Norman Okla.- The Sooners started out the first round of singles play strong Thursday, with three players advancing to the second round. OU’s Gabby Baker, who is seeded No. 2, started out the day with a 6-0, 6-1 win over St. Louis University’s Ana Renda.
Monica Purice, who is seeded No. 9, had a great first round too, with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 win over Drew Kristal of Southeast Missouri.
Senior Irina Lykina also started the tournament with a strong 6-3, 6-0 win over Oklahoma State’s Jessica Collins.
OU’s Chelsea Orr played a tough match against KSU’s Olga Klimova, but was defeated 6-3, 7-5.
Rachel Cox, who played two rounds Wednesday to earn a spot in the main draw, was defeated by Kansas State’s Katka Kudlakova 6-1, 6-2. She will continue play Friday through the consolation side of the bracket.
“We had a great day in singles today,” said head coach Mark Johnson. “We showed some good things.”
The Sooner’s also had success on the court in doubles. Johnson, who said before the tournament that the team is still unsure on the doubles pairings, was pleased with the way things worked out.
Senior Anne Carter and junior Gabby Baker, who were paired together at the last minute after Brittany Baldy and Christi Baxley had to default due to injury, are seeded No. 5 and had a first-round bye. They went on to defeat Oral Robert’s Pippen and Salas 8-1 in the second round.
“It was a really good match for us,” said Carter. “We played well and really complimented each other's games.”
Cox and Orr also played well together, defeating Tulsa’s Westfall and Santoro 8-1 in the first round. They continued their winning streak in the second round with an 8-1 victory over Southeast Missouri’s Anderson and Nattier.
OU’s Purice and Lykina were defeated 8-3 in the first round of doubles play by KU’s Avdeeva and Horvata.
“The girls competed excellent today,” said Johnson. “I am hoping we can just carry that into tomorrow.”
The Sooners will continue both singles and doubles play Friday morning at 8 a.m.