NORMAN, Okla. – Adrians Zguns notched his 100th career victory as No. 25 Arkansas beat No. 55 Oklahoma, 5-2, in a regional match at the Headington Tennis Center in Norman, Okla.
Zguns’ becomes only the fourth player in Arkansas tennis history to reach the 100-win plateau, and the senior from Liepafa, Latvia is now just one win behind Oskar Johansson for third on the UA all-time list.
Arkansas (15-8) remained perfect in regional play this season. The Razorbacks are 9-0 in regional contests and 2-0 against Oklahoma (14-9). UA defeated the Sooners, 4-0, on Jan. 22 in the finals of the ITA Central Region Indoor Team Championships.
The Razorbacks fought back afterdropping the doubles point.Arkansas did salvage a win at court three, whereColin Mascall and Austin King defeated Cale Planck and Ryan Thomas, 9-7. The doubles point hinged on the match at No. 1, where OU’s duo of Alexei Ivanov and Marek Velicka outlastedUA’s Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7). It marks the third time this season the Hogs have won the dual match after dropping doubles. UA is 3-8 in those matches, 12-0 when winning doubles.
The Hogs were strong up and down the singles lineup. Roberts continued his hot streak, besting Tommy Garrison, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 3, and evened the dual match score at 1-1. Roberts, ranked 57th, has won three straight matches and now has 25 wins this season. It is the second straight 25-win season for the senior from Little Rock, Ark., who posted 26 wins in 2005.
Gajjar defeated Ivanov, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 to give the Hogs a 2-1 edge. Gajjar improves to 19-7 this season and has won five of his past six outings.
Zguns then collected his milestone win at No. 2, 6-3, 6-4, over 95th-ranked Velicka. Zguns, ranked 22nd, improves to 22-8 this season and has won 20 or more matches in three of his four seasons as a Razorback, including 36 in 2004.
King clinched the Arkansas victory with his, 6-3, 6-4, triumph over Sergey Avdeyev at No. 6. King, a freshman from Rogers, Ark., is now 11-5 this season and clinched the first win of his collegiate career.
The Hogs’ lone setback came at No. 5, where Mascall cruised in the first set, but could not hold off OU’s Planck, falling 0-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (10-6). Mascall falls to 11-9 this season.
Blake Strode’s, 7-5, 6-4, triumph over Lee Gregg at No. 4 completed the scoring. Strode, ranked 124th, has won six consecutive matches and nine of his last 11. The freshman from St. Louis, Mo., is 23-5 overall and 15-3 in dual matches.
Arkansas will host its’ annual Senior Day Saturday when the Razorbacks host SEC West rival LSU. Seniors Gajjar, Roberts and Zguns will be honored at the match, which is set for a 1 p.m. first serve at the Wal-Mart Life & Tennis Center in Bentonville, weather permitting.
#25 Arkansas 5, #55 Oklahoma 2
Doubles1. Ivanov/Velicka (OU) def. Gajjar/Roberts (UA), 9-8 (6)2. Federico Chavarria/Garrison (OU) def. #44 Strode/Zguns (UA), 8-53. King/Mascall (UA) def. Planck/Ryan Thomas (OU), 9-7Order of finish: 2, 3, 1Singles1. #93 Rohan Gajjar (UA) def. Alexei Ivanov,6-2, 6-22. #22 Adrians Zguns (UA) def.#95 Marek Velicka (OU), 6-3, 6-43. #57 Matt Roberts (UA) def. Tommy Garrison (OU), 6-3, 6-14. #124 Blake Strode (UA) def. Lee Gregg (OU), 7-5, 6-45. Cale Planck (OU) def. Colin Mascall (UA), 0-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (10-6)6. Austin King (UA) def. Sergey Avdeyev (OU), 6-3, 6-4Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 6, 5, 4