Road test continues this weekend
AUBURN, Ala.— The No. 50 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team will stay on the road to visit ranked SEC rivals No. 45 Auburn and No. 33 Alabama. Arkansas will face off against the Tigers on Friday for an evening match at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala., before skipping over to face the Crimson Tideto Tuscaloosa, Ala.,on Sunday at 1 p.m. Live stats for the Arkansas-Auburn matchup will be available at: Auburntigers.cstv.com.
On Tuesday, the Hogs split a pair of road matches, powering over Oral Roberts 4-0 after falling to No. 31 Tulsa, 6-1 at the Michael D. Case Center in Tulsa, Okla. Against Tulsa, freshman Gregoire Lehmann earned the Hogs only victory with a stunning straight set victory against Alistair Barnes on court five.
The bottom half of the lineup dominated against Oral Roberts never dropping a set and gave up just three matches. Freshman Mike Ward clinched the match with a win over Dario Beslic, 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 4 singles position. The Hogs look to build on that success and are confident and ready to battle on the road.
The Hogs will open the weekend with a dual match with the Tigers (6-9, 2-4) where they will come against the top 10 ranked doubles team of Alexander Stamchev and Tim Puetz. Also listed in the singles rankings Puetz leads at No. 26 spot followed by No. 89 Stamchev.
Last season in Fayetteville, Arkansas fell 4-1 to the Tigers. Auburn found a winning momentum early clinched the doubles point and continued strong into singles play.
Next up for the Hogs is conference foe, No. 33 Alabama (8-10, 1-5). Alabama comes into the weekend with a solid victory over Mississippi State before falling in a tough match against the highly touted No. 9 Kentucky. The Wildcats defeated the Crimson Tide, 5-2.
Against Alabama last year, the Hogs fought hard but were unable to defeat the Crimson Tide. Highlighting the match was now No. 60 Christopher Nott dominated the court in both singles and doubles action. Nott partnered with senior Dmitry Lebedev upset the then-No. 27 —ranked tandem of Mertz and Saketh Myneni, 8-7(6). Mertz and Nott met again in single’s action but again Nott proved too much for the Tigers and captured the Hogs lone win, 6-3, 6-2 on court three.
First serve is schedule for 5 p.m. at the campus of the University of Auburn in Auburn, Ala.