Hogs Knock Off Oklahoma to Win Regional; Earn National Indoor Berth
TULSA, Okla. – Arkansas finished a solid weekend of tennis Sunday, defeating 42nd-ranked and 2nd-seeded Oklahoma, 4-0, in the finals of the ITA Central Region Indoor Team Playoff. The win guarantees the Razorbacks, seeded 4th in this weekend’s regionals, a spot in the ITA National Indoors on Feb. 17-20 in Seattle, Wash.
The Razorbacks’ berth in the national indoors, which traditionally pits the nation’s 16 best teams against each other, is their first since 2003. Arkansas was 1-2 in that event, beating San Diego St. while falling to Pac-10 powers Southern California and California.
It was the third 4-0 victory of the weekend for the Hogs. UA knocked off Wichita St. Saturday morning and 46th-ranked Tulsa Saturday afternoon by the same margins.
The win also avenges a 6-1 defeat the Razorbacks suffered at the hands of OU in 2005.
“I’m very excited for our guys,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “We played another fantastic match today against a great team in Oklahoma.”
Arkansas (3-0) was paced by a strong effort from its doubles teams. Sophomore Michael Jung and redshirt freshman Colin Mascall opened the Razorback scoring with an 8-6 win over Lee Gregg and Matt Long at No. 3. Arkansas’ top combo, seniors Rohan Gajjar and Matt Roberts, defeated 23rd-ranked Alexei Ivanov and Marek Velicka, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point.
The doubles point was the third of the weekend won by UA. Arkansas won only five doubles points in all of 2005.
“Our doubles is just so much better,” Cox said, “We’re getting great play there, and also we’re much more competitive at the bottom of our (singles) lineup.”
The bottom of the lineup paced the Hogs in singles. Mascall, making his Razorback debut this weekend after transferring at semester, gave Arkansas a 2-0 advantage when he took down Gregg at No. 5, 6-1, 6-2. Roberts, ranked No. 24, tallied his second win of the weekend on the No. 2 court, defeating Ivanov, 6-2, 6-2. At No. 6, Jung’s victory, 6-1, 6-3, over Cale Planck clinched the Razorback victory. It was the second clincher of the weekend for Jung.
Arkansas returns to action Tuesday for their home opener against defending Mid-Continent Conference Champion Oral Roberts. The Razorbacks and Golden Eagles are scheduled for a doubleheader, with the first match beginning at 1 p.m. in the Dills Indoor Tennis Center. The nightcap is set for 5 p.m.
Michael D. Case Tennis Center
#58 Arkansas def. #42 Oklahoma, 4-0Singles Adrians Zguns (UA) vs. Marek Velicka (OU), 7-6, 3-2 dnf#24 Matt Roberts (UA) def. Alexei Ivanov (OU), 6-2, 6-2#100 Rohan Gajjar (UA) vs. Tommy Garrison (OU), 4-6, 2-1 dnf#19 Blake Strode (UA) vs. Sergey Avdeyev (OU), 1-6, 5-3 dnfColin Mascall (UA) def. Lee Gregg (OU), 6-1, 6-2Michael Jung (UA) def. Cale Planck (OU), 6-1, 6-3Order Finished: 5, 2, 6
Doubles Rohan Gajjar/Matt Roberts (UA) def. #23 Alexei Ivanov/Marek Velicka (OU), 8-6Blake Strode/Adrians Zguns (UA) vs. Federico Chavarria/Tommy Garrison (OU), 7-6 dnfMichael Jung/Colin Mascall (UA) def. Lee Gregg/Matt Long (OU), 8-6Order Finished: 3, 1