Razorbacks Host UAB Blazers
The men’s tennis team has a busy week ahead of them after their 1-1 weekend at the ITA Kickoff, beginning with the No. 75 UAB Blazers Wednesday to open the Razorbacks’ home season.
“UAB is going to be very similar to Georgia State,” head coach Robert Cox said. “There’s a lot of good teams out here.”
The Razorbacks triumphed over No. 62 Georgia State in Charlottesville, Va., Friday, before falling against No. 1 Virginia Sunday, which boosted Arkansas one spot in the rankings to No. 55 and moved their record to 3-1.
“From the weekend, we took away a lot of lessons that we’ll learn from. It was really good. We’re coming out of there a better team,” Cox said.
UAB has had ample time to rest and prepare for their visit to Arkansas, as their last match was Jan. 20.
UAB has achieved a record of 2-1 so far in their season, their only loss being a blowout against Florida State 7-0.
Florida A&M and Florida Gulf Coast University lost to UAB 4-2 and 5-2, respectively.
The Blazers’ win over FGCU featured the duos of Lucas Dirube/Chris Helliar and Rafael Rondino/Luiz Felipe Pinto to earn the doubles point.
However, FGCU defeated Dirube and Helliar in singles, with Helliar’s match going into three sets.
The Blazers are a solid team that will be a challenge to defeat, Cox said.
The Hogs have yet to face a blowout in the season, in large part thanks to junior Mike Nott, who is undefeated in singles matches in the season. His three-match win against Virginia was the Razorbacks only win against the Cavaliers.
“We’re not going to overlook anybody, nor are we a team that’s going to blow anybody away, so I expect a very tough, difficult match,” Cox said.
The match against UAB will be the Hogs first time to play at home for the spring season and is the first of four total matches for the week at home.
“We’ve got to get off to a good start playing at home,” Cox said. “We’re excited to play in front of our home crowd, and it should be good tennis.”
The Hogs are not taking the rest of the week lightly either. Both Army and Minnesota are well-coached, and since Minnesota is also a regional team, the Hogs had the chance to see some play from the team, Cox said.
Cox isn’t letting the team get ahead of themselves, though, and is keeping the Hogs focused on UAB.
The Blazers and Razorbacks begin play at 3 p.m. in the Dills Indoor Tennis Facility.
The Razorbacks continue their week with a doubleheader against Army Friday at 11 a.m and 4:30 p.m., followed by their match against No. 34 Minnesota at 12 p.m. Sunday.