FAYETTEVILLE- It was a sunny day on the courts at the George M. Billinglsey Center on Sunday afternoon as the No. 59 Arkansas Razorbacks took on the No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats. The Hogs played with much heart but were unable to come away with the upset over the highly touted Wildcats. Kentucky snatched the match, 5-2.
Kentucky pounced early on the Hogs, taking the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. At the No. 2 position, Alex Musialek and Alex Lampouslos earned the first win of the match over Matthew Hogan and Nikolas Zogaj, 8-5. No. 68 Christopher Nott and Dmitry Lebedev and the No. 13 of Eric Quigley and Brad Cox dueled in a tight contest on the top court. Both teams held serve but the Kentucky duo was able to edge the win 9-7 over the Hogs the clinch the doubles point.
"I thought we played well in doubles," head coach Robert Cox said. "We are not firing on all six singles courts and to upset a top 10 team we need to do that."
Before the start of singles play, the University of Arkansas recognized Ewell and Nancy Lee as the men’s tennis team Fan of the Century. They have been the backbone for the Arkansas tennis program for over 40 years and have attended every home match for over 40 years.
"The last 40 years every Razorback player, coach and staff owes everything to Ewell, Nancy and Jane Morgan, "Cox said. "They have been a rock for this program and more than supportive fans emotionally, physically and financially."
Lee will represent the men’s tennis team as Fan of the Century at the Arkansas Razorbacks spring football game on April 22 for a chance to win the overall drawing.
Next up was singles play as Kentucky continued to maintain control of the match. Kentucky extended to a 3-0 lead with wins at the No. 4 and No. 2 positions. Arkansas continued to battle on all the courts but it was not enough as Quigley clinched the win at the No. 1 position. Nott and Quigley were in a heated battle but Nott eventually fell, 6-1, 6-4.
Highlight the weekend was Hogan at the No. 3 position, who went 2-0 in singles play with wins over Cox of Kentucky and Alex Zotov of Vanderbilt at the No. 3 position. Against Kentucky, Hogan and Cox battled for the advantage but Hogan pulled away taking the first set 7-6(8) and was continuing strong in the second set over Cox and ready to serve for the lead before the match was defaulted.
On court six, the match was just getting started as freshman Mike Ward’s fierce serve enabled him to rally back and split sets with Lumpoulos. Ward’s momentum from Friday’s match rolled over into Sunday’s match as the freshman now boast a 3-1 SEC record and 2-0 on the weekend.
"We are going to get back to work this and get ready for LSU," Cox said. "We are making a good run at the end of the season and just need to get all the courts lined up. "
Arkansas will wrap up conference play for their last home match next Saturday to host LSU on Senior Day at the George M. Billinglsey Center at 1 p.m. For complete results and live coverage visit: ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Complete Results Kentucky 5 Arkansas 2SinglesOrder of Finish: 4, 2, 1,5,6,3No. 10 Eric Quigley (KY) def. No. 60 Christopher Nott (UA) 6-1, 6-4No. 37 Alex Musialek (KY) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) 6-0, 6-0Matt Hogan (UA) def. Brad Cox (KY) 7-6(8), 3-3 (ret.)Anthony Rossi (KY) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA) 6-1, 6-2Alberto Gonzalez (KY) def. Gregoire Lehmann (UA) 7-5, 6-3Mike Ward (UA) def. Alex Lampoulos (KY) 5-6, 6-3 (ret.)
DoublesOrder of Finish: 2, 1*No. 13 Cox/Quigley (KY) def. Nott/Lebedev 9-7Gonzalez/Lampoulos (KY) def. Hogan/Zogaj 8-5Musialek/Rossi vs. Taylor King/Bradwin Willams (UA) 7-4 (unf.)