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Hogs Baseball

Opitz on handling added weight, working with Hogs’ pitcher this season

Razorbacks catcher Casey Opitz talked with the media Tuesday morning about his added weight not slowing him down and working with this group of pitchers along with that process.

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Hogs Baseball

Kopps on being healthy to start Hogs’ new season, battling for starting spot

Arkansas pitcher Kevin Kopps talked with the media Tuesday about being comfortable out of the bullpen, but really would like to nail down the third spot in the starting rotation.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field Hogs Women's Track-Field

Bucknam, Harter previewing star-studded field for Razorback Invitational this weekend

Razorbacks men’s track coach Chris Bucknam and women’s coach Lance Harter talked Monday afternoon about the talented athletes that will be at the Razorback Invitational this weekend.

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Hogs Men's Basketball

Musselman talks about his relationship with Kobe Bryant after star’s death Sunday

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman talked Monday afternoon about some of his interactions with NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area.

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Featured

Whitt on how he prepares each game to guard opponent’s best offensive player

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt, Jr., talked Monday afternoon about what he does every game as he prepares to guard whoever the best offensive player is on the other team.

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Hogs Baseball

Kjerstad, Martin, Opitz named to ‘Baseball America’ preseason squads

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas landed three on Baseball America’s 2020 preseason all-American squads, which is tied for the most of any program among this year’s lists.

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad and infielder Casey Martin were selected to the outlet’s first team, making Arkansas the only team in the country with multiple first-teamers.

Catcher Casey Opitz was also voted to the third team, his first preseason All-America honor this winter. Kjerstad and Martin have been recognized four times heading into the 2020 campaign.

Martin was also recognized as the “fastest runner” among preseason all-America honorees, while Opitz garnered “best catcher arm” accolades among the group.

The Baseball America All-American teams are voted on by Major League Baseball’s scouting departments.

A junior from Amarillo, Texas, Kjerstad put together a .327 batting average last year over 65 starts, leading the team in hits (87) and home runs (17).

It was the second consecutive season he’s tallied 87 knocks, as he drove in 51 RBIs and scored 53 runs in 2019.

With his 58 RBIs in 2018, the feat made him the first Razorback to have 50 or more in his first two seasons since Rodney Nye in 1988 & 1999.

He finished the year with 24 multi-hit performances, good for third on the team, with half of his multi-hit games consisting of three or more. Kjerstad finished the 2019 season as a Second Team All-SEC honoree.

Martin, a junior from Lonoke, Arkansas, finished his sophomore season with a .286/.548/.364 line at the plate, starting all 66 games.

He tallied 81 hits, 40 for extra bases with 21 doubles, four triples and 15 homers. Martin also recorded 57 RBIs and scored 67 runs, both figures ranking second on the squad last season.

He earned all-SEC second team honors as a sophomore after hitting .295 in conference play with 38 hits, 28 runs and a team-high nine homers and 22 RBIs.

Martin tied for the team lead in multi-hit performances with 26 and was second in multi-RBI games with 16. Overall, his 155 total bases were good enough for 15th in the NCAA last season.

Opitz, from Centennial, Colorado, recorded 43 hits, three doubles and three homers, to go with 33 RBIs and 31 runs scored over 50 starts as he moved into the starting catching role last season.

He had a memorable Super Regional in Fayetteville, tallying four hits in nine at-bats, with one homer, five RBIs and two runs scored as the Razorbacks advanced to the College World Series for the 10th time in program history.

He put together a strong year behind the plate, throwing out 22-of-24 runners attempting to steal a base, while committing only four errors in 531 chances.

The Hogs were 36-14 in 2019 when Opitz was part of the starting battery.

The 2020 slate kicks off with Eastern Illinois for the second-straight season, beginning on Friday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m. at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Women's Basketball

Photos, recap of Hogs getting back into win column with big win over Florida

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas got back into the win column on Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena, beating Florida on Sunday, 79-57.

The Hogs won what was a closely contested game by putting on a clinic in the fourth period, outscoring the Gators, 25-10.

Freshman guard Makayla Daniels led the way for Arkansas in her best performance of the conference season so far, going for a game-high 19 points.

Four other Razorbacks joined Daniels in double-figures: Taylah Thomas (13), Amber Ramirez (12), A’Tyanna Gaulden (12) and Alexis Tolefree (10).

Turning point

Arkansas got off to a hot start in this one, outscoring the Gators 26-13 in the first frame.

Gaulden was sensational in the first, as she scored seven points and dished two assists to provide the spark to separate the teams.

However, the Gators climbed back into this one, chipping away in both the second and third quarters, cutting the Hog lead to as little as five late in the third quarter.

Daniels quickly put an end to that, scoring the first 10 points of the final period to put the game on ice. The Hogs would lead 64-49 by the time her 10-0 solo run was done.

 Hog highlights

• Daniels became the first freshman Hog to score 19+ in a conference game since Aaliyah Wilson had 20 against Texas A&M in 2017 (1/11/17).

• Daniels also had four steals, leading the squad. It was her third game this season with 4+ steals.

• Gaulden was again lethal dishing the ball, going for five more assists. It was her sixth game this season with 5+ assists.

• In addition to her 13 points, Thomas snared seven rebounds to lead the Hogs.

• Erynn Barnum continues to play well, going for six points and three rejections.

 Next game

The Razorbacks hit the road, as the Hogs will head to Tuscaloosa for a date with Alabama on Thursday.

That game is set to tipoff at 7 p.m. and will be streamable on SECN+.

Information from Razorback Sports Information is included in this story.

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Hogs Tennis

Arkansas women’s tennis drops first match against Pepperdine on Sunday

MALIBU, Calif. — Arkansas women’s tennis team (2-1) fell to No. 6 Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, 1-4 in the ITA Kickoff.

Doubles

Martina Zerulo and Jackie Carr changed the momentum for the Hogs in doubles action after the Waves took the first match.

Zerulo and Carr jumped out to an early lead before holding on for a 6-3 win over Anatasia Iamachkin and Astrid Olsen to even doubles at 1-1.

The doubles point came down to Arkansas’ No. 34 ranked duo of Lauren Alter and Tatum Rice against Ashley Lahey and Jessica Failla in the No. 1 spot.

Alter and Rice trailed 3-1 midway through the set but had a phenomenal response, rallying for a 6-4 win to claim the doubles point for the Razorbacks.

Thea Rice and Laura Rijkers were the lone Arkansas pair to drop a match, taking a 6-2 loss against Daria Kuczer and Lisa Zaar.

Singles

In singles, Arkansas fell on four courts leaving two matches unfinished. Tatum Rice was defeated by No. 1 Lahey on court one 6-3, 6-2.

Pepperdine’s Olsen beat Alter in two sets 6-2, 6-0 and Carr was defeated on court three by No. 62 Iamachkine, 6-3, 6-2.

Laura Rijkers put up a fight in a 7-5 first-set loss before falling 6-1 in the second set on court six to No. 90 Kuczer to end the match.

 Up next

The Razorbacks will be back on the court facing rival Oklahoma State on Friday, Jan. 31 in Stillwater, Okla.

Singles competition
1. No. 1 Lahey, Ashley (PEPPW) def. Tatum Rice (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
2. No. 50 Failla, Jessica (PEPPW) vs. No. 122 Martina Zerulo (ARK) 7-5, 3-3, unfinished
3. No. 62 Iamachkine,Anastasia (PEPPW) def. No. 109 Jackie Carr (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
4. Olsen, Astrid (PEPPW) def. Lauren Alter (ARK) 6-2, 6-0
5. Zaar, Lisa (PEPPW) vs. Kelly Keller (ARK) 6-1, 5-4, unfinished
6. No. 90 Kuczer, Daria (PEPPW) def. Laura Rijkers (ARK) 7-5, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. No. 34 Tatum Rice/Lauren Alter (ARK) def. Lahey, Ashley/Failla, Jessica (PEPPW) 6-4
2. Martina Zerulo/Jackie Carr (ARK) def. Iamachkine,Anastasia/Olsen, Astrid (PEPPW) 6-3
3. Kuczer, Daria/Zaar, Lisa (PEPPW) def. Thea Rice/Laura Rijkers (ARK) 6-2

Match notes
Arkansas Razorbacks 2-0
PEPP 1-0; National ranking No. 6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1,3,6)

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Tennis

Middle Tennessee downs Razorbacks in dual match Sunday afternoon

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas fell to Middle Tennessee on Sunday afternoon at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center, 4-2.

After dropping the doubles point, Alex Reco got the Hogs on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot over Stijn Slump.

Reco compiled three singles wins on the weekend, taking 37 sets while dropping only 16. Nico Rousset also earned a point for the Razorbacks as he battled to a 6-4, 7-5 straight set win over Max Rauch at No. 4 singles.

It was also the junior’s second straight-set win over the last two days.

The Razorbacks will be back at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center for a pair of matches against Baylor and Omaha on Saturday, Feb. 1.

First serve against BU is set for 1:00 p.m. CT while start time for Omaha is TBA.

Doubles results

• No. 1| Verboven/Paya (Ark) vs. Motl/Slump (MTSU), 5-3 (uf)

• No. 2 | Edge/Moonen (MTSU) def. Reco/Rousset (Ark), 6-4

• No. 3 | Stormon/Rauch (MTSU) def. Manuel/Alonso (Ark), 6-2

Singles results

• No. 1 | Tom Moonen (MTSU) def. Maxim Verboven (Ark), 6-2, 3-6, 7-5

• No. 2 | Alex Reco (Ark) def. Stijn Slump (MTSU), 6-3, 6-2

• No. 3 | Chris Edge (MTSU) def. Jose Dominguez Alonso (Ark), 6-1, 6-2

• No. 4 | Nico Rousset (Ark) def. Max Rauch (MTSU), 6-4, 7-5

• No. 5 | Francisco Rocha (MTSU) def. Melvin Manuel (Ark), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3

• No. 6 | Enrique Paya (Ark) vs. Pavel Motl (MTSU), 7-6 (7-3), 3-4 (uf)

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Women's Basketball

Neighbors on Hogs bouncing back from bad loss to dominate Florida on Sunday

Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors talked about the win, getting a technical he said he deserved and how the team handled the news of Kobe Bryant’s death just before game time.