KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A day after its first SEC Tournament win in 11 years, the Arkansas men’s tennis team was unable to keep its winning streak going, falling to No. 2 seed Georgia 4-1 in its second match of the conference tournament at Barksdale Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee.
Arkansas falls to 16-12 on the season and will await the NCAA Tournament selection show on Tuesday, May 2 to find out its postseason fate.
“We are getting closer to playing well,” said head coach Andy Jackson. “I liked our effort against Georgia but they deserved to win. We look forward to the NCAA Tournament.”
Two of the top three doubles pairing in the country and the top two in the SEC battled it out at the No. 1 spot as No. 3 Mike Redlicki and Jose Salazar drew the task of facing No. 2 Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski of Georgia. Redlicki and Salazar fell in the hole early 1-4 and never could climb back, falling 6-2. The No. 2 and 3 spots were much closer.
Tied at 5-5 at the No. 3 spot, Georgia’s Paul Oosterbaan and Emil Reinberg won two straight games to close out Oscar Mesquida and Juan Marino 7-5.
Arkansas held a 5-3 lead at the No. 2 spot, before Georgia was able to take three straight games to take the lead at 6-5. Adam Sanjurjo and Johan den Toom were able to win the proceeding game to send it to a tiebreaker, where play was suspended at the clinch.
In singles, Branch Terrell fell to Paul Oosterbaan at the No. 6 spot 6-4, 6-2 in his first action since the Saint Louis match over a month ago, to give Georgia the 2-0 match lead. Right after Terrell, Johan den Toom was defeated by Walker Duncan 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 5 spot, to extend Georgia’s lead to 3-0.
Adam Sanjurjo was finally able to get Arkansas on the board by knocking off Jan Zielinski 6-2, 6-2. Dating back to the regular season finale against Vanderbilt, Sanjurjo has won three straight singles decisions.
Down 5-3 in the first set at No. 3, Oscar Mesquida fought back to tie the set at 5-5. The sophomore dropped the next two games to give 61st-ranked Emil Reinberg the first set win. In the second set, Reinberg made quick work, sweeping Mesquida to pick up the 7-5, 6-0 win and clinch the match for Georgia. It is Mesquida’s first loss at the No. 3 spot this season.
No. 10 Redlicki was up 6-2, 5-4 on 49th-ranked Nathan Ponwith when play was suspended at the clinch, while No. 34 Salazar was in a close match with 31st-ranked Wayne Montgomery 6-3, 4-5.
#13 Georgia 4, Arkansas 1
Singles competition – Order of finish (6,5,4,3)
1. #49 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) vs. #10 Mike Redlicki (AR) 2-6, 4-5, unfinished
2. #31 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) vs. #34 Jose Salazar (AR) 3-6, 5-4, unfinished
3. #61 Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Oscar Mesquida (AR) 7-5, 6-0
4. Adam Sanjurjo (AR) def. Jan Zielinski (UGA) 6-2, 6-2
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Johan den Toom (AR) 6-2, 6-3
6.Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Branch Terrell (AR) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles competition – Order of finish (1,3)
1. #2 Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. #3 Mike Redlicki/Jose Salazar (AR) 6-2
2. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Adam Sanjurjo/Johan den Toom (AR) 6-6, unfinished
3. Paul Oosterbaan/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Oscar Mesquida/Juan Marino (AR) 7-5