Arkansas Tennis Finds Success in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Four Razorback netters—Dmitry Lebedev, Nick Spinazze, Branden Joost and Connor Smith—advanced to the quarterfinal round in the singles draw of the South Carolina Invitational. Smith and teammate Drew Sosebee picked up two wins Friday in doubles action to earn a spot in the semifinals of their section.

Lebedev, playing in the A-1 flight of the event, defeated Hans Spangenberg of UAB, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6. The Arkansas sophomore will next play South Carolina’s Pedro Campos in a quarterfinal match-up Saturday. In doubles, Lebedev and Chris Nott were victorious in their opening-round match, but fell in the quarterfinals to Chattanooga’s Razvan Axente and Bouadellah Badr, 8-4.

In A/B singles play, Spinazze dropped the opening set to Louisville’s Kenneth Nordheim, but recovered to win the match in three, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6. In his quarterfinal round, Spinazze will face Eduardo Saavedra of Temple.

Playing in his first event of the season, Joost posted a 6-3, 6-2 win over Auburn’s Hunter Mills. He will take on another Auburn player Saturday when he faces Nick Maurillo in B-1 quarterfinal action.

Joost and Spinazze teamed in the doubles event and defeated Thomas Stoddard and David Wolff, 8-6, of host-school South Carolina in the first round. In their next match, they lost 8-3 to Lander’s Guilherme Fonseca and George Wilkinson.

Smith posted three wins Friday, one in singles play and two with Sosebee in doubles action. In his opening-round singles match, Smith won easily with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Nicholas Thuell of UNC-Asheville. With Sosebee, Smith defeated Sebastian Gonzales and Leandro Osono, 8-6, in the B-2 section. The Razorback duo went on to beat Murat Attila and Luis Maselli of Charleston Southern.

In his quarterfinal singles match, Smith will face Alex Wetherell of UNC-Wilmington. In their doubles match, Smith and Sosebee will meet Carlos Benatzky and T.C. Valle for a spot in the finals.

The winners of the quarterfinal match-ups will advance to play later Saturday in the semifinals. Consolation play will also begin Saturday morning. Log on to for complete results for Arkansas tennis.