No. 45 Men’s Tennis Splits Doubleheader in Oxford

OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 45 Arkansas men’s tennis team (14-6, 1-3) split its road doubleheader on Friday, falling 4-3 to No. 53 Ole Miss (9-6, 2-2) before rebounding with a 4-0 win over MVSU (0-12).

The Razorbacks grabbed an early lead with a doubles sweep to take the 1-0 advantage against Ole Miss. Božo Barun and Jared Horwood teamed up to collect their second consecutive ranked win after a 6-3 victory over No. 54 Engelhardt/Slavic on court one. Melvin Manuel and Alan Sau Franco claimed a 7-5 win against Schlagenhauf/Stromberg at the No. 3 position, clinching the doubles point for the Hogs for the third straight match.

Arkansas struck first in singles play as Gerard Planelles Ripoll took down Stromberg in straight sets on court three, while the Rebels answered with a three-set victory from Engelhardt over Savva at the No. 4 position. Benedikt Emesz obtained his third consecutive singles win after a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory against Baker on court six, leaving the Razorbacks within one point of taking the match.

However, Ole Miss proceeded to win each of the remaining three courts to clinch the match. Barun fought back to force a third set against Slavic in the top spot, but Slavic eventually won by defeating Barun 7-5 in the final set. On court two, Manuel fell in a tight finish after a marathon tiebreak in the second set, dropping the match 3-6, 6-7 (17).

The match came down to court five, where Karlo Kajin faced Noah Schlagenhauf. Schlagenhauf took the first set 7-5 while Kajin battled back to win the second set tiebreak 7-6 (5), forcing a winner-take-all third set. In the final set, Kajin rallied from a 1-4 deficit to tie the set at 4-4, but Schlagenhauf went on to claim the next two games en route to a 6-4 victory, securing the match for the Rebels.

The match against MVSU consisted of only five singles matches, where the Hogs earned wins on four of the five courts to clinch the sweep. At the No. 5 position, Horwood defeated James-Ware 6-0, 6-0, while Jake Sweeney secured a straight-set victory over Anthony on court two. Planelles Ripoll took down Perkins in the top spot for his second win of the evening as Arkansas clinched the final point of the match on court three with Connor Smillie besting Emmons, 6-0, 6-0.

The Razorbacks hit the road for a pair of SEC contests next week as the Hogs face No. 24 Alabama on Friday, March 22, before taking on No. 38 Georgia on Sunday, March 24.

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