May 16, 2004
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Tennessee's men's tennis team fell victim to a hot team on its home courts Sunday afternoon, as Arkansas upset the No. 15-seeded Volunteers 4-1 in their NCAA regional final at the UA outdoor tennis complex.
Arkansas' Rohan Gajjar recorded his second match-clinching win in as many days when he outlasted Vols junior Mark Dietrich by a score of 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1 at the No. 3 position. Gajjar's victory capped off a flurry of four straight singles wins for the No. 27-ranked Razorbacks.
Arkansas now advances to the round of 16 of the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships, which begins May 22 at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. Tennessee, meanwhile, closes out the 2004 season with a final record of 14-9.
"Arkansas played very well today," UT head coach Michael Fancutt said. "We won the doubles point and thought we had the advantage going into singles. But we got off to a bad start at Nos. 4-6, which got [Arkansas] fired up and back into the match."
Arkansas was one of only three teams to steal the doubles point from Tennessee during the regular season, but the Vols took advantage of their opportunity to exact revenge when the stakes were highest Sunday. This time, UT took the early 1-0 lead thanks to wins from the No. 9-ranked All-SEC team of Simon Rea and Damien Spizzo and the dependable duo of Mark Dietrich and Wade Orr.
The tables were turned in singles, however, as Arkansas rattled off three straight victories to set up Gajjar's clincher.
Under NCAA tournament procedure, all remaining matches are suspended once a team scores four points. When play was suspended Sunday, Tennessee's two seniors, Simon Rea and Wade Orr, were both in the midst of three-set battles at Nos. 1 and 6 singles, respectively.
"To beat three top-10 teams during the regular season and end up being seeded in the top 16 in the NCAA tournament is something we're proud of," Fancutt said. "That's a compliment for this young team, and it bodes well for next year."
Arkansas 4, No. 18/No. 15 seed Tennessee 1
1) No. 9 Rea/Spizzo (UT) def. No. 52 Price/Simpson (UA), 8-2
2) Ismail/Roberts (UA) def. Oosthuizen/Rogers (UT), 8-3
3) Dietrich/Orr (UT) def. Gajjar/Zguns (UA), 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1) No. 38 Nathan Price (UA) vs. No. 34 Simon Rea (UT), 5-7, 6-3, susp.
2) No. 18 Adrians Zguns (UA) def. Ockie Oosthuizen (UT), 6-4, 6-2
3) Rohan Gajjar (UA) def. Mark Dietrich (UT), 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1*
4) Matt Simpson (UA) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT), 6-2, 6-2
5) Matt Roberts (UA) def. Damien Spizzo (UT), 6-3, 6-3
6) No. 116 Wade Orr (UT) led Imraan Ismail (UA), 6-4, 4-6, 4-2, susp.
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 3*
* Clinching point