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Sooners Headed to ITA Kickoff Championship







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).

Up Next

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.

Live stats and live video will be available for the match.

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.

For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter or like Oklahoma Men’s Tennis on Facebook.


Singles Results
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

Doubles Results
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)


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