No. 17 Men's Tennis Knocks Off Hogs, 5-2

by (@LSUsports)
No. 17 Men's Tennis Knocks Off Hogs, 5-2

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The 17th-ranked LSU men’s tennis team closed out the regular season by knocking off Arkansas, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at the Billingsley Tennis Center.

The win improves LSU’s record to 13-7 overall and 6-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas finishes the regular season with a 12-12 record and 3-8 in the SEC. With the win, the Tigers sewed up the sixth seed in the conference tournament, which takes place next week in Fayetteville. They will face the the 11th seed which will be determined after all conference matches are complete.

The Tigers were without the services of junior James Cluskey who was representing his native country Ireland at the Davis Cup.

“Our guys showed a lot of character this weekend after we had our flight canceled and had to bus here late last night,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. “Some guys stepped today with Jim out. Jon (Tragardh) did a great job taking Jim’s spot in doubles. Colt (Gaston) is getting his health back and played well today. Kevin (Dessauer) and Sebastian (Carlsson) have been are two most consistent guys all year and played well today.”

Michael Venus teamed up with Tragardh for the first time and played like a veteran team as they gave LSU the early advantage by winning the first doubles match, 8-1, against Razorbacks Chris Nott and Taylor King.

LSU’s Carlsson and Jan Zelezny put the Tigers on the board after clinching the doubles point against Arkansas’ Colin Macall and Tyler Tarnasky, 8-6.

Senior Dessauer led LSU in singles by picking up his 20th win of the season by defeating Dmitry Lebedev, 6-2, 6-4.

Freshman sensation Sebastian Carlsson extended LSU’s lead to 3-0 by taking out Bradwin Williams in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4. The win gives the four-time SEC Freshman of the Week an outstanding 25-7 record and 8-3 in conference play, which are both team bests.

Arkansas started to chip away at LSU’s lead by picking up wins on courts two and five to cut LSU’s lead to 5-2.

Senior Gaston clinched the win for the Tigers by defeating Matt Hogan, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3.

After losing his first set and trailing 6-5 in the second set, Venus rallied to take out 99th-ranked Blake Strode, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3.  The Orlando, Fla., native has captured seven wins against ranked opponents this season.

The Tigers will next compete in the SEC Tournament, which will take place April 17-20 in Fayetteville. The bracket will be announced Sunday afternoon.

#17 LSU 5, #41 Arkansas 2
April 12, 2008
Billingsley Tennis Center

1. #47 Michael Venus (LSU) def. #99 Blake Strode (ARK), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3
2. Colin Mascall (ARK) def. Jan Zelezny ( LSU), 7-5, 7-6 (2)
3. Kevin Dessauer ( LSU) def. Dmitry Lebedev (ARK), 6-2, 6-4    
4. Colt Gaston (LSU) def. Matt Hogan (ARK),  7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3  
5. Chris Nott (ARK) def. Julien Gauthier ( LSU)  vs. 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
6. Sebastian Carlsson ( LSU) def. Bradwin Williams (ARK), 7-6 (4), 6-4    

1. Kevin Dessauer/Colt Gaston (LSU) led.  Matt Hogan/Blake Strod (ARK), 6-5    
2. Jonathan Tragardh/Michael Venus (LSU) def. Chris Nott/Taylor King, (ARK), 8-1
3. Jan Zelezny/Sebastian Carlsson def. Colin Mascall/Tyler Tarnasky (ARK), 8-6

Match Notes
LSU 13-7, 6-5; National ranking #17
Arkansas 12-12, 3-8; National Ranking #41
Order of finish
Doubles (2, 3); Singles (3, 6, 5, 2, 4, 1)