 6-7(6), 3-2
No. 3: Jason Hazley (LSU) vs. Eduardo Pacheco, 7-6(7), 4-1
No. 4: Sebastian Rutka (LSU) def. Matt Roberts, 6-2, 6-1
No. 5: Cory Ross (LSU) def. Rohan Gajjar, 6-4, 6-2
No. 6: Paul White (LSU) def. 6-2, 6-2

Doubles
No. 1: #21 Fisher/Hazley def. Bubis/Pacheco, 9-8(1)
No. 2: Ross/Rutka def. Roberts/Zguns, 8-3
No. 3: Richman/White vs. Gajjar/Parker, 7-7, susp.



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