The team was optimistic, despite the forecast. After singles play was halted due to a rain delay, the Crimson Tide was optimistic it could wait out the rain and finish out the match outdoors. Eventually, with no foreseeable end to the rain, play was moved inside.
Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, the momentum it had did not last through the 90 minute delay.
Alabama lost a 4-3 home match to the Arkansas Razorbacks on a Friday.. The loss drops Alabama to 13-10 on the year, 4-5 in the SEC.
“It was a very tough match,” Coach George Husack said. “It’s the third year in a row we’ve lost to the Razorbacks 4-3. I thought we competed very well, but unfortunately they were a little bit better than us tonight.”
The doubles point was the only part of the match that finished finished outdoors, and it went the Crimson Tide’s way. Sophomore Matthew Rossouw and freshman Spencer Richey won on court three 6-3, and sophomore Korey Lovett and freshman Mazen Osama delivered a 6-4 win on court one to give Alabama the point. It was the Crimson Tide’s sixth straight doubles point, and its 16th overall on the year.
Singles play had just barely began before play was halted due to drizzling rain. The rain was not that heavy, but it was enough to make the courts wet, so both teams took cover and tried to wait it out. After about an hour, the decision was made to try and dry off the courts. Once it began to rain again, the match moved indoors. The lengthy delay certainly disrupted the flow and rhythm of the match.
“It certainly had an effect on me, as I lost five straight games before I got back into the match,” Rossouw said.
When singles play resumed, Arkansas started off hot, taking four of the six first sets. The Razorbacks got a 6-3, 6-2 win over senior Becker O’Shaughnessey on court three to tie it up, then followed that up with a 6-3, 6-1 win on court four over sophomore Grayson Goldin to take the lead. Alabama answered with Rossouw notching a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 win to even it up at 2-2.
“The energy and the intensity certainly dropped on a couple courts,” Husack said. “After a long delay, it can certainly impact your energy and you have to force yourself to get moving right away.”
Arkansas regained the lead by taking down Osama 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 in number one singles. The Razorbacks clinched the victory with a 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 win over Lovett on court two. The Crimson Tide took the final match to make the score 4-3, with Richey earning a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win on court five.
“I was really proud of the effort we showed tonight,” Husack said. “Korey and Spencer did a miraculous job; those two guys were great down the stretch.”
The Crimson Tide travels to Oxford, Mississippi to take on Ole Miss Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports