OU Uses Singles Surge to Beat Big Red
NORMAN – The No. 18 Oklahoma men’s tennis team returned to its winning ways Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Cornell. The Sooners gave up the doubles point, but surged back in singles to put away the Big Red.
“In the big moments when it was time to go after points, I thought our guys were really clutch. We made our shots,” said head coach Nick Crowell. “It was a great team effort from everybody - I’m just really proud of the guys.”
In doubles action, No. 33 Spencer Papa and Jake Van Emburgh picked up a 6-3 win over Alafia Ayeni and Eero Vasa at the top spot. The Sooners led the entire match and Papa fired off an ace to close it out.
Mason Beiler and Ferran Calvo were defeated by Joseph McAllister and Lev Kazakov 7-5. The point came down to court three, where Stefano Tsorotiotis and Alex Bakshi fell to Daniel Soyfer and Jake Hansen after a tiebreaker, 7-6 (1), and Cornell took the opening point.
OU used four singles wins from Jochen Bertsch, Calvo, Bakshi and Stewart to win the match.
Junior Bertsch was the first Sooner off the court in singles, powering his way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Vasa on court four.
Calvo made quick work of Soyfer for a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 3 line, never trailing in the match.
Bakshi picked up a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Ayeni. The victory was good for his first win at the top spot in the lineup this year. Bakshi and Ayeni tied at every game in the first set before the Sooner dominated the breaker, then took the momentum into the second frame to come away with the win.
On court six, Max Stewart clinched the win for OU with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Jake Hansen. Stewart cruised through the first frame before Hansen fought back in set two, but the Sooner held strong.The win was good for Stewart’s second this season, and the second time the sophomore had claimed the match for OU.
On court five, Van Emburgh was defeated by No. 101 Kazakov 7-6 (4), 6-1.
When play was halted, Beiler was just a game away from defeating Pietro Rimondini on court five, leading 6-5 in the second. The freshman took the first set 6-4.
OU is back on the road for a meeting with Arkansas on Feb. 16. The Sooners will then play a pair of matches at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. OU will face Mississippi State on Feb. 23 before meeting Kentucky on Feb. 24. The Mississippi State match will be contested as part of the 2019 USTA National Campus Collegiate Series, which showcases some of the premier schools in the nation at the Collegiate Center.
1. Alex Bakshi (OU) def. Alafia Ayeni (CORNELL) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. #101 Lev Kazakov (CORNELL) def. Jake Van Emburgh (OU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
3. Ferran Calvo (OU) def. Daniel Soyfer (CORNELL) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jochen Bertsch (OU) def. Eero Vasa (CORNELL) 6-1, 6-2
5. Mason Beiler (OU) vs. Pietro Rimondini (CORNELL) 6-4, 6-5, unfinished
6. Max Stewart (OU) def. Jake Hansen (CORNELL) 6-2, 7-5
1. #33 Spencer Papa/Jake Van Emburgh (OU) def. Alafia Ayeni/Eero Vasa (VIS) 6-3
2. Daniel Soyfer/Jake Hansen (CORNELL) def. Stefano Tsorotiotis/Alex Bakshi (OU) 7-6 (7-1)
3. Joseph McAllister/Lev Kazakov (CORNELL) def. Mason Beiler/Ferran Calvo (OU) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,3,2,1,6)