April 29, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Oklahoma captured the Big 12 Men's Tennis Championship title, continuing its dominance in the conference this season, Sunday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The 11th-ranked Sooners defeated Baylor 4-3 to add a conference tournament trophy -- their first since 1992 -- to its regular-season championship.
It was the second Big 12 Championship for the University of Oklahoma in just a few hours, as its women's golf team captured the conference title earlier in the afternoon.
"It didn't matter if we won or lost, but going into the third [set] we were playing the way we needed to play, which is all I ever ask of them," Oklahoma head coach John Roddick said. "We came out on top which was great."
OU senior David Pultr outlasted Baylor's Julien Bley to gain the match point, going 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, in an epic 4-and-1/2 hour match in No. 6 singles that played to tiebreakers in all three sets.
"[Pultr] has been on the bench for a couple matches," Roddick said, "and to play like he did and clinch the match in that manner of winning two tiebreakers in a row after losing a tough one in the first set just shows his mental toughness is there. This is what he came to play for and he had his chance today which is something he will never forget."
Oklahoma trailed after doubles for just the second time this season and rallied for a 12th consecutive win and undefeated record against Big 12 opponents.
"We haven't had to be in a position to fight back the whole match," Roddick said, "and for them to be able to close some tough matches out at the end was absolutely phenomenal. To get the wins at No. 3 and 6 was a big team victory. To win it like this is special."
Costin Paval and Dane Webb of Oklahoma toppled Baylor's Mate Zsiga and Diego Galeano in No. 1 doubles, 8-3, to give the Sooners the early advantage. But the Bears took wins at Nos. 2 and 3.
Baylor increased its lead to 2-0 after Galeano earned a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Peerakit Sirabutwong in No. 4 singles. The Sooners evened the score back-to-back singles wins that needed first-set tiebreakers.
Paval rallied from a 4-1 first set deficit to win 7-6, 6-2 in No. 1 singles and Webb won at the No. 5 spot 7-6, 6-3.
Webb, a freshman from Richardson, Texas, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
The Bears reclaimed the lead, 3-2, after 95th-ranked Roberto Maytin earned a straight set win over OU's Guillermo Alcorta, ranked No. 63 in No. 2 singles.
At a critical juncture, Tsvetan Mihov evened the team score, 3-3. Mihov and Marko Krickovic each captured sets in No. 3 singles with 6-3 scores, but Mihov dominated the final set, 6-0.
Another hour and a half would pass before the champion would be determined.
Pultr's and Bley's match ended with the Sooner winning the final set tiebreaker by four games.
The Sooners learn their seeding and destination for the NCAA Championship during a selection show Tuesday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m.
Oklahoma 4, Baylor 3
1. #14 Costin Paval (OU) def. #16 Mate Zsiga (BU), 7-6(2), 6-2
2. #95 Roberto Maytin (BU) def. #63 Guillermo Alcorta (OU), 7-6(5), 6-4
3. Tsvetan Mihov (OU) def. Marko Krickovic (BU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-0
4. Diego Galeano (BU) def. Peerakit Siributwong (OU), 6-4, 6-0
5. #97 Dane Webb (OU) def. Kike Grangeiro (BU), 7-6(6), 6-3
6. David Pultr (OU) def. Julien Bley (BU), 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 7-6(4)
Order of finish: 4, 1, 5, 2, 3, 6*
1. #11 Webb/Paval (OU) def. #74 Zsiga/Galeano (BU), 8-3
2. #59 Grangeiro/Maytin (BU) def. #57 Mihov/Siributwong (OU), 8-5
3. Bley/Krickovic (BU) def. Lawrence Formentera/Pultr (OU), 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2