NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team earned a spot in the ITA Kickoff Championship match with a 4-0 victory over Drake Saturday inside the Headington Family Tennis Center.
With the win, OU moves to 5-0 on the season and has yet to give up a team point this season. The Sooners handed Drake its first loss of the season.
“We’re feeling like we played a good match today. I thought Drake really came to play – they always do,” said head coach Nick Crowell. “Our guys came out in doubles and played really well. At one doubles, we took a control 6-1 with Spencer (Papa) and Jake (Van Emburgh) there. And then Alex (Bakshi) and Stefano (Tsorotiotis) were able to finish it off 6-4 with a good break at 4-all there.”
“We have two great teams coming in here and we’re looking forward to playing Notre Dame or Vanderbilt and 1 p.m. tomorrow.”
OU opened the contest with doubles point. Spencer Papa and Jake Van Emburgh got things started with a 6-1 victory over ITA No. 27 Vinny Gillespie and Barny Thorold at the No. 1 line. The Sooners took a 4-0 lead in the match before Gillespie and Thorold got on the board.
Stefano Tsorotiotis and Alex Bakshi sealed the point for OU with a victory over Calum MacGeoch and Tom Hands, 6-4. The Oklahoma duo tied the Bulldogs at every game up to four before running away with the match.
When play was halted, Ferran Calvo and Mason Beiler were just a game away from defeating Drake’s Bayo Phillipis and Finley Hall, leading 5-4.
In singles, sophomore Tsorotiotis wheeled to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over MacGeoch at the No. 5 line.
On court six, Beiler made quick work of Drake’s Ben Clark, winning 6-3, 6-2. The freshman never trailed in the match.
Senior Calvo clinched the contest for the Sooners when he took down Tom Hands 6-3, 6-3 on court three.
When play was abandoned, Van Emburgh led Gillespie 3-2 in the second set on court one. The Sooner outlasted Gillespie in a first set tiebreaker to win it 7-6 (4).
Bakshi was up 3-2 in the second frame with Thorold at the No. 2 spot. Bakshi got a come-from-behind victory in the first set, erasing a 3-0 deficit to win it 7-5.
Jochen Bertsch led Phillips 4-1 in the second after holding on to claim set one 7-6 (4).
The Sooners will face the winner of Vanderbilt-Drake in the ITA Kickoff Championship match, set for 1 p.m. CT tomorrow. The winner of that contest will play for a trip to the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships (held Feb. 15-18 in Chicago, Ill.) on the line. OU brought home the ITA National Indoor title in 2015.
Free pizza and t-shirts will be available to fans on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fans can also pick up a 2019 poster and an OU Tennis Points Card. Fans who attend all five matches listed on card will be entered to win a tennis racket signed by the team at the end of the season.
Admission to the Headington Family Tennis Center is always free.
1. Jake Van Emburgh (OU) vs. Vinny Gillespie (DU) 7-6 (7-4), 3-2, unfinished
2. Alex Bakshi (OU) vs. Barny Thorold (DU) 7-5, 3-2, unfinished
3. Ferran Calvo (OU) def. Tom Hands (DU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jochen Bertsch (OU) vs. Bayo Philips (DU) 7-6 (7-4), 4-1, unfinished
5. Stefano Tsorotiotis (OU) def. Calum MacGeoch (DU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Mason Beiler (OU) def. Ben Clark (DU) 6-3, 6-2
1. Spencer Papa/Jake Van Emburgh (OU) def. Vinny Gillespie/Barny Thorold (DU) 6-1
2. Ferran Calvo/Mason Beiler (OU) vs. Bayo Philips/Finley Hall (DU) 5-4, unfinished
3. Stefano Tsorotiotis/Alex Bakshi (OU) def. Calum MacGeoch/Tom Hands (DU) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (5,6,3)