April 2, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn freshman Tim Hewitt lifts the No. 45 Auburn men's tennis team to a 4-3 victory over No. 50 Arkansas Friday evening at the City of Auburn/Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center.
With the team score tied at three apiece, it all came down the No. 2 singles, which proved to be a tough fight between Auburn's Hewitt and Arkansas' Dmitry Lebedev. Hewitt picked up a 6-3 victory in the first set, but Lebedev took set two by the same score. The pair battled throughout the final set, going back and forth to start. Tied at two apiece, Hewitt made a run to go up 4-2 and finished the match with a 6-3 victory.
"We escaped a close one tonight and are very fortunate to win," head coach Eric Shore said. "This team owes it to Tim (Hewitt). He really battled and is continuing to get better for us."
The win pushes Auburn to 7-9 on the season and 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference, while Arkansas is now 9-10 and 1-6 in the SEC.
The No. 10 doubles team in junior Tim Puetz and Alex Stamchev opened the evening with an 8-5 win over No. 60 Lebedev and Christopher Nott. The two pairs kept competition close, but the Tiger duo were able to go on a late run to secure the win.
Freshmen team of Hewitt and Lucas Lopasso put Auburn up 1-0 with an 8-4 victory over Gregoire Lehmann and Michael Ward at No. 3 doubles. Auburn's Andreas Mies and Michel Monteiro battled Matthew Hogan and Matt Walters at No. 2 doubles, but fell in a tough 8-6 match.
No. 107 Stamchev put Auburn up 2-0 at No. 3 singles, defeating Hogan in straight sets (6-3, 6-0). Stamchev hasn't been defeated in eight-straight matches, dating back to March 7 and is now 14-9 on the season.
Arkansas put a point on the board at No. 5 singles as Walters defeated freshman Oliver Strecker in two sets, 6-4, 6-2. The Razorbacks tied the match at two apiece with a win at No. 6 singles. Ward defeated Monteiro in two sets, 6-1, 7-6 (5).
The Razorbacks grabbed their first lead of the evening, winning No. 1 singles to take the 3-2 advantage. The match featured two of the nation's top players in No. 60 Nott and No. 20 Puetz. Nott came away with a tough two-set victory, 6-3, 7-5.
The match became tense following the conclusion of No. 5 singles. Auburn's Lopasso opened with a 6-3 set one win over Lehmann, but fell 6-0 to the Razorback in the second set. Lopasso entered the deciding set strong, opening up with a 4-1 lead. Lehmann brought it within two at 5-3, but Lopasso pulled away to take the set 6-3 and tie the match a 3-3.
The Tigers return to the Yarbrough Tennis Center Sunday for a 1 p.m. match against No. 46 LSU. The two teams meet in an important match as Auburn is one up LSU, sitting in second place of the SEC West. Admission is free and pizza will be handed out to the first 50 fans.
1. No. 60 Christopher Nott (Arkansas) def. No. 20 Tim Puetz (Auburn); 6-3, 7-5
2. Tim Hewitt (Auburn) def. Dmitry Lebedev (Arkansas); 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. No. 107 Alex Stamchev (Auburn) def. Matthew Hogan (Arkansas); 6-3, 6-0
4. Lucas Lopasso (Auburn) def. Gregoire Lehmann (Arkansas); 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
5. Matt Walters (Arkansas) def. Oliver Strecker (Auburn); 6-4, 6-2
6. Michael Ward (Arkansas) def. Michel Monteiro (Auburn); 6-1, 7-6 (5)
1. No. 10 Puetz/Stamchev (Auburn) def. No. 60 Lebedev/Nott (Arkansas); 8-5
2. Hogan/Walter (Arkansas) def. Mies/Monteiro (Auburn); 8-6
3. Hewitt/Lopasso (Auburn) def. Lehmann/Ward (Arkansas); 8-4
Arkansas: 9-10, 1-6 SEC; National ranking #50
Auburn: 7-9, 3-4 SEC; National ranking #45
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,5,6,1,4,2)