CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A day after the No. 45 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team was brushed aside by the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers, the Hogs (0-2) returned to the court to take on No. 34 Wisconsin at the ITA National Indoor Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., losing a tight one, 4-3. The Razorbacks and Badgers took the match to the wire, Tyler Tarnasky and Michael Dierberger deciding the match in the last singles match completed between the teams.Tarnasky took the first set from Dierberger with a late break before dropping the second set to the Badger. In the third set, Dierberger went up an early break, taking the lead 3-1 but Tarnasky returned the favor, getting back on serve with a break at 4-2. In the end though, Dierberger pulled out the win, for himself and his team, by a final score of 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
“Today’s match was a heartbreaker for sure,” head Arkansas coach Robert Cox said. “It was very close, but we just fell a little short to a very gritty Wisconsin team. Give the Badgers credit for all their work on the court today.”
For the second straight day, the Hogs and their opponent split the first two doubles matches, the Badgers getting the first win of the day as Luke Rassow-Kantor and Patrick Pohlmann beat Tarnasky and partner Bradwin Williams, 8-4.
In their second match playing doubles together this season, Chris Nott and Dmitry Lebedev proved unbeatable for the second straight match, winning at No. 3 doubles, 8-4, against Dierberger and Peter Marrack.
As was the case Friday, the No. 14 duo of Matt Hogan and Blake Strode were unable to pick up a win to clinch the doubles point for the Hogs. Instead, Marek Michalicka and Moritz Baumann earned the Badgers the doubles point with an, 8-6, win over the Razorbacks at No. 1 doubles.
“We have to get better about closing out our matches,” Cox said. “Today we learned some things about ourselves from Wisconsin, some things we need to work on and we just have to take what we saw today and move forward.”
Leading the charge for the Hogs in singles on Saturday was Nott in the No. 3 singles position, whipping past Rassow-Kantor in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, in the first singles final of the day. At No. 1 singles, Strode, ranked No. 15 in the country, also put up a love set on his foe, No. 36 Michalicka but Michalicka pushed the match to a second set tiebreak before Strode walked away with the, 6-0, 7-6(4), win. Lebedev was also victorious in singles, defeating Pohlmann, 7-5, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.
It was another day of struggles in singles for the No. 39-ranked Hogan who fell to No. 117 Baumann 6-2, 6-2. Hogan was unable to find his rhythm against Virginia or Wisconsin during the weekend, falling in each of his matches. Williams took the first set from foe Marrack at the No. 6 singles position. However, Marrack came back in the second set to force the match to a third set and earned the win, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Catch the Hogs in action again on Saturday Feb. 7 when the team will be in West Lafayette, Ind. against the Illinois State Redbirds at noon. For complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, log onto ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#34 Wisconsin 4, #45 Arkansas 3January 31, 2009ITA National Indoor InviteCharlottesville, Va.
Singles1.#15 Blake Strode (UA) def. #36 Marek Michalicka (UW), 6-0, 7-6(4)2.# 117 Moritz Baumann (UW) def. #39 Matt Hogan (UA), 6-2, 6-23.Chris Nott (UA) def. Luke Rassow-Kantor (UW), 6-0, 6-14.Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Patrick Pohlmann (UW), 7-5, 6-1*5.Michael Dierberger (UW) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 5-7, 6-4, 6-46.Peter Marrack (UW) def. Bradwin Williams (UA), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5Doubles1.Marek Michalicka/Moritz Baumann (UW) def. #14 Blake Strode/Matt Hogan (UA), 8-62.Luke Rassow-Kantor/Patrick Pohlmann (UW) def. Tyler Tarnasky/Bradwin Williams (UA), 8-43.Dmitry Lebedev/Chris Nott (UA) def. Michael Dierberger/Peter Marrack (UW), 8-4
Order of Finish:Doubles – 2, 3, 1Singles – 3, 2, 4, 1, 6, 5*-clinching match