Mustangs Fall At Wisconsin, 4-2

Go smu! Arkidjas Slobodkins
Go smu!
Arkidjas Slobodkins
Go smu!

Feb. 16, 2014

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MADISON, Wisc. (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs took the opening doubles point to take an early lead, but the Wisconsin Badgers came from behind to defeat the Mustangs, 4-2, at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Alex Sanders won at No. 3 singles to improve to 5-4 this season.

The Mustangs dropped to 5-4 on the season with the loss, while Wisconsin improved to 4-2.

Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki won at No. 1 doubles, 6-3, over Alexander Kokorev and Oskar Wikberg. In the decisive No. 3 doubles, freshmen Tony Russell and Arkidjas Slobodkins came from behind to force the match to a tiebreaker, which the pair won to give SMU the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead in the event.

"It was a great comeback to get the doubles point by Arkidjas and Tony," SMU head coach Carl Neufeld said. "They are really beginning to gel."

The Badgers took the first singles match, winning 6-1; 6-0, in No. 2 singles, but Sanders answered back in the third position, defeating Petr Satral, 6-3; 6-4, regaining a lead in the match for SMU. 

"Sanders really stepped up today in singles," Neufeld said. "I've always said you're only as good as your seniors and Alex has really stepped up the last couple weeks and today was another example of that."

Wisconsin would gain control of the match by winning at positions four through six, with No. 5 singles clinching the win. Slobodkins took Wisconsin's Elliott Sprecher to three sets, but ultimately fell, 6-5; 4-6; 6-3. Kazijevs' match at the No. 1 spot was entering a third-set tiebreaker, but went unfinished. Neufeld believes that his team can learn a lot from a hard-fought match against a quality opponent.

"We'll use this match as fuel to get better the rest of the season," Neufeld said.

Next up for the Mustangs is a neutral-site match against Mississippi on Saturday in Waco, Texas, at 12 p.m. CST.

Tennis Match Results
SMU vs Wisconsin
Feb 16, 2014 at Madison, Wis.

#70 Wisconsin 4, SMU 2

Singles competition
1. Oskar Wikberg (WIS) vs. Arturs Kazijevs (SMU) 1-6, 6-4, 5-5, unfinished
2. Alexander Kokorev (WIS) def. Mischa Nowicki (SMU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Alex Sanders (SMU) def. Petr Satral (WIS) 6-3, 6-4
4. Jakhongir Jalalov (WIS) def. Tony Russell (SMU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Elliott Sprecher (WIS) def. Arkidjas Slobodkins (SMU) 6-5, 4-6, 6-3
6. John Zordani (WIS) def. Nate Lammons (SMU) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Arturs Kazijevs/Mischa Nowicki (SMU) def. Alexander Kokorev/Oskar Wikberg (WIS) 6-3
2. Petr Satral/Jakhongir Jalalov (WIS) def. Nate Lammons/Alex Sanders (SMU) 6-1
3. Arkidjas Slobodkins/Tony Russell (SMU) def. Michael Sinha/Elliott Sprecher (WIS) 6-5 (3-0)

Match Notes:
SMU 5-3
Wisconsin 3-2; National ranking #70
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,6,4,5)