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Mustangs Knock Off No. 19 Arkansas, 4-3
Head Coach Carl Neufeld Earns 400th Win At SMU
Jan. 20, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (SMU)— The SMU men's tennis team beat No. 19 Arkansas, 4-3, Friday night at Dills Indoor Tennis Center. Ronald Slobodchikov beat the No. 3 ranked singles player in the country to seal the Mustangs' victory and earn head coach Carl Neufeld his 400th win at SMU.
"I'm just really excited for the guys," Neufeld said. "It really was an incredible win and even more exciting that we beat the No. 3 singles player to win it. Out of the 400, this has to be one of the top, definitely in the top ten. The team fought so hard."
On court two, SMU's Hunter Johnson defeated Arkansas' Jose Salazar, the No. 19 ranked singles player in the nation, in straight sets, 6-0, 7-6(8-6) to tie the match at 3-3. Slobodchikov and Arkansas' Mike Redlicki, the No. 3 ranked singles player in the nation, were left to determine the victor on court one. After beating Redlicki 6-2 in the opening set, Slobodchikov dropped the second set 3-6 but fought back in set three, beating Redlicki 6-3 and winning the match for the Mustangs.
"This was a big win," Slobodchikov said. "I played really well but I had to fight all the way through. I'm so proud of 400 for coach and I tried my best. We got it together."
In doubles play, the Mustangs went down early in the match, barely losing the doubles competition. Arkadijs Slobodkins and Hunter Johnson defeated Arkansas' Mesquida and Sanjurjo 6-3 before Redlicki and Salazar topped Samm Butler and Slobodchikov 6-3. Arkansas' Terrell and den Toom slightly edged Yates Johnson and Markus Kerner 7-6 (7-5) to give the Razorbacks the early 1-0 lead.
In singles play, SMU took an early 2-1 lead claiming the first two matches as Kerner defeated den Toom, 6-0, 7-5 and Butler routed Sanjurjo 6-2, 6-3. Arkansas took the next two matches and the 3-2 lead before Hunter Johnson defeated Salazar to tie the match, 3-3, and Slobodchikov sealed the 4-3 victory.
"This win gives us so much confidence," Slobodchikov said." The guys are playing really well and we're really excited for the rest of the season."
With the victory, Neufeld is now 400-217 (.648) at SMU and 581-321 (.644) overall. He holds the most wins among active head coaches on the Hilltop and ranks second among all-time wins at SMU, only behind women's basketball head coach Rhonda Rompola (1992-2016) who holds 439 victories during her tenure at SMU.
"It's hard to put into words what SMU means to me. To come to Dallas and be a part of such a good school, academically and athletically, and to have this much success through the years, it's incredible. It's all because of these guys. They're great players but they're great guys and hardworking kids. They're such good examples. They weren't all-stars when they were recruited. They've all developed and for Ronald to win beating No. 3 means even more."
SMU plays Ole Miss at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in College Station, Texas Saturday, Jan. 28 and either Texas A&M or Baylor the following day before traveling to Army and Dartmouth Feb. 9-11.
SMU 4, #19 Arkansas 3
Jan 20, 2017 at Fayetteville, Ark.
1. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) def. #3 Mike Redlicki (ARK) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
2. Hunter Johnson (SMU) def. #19 Jose Salazar (ARK) 6-0, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Samm Butler (SMU) def. Adam Sanjurjo (ARK) 6-2, 6-3
4. Markus Kerner (SMU) def. Johan den Toom (ARK) 6-0, 7-5
5. Oscar Mesquida (ARK) def. Arkadijs Slobodkins (SMU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
6. Juan Marino (ARK) def. Tony Russell (SMU) 6-4, 6-2
1. Mike Redlicki/Jose Salazar (ARK) def. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) 6-3
2. Arkadijs Slobodkins/Hunter Johnson (SMU) def. Oscar Mesquida/Adam Sanjurjo (ARK) 6-3
3. Branch Terrell/Johan den Toom (ARK) def. Yates Johnson/Markus Kerner (SMU) 7-6 (7-5)
Arkansas 1-1; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,3,5,6,2,1)
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