NORMAN, Okla. The OU men’s tennis team kicked off its 2007 season at the Central Regional Indoor Playoffs Saturday in Tulsa. Joining the Sooners in the tournament were the top seven teams in the region, all fighting for a spot to advance to the ITA/ USTA National Men’s Team Indoors in Chicago, Ill.
No. 60 Oklahoma started the day facing No. 61 Nebraska at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Sooners picked up an easy win defeating the Cornhuskers 4-0, sweeping the singles competition and only losing one match in doubles play.
The win advanced Oklahoma to the next round to face No. 16 Oklahoma state. The Sooners suffered a tough loss to the Pokes, but proved two freshmen were ready for Division I tennis.
Freshmen Andrei Daescu and Vaclav Kucera were a force to be reckoned with in both singles and doubles play. Daescu and Kucera went undefeated on the day and beat the Poke’s top two players.
Daescu defeated the third-ranked player in the nation Ivan Puchkarov in two sets, 6-2, 6-1, and Kucera defeated Daniel Byrnes in two sets, 6-3, 6-3. Daescu and Kucera teamed up for doubles competition against OSU’s Nathan Byrnes and Artie Burmistrau and came out with the win, 8-5.
The loss to OSU dropped the Sooners from the Regional. Oklahoma will return to action Feb.2, as they host Southern Illinois in Oklahoma City.