NORMAN, Okla. For the first time in 21 years the University of Oklahoma men’s tennis team won the Red River Rivalry by defeating 27th-ranked Texas, 4-3, on Sunday, April 2, at the OU Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman. OU improves to 14-3 on the season and picks up its first win in Big 12 conference play, improving to 1-3. UT drops to 8-5 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. The players are the ones who did it. This is for all the former Sooner tennis players, including myself who took some lumps from Texas over the years,” said Head Coach Paul Lockwood on his first win over Texas while at the helm of the men’s tennis team. “We showed an incredible amount of heart. This is what college tennis is all about. To have to take one of our better players out due to injury (Ondrej Fukala), lose the doubles point, and still come away with the win, that is a testament to what our team is all about.”
Texas scored first by winning the doubles point, but the Sooners came away with their lone doubles win at the top of the doubles lineup when junior Tommy Garrison teamed up with freshman Federico Chavarria to defeat the 53rd ranked duo of Travis Helgeson and Callum Beale, 9-8 (6), at the No. 1 spot.
After losing the doubles point, OU fought hard in singles. Scoring the first singles point of the match was OU’s Garrison, Garrison dominated Milan Mihailovic at the No. 4 spot, giving him his 11th consecutive win.
Freshman Ryan Thomas evened the score at 3-3 after his exhilarating 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, victory over Garret Snyder at the No. 6 position. The match came down to the No. 1 singles, where sophomore Marek Velicka faced off against Callum Beale. Velicka won the first set, 6-4, and lost the hard fought second set, 6-7(4). The third set was a nail-biter, but Velicka won the tiebreak, 7-6(6), to seal the victory for the Sooners. Velicka concludes a solid two-game stretch after defeating UT’s Beale on Sunday and Texas A&M’s 14th-ranked Jerry Makowski on Saturday.
Next up the Sooners will take on regional opponent Tulsa on Wens. April 6 at the OU Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman. Action is set to begin at 5 p.m.
No. 59 Oklahoma 4, No. 27 Texas 3
Sunday, April 2, 2005
OU Headington Family Tennis Center
Order of Finish: 4, 5, 3, 2, 6, 1
No. 1 Marek Velicka (OU) def. Callum Beale (UT) 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6 (6)
No. 2 Travis Helgeson (UT) def. Alexei Ivanov (OU) 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 Roger Gubser (UT) def. Silviu Tanasoiu (OU) 3-6, 6-7 (1)
No. 4 Tommy Garrison (OU) def. Milan Mihailovic (UT) 6-3, 6-3
No. 5 Lee Gregg (OU) def. Hubert Chodkiewicz (UT) 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 Ryan Thomas (OU) def. Garrett Snyder (UT) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
No. 1 Garrison/Chavarria (OU) def. Helgeson/Beale (UT) 9-8(8-6)
No. 2 Chodkiewicz/Gubser (UT) def. Tanasoiu/Velicka (OU) 8-3
No. 3 Snyder/Dias-Barriga (UT) def. Ivanov/Thomas (OU) 8-6