NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team is set to open its spring season against No. 11 North Carolina and Minnesota this weekend at the Minnesota Court Classic, hosted by the Golden Gophers at the Baseline Tennis Center. The Sooners will face North Carolina on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Minnesota on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Eight Sooners will compete this weekend, including juniors Anne Carter, Irina Lykina and Monica Purice, sophomores Gabby Baker, Christi Baxley and Chelsea Orr and freshmen Brittany Baldy and Gabriela Nastasa.
This weekend marks the first meeting between Oklahoma and North Carolina and the third between Minnesota. The Sooners, with a 1-2 record against the Golden Gophers, won the last contest in 2002, 5-2.
Sooners Complete Fall Season
The women’s tennis team competed in two tournaments in its fall campaign, including an appearance at the ITA Central Regional Tournament.
At the regional tournament, sophomore Gabby Baker advanced to the round of 16 before being eliminated. Junior Irina Lykina also made a strong showing, advancing to the round of 32.
Baker Ranked in Initial ITA Poll
Despite playing in only one tournament in the fall, sophomore Gabby Baker appeared at No. 73 in the intial Fila Collegiate Tennis rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Baker, who missed the entire 2005 spring season due to an ACL injury, advanced to the round of 16 at the Wilson ITA Central Regional Tournament in October.
Sooners Welcome Newcomers
The women’s tennis team adds three freshmen and one transfer player to the 2005-06 squad. Below is information about the class:
Brittany Baldy (Fr.): Attended Bishop McGuinness High School in Edmond, Okla. ... state champion at No. 1 doubles as a freshman ... won state championships at No. 1 doubles as a sophomore, junior and senior ... tallied an 83-4 career record.
Gabriela Nastasa (Fr): Hails from Braila, Romania.
Monica Purice (Jr.): Native of Brasov, Transylvania, where she attended the University of Transylvania.
Kate Robinson (Fr.): Went undefeated in district singles play as a freshman and as a sophomore ... ranked No. 39 in Texas in 18-year-old division.
Johnson Enters 18th Year at Oklahoma
After 17 years as the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Oklahoma, Mark Johnson has accumulated 276 victories and has coached 23 conference champions, four NCAA singles qualifiers and five pairs of NCAA doubles qualifiers. In addition, the five time Coach of the Year has also led eight consecutive teams to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic honors.