Two Shutouts to Open Season
The Arkansas men’s tennis team began their 2013 season with two shutout wins against Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota State Sunday in Omaha, Neb.
Arkansas set the tempo for the day and recorded each singles win in straight sets, leading to Arkansas’ 7-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha.
The Hog’s three doubles teams each won with a score of 8-4 over Nebraska-Omaha.
Two freshmen debuted for the Razorbacks in dual match play. Austin Robles and Christian Lee began their collegiate career with wins for Arkansas. Redshirt junior Pete Thomason also began his Razorback career with a win.
Sophomore Victor Hoang squeezed out a tight win against Eric McKnight, 7-6, 6-3, at the No. 2 spot.
The senior seasons for Mike Ward and Gregoire Lehmann also began strong with 6-1, 6-1, and 6-2, 6-1 wins, respectively.
That was not the end of the day for the Razorbacks, who ranked No. 56 going into their matches on Sunday.
South Dakota State faced Ward and Lehmann in a doubles match in which the Arkansas seniors won 8-4. Thomason and Lee also played doubles and earned a shutout of 8-0.
“I was impressed with Mike and Gregoire’s doubles performance today against South Dakota State,” head coach Robert Cox said. “They are our only two seniors and are beginning to take a leadership role on the court.”
Lehmann and Ward are two of five upperclassmen who returned to the court this year for Arkansas. Lehmann spent much of the last season in No. 1 or No. 2 position in singles.
Freshman Santiago Munoz also debuted as a Razorback and gained a win for the team in dual play, 6-2, 6-3.
Thomason played the only singles match to go into three sets and won in a tie-breaker. Arkansas maintained their standard of winning from earlier in the day and pulled out all six singles wins.
“I was very happy and pleased with our play today,” Cox said. “We had a lot of new faces out on the courts and they really stepped up and played some quality tennis.”
“I am really excited for this team and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Cox said.
The Razorbacks will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to contend in the ITA Kickoff Jan. 25. Their first match is against No. 63 Georgia State, and depending on the outcome, will be followed by a match against No. 1 Virginia or No. 64 North Florida.