NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team snapped a three-match losing streak on Wednesday as the Sooners defeated Tulsa, 4-3, in Norman. Oklahoma improved to 7-9 overall and 2-1 against regional opponents.
Because of concerns about possible inclement weather, the squads began the match with singles. Sophomore Gabby Baker got Oklahoma on the board with a win for the Sooners with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Daniela Muscolino at No. 1 singles. Tulsa tied the score at 1-1 after Thalia Diaz-Burriga took the match over sophomore Chelsea Orr at No. 5.
The Sooners and the Golden Hurricane battled back and forth for the remainder of the singles matches. Junior Monica Purice gave Oklahoma the advantage with a win at the No. 3 slot over Tiffany Smith, but sophomore Christi Baxley followed with a loss at the No. 4 spot, which tied the match at 2-2. At No. 2, junior Irina Lykina fell to Santie Delport in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
It came down to the final singles match at No. 6, where freshman Gabriela Nastasa and Agostina Santoro were facing off. Nastasa won the first set, 6-2, but Santoro came back with a 6-1 second-set win. In a closely fought third set, Nastasa defeated Santoro, 7-5, which tied the match at 3-3 and forced the teams to compete in doubles.
The Sooners won the doubles point and picked up wins at all three positions. Baker and Orr, Baxley and Lykina and Anne Carter and Purice paired up at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, to give Oklahoma the win.
“This was a great win for us,” said head coach Mark Johnson. “It was an unusual match since we started off playing singles, but we really took charge in doubles, which was key.”
Next up for the Sooners are two road matches against Kansas on April 1 and Kansas State on April 2.
1. Gabby Baker (OU) def. Daniela Muscolino (TU), 6-4, 6-0
2. Santie Delport (TU) def. Irina Lykina (OU), 6-3, 6-2
3. Monica Purice (OU) def. Tiffany Smith (TU), 1-6, 6-0, 6-3
4. Kindsay Grimes (TU) def. Christi Baxley (OU), 1-6, 6-0, 7-5
5. Thalia Diaz-Barriga (TU) def. Chelsea Orr (OU), 7-6 (3), 6-2
6. Gabriela Nastasa (OU) def. Agostina Santoro (TU), 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
Order of finish: 1, 5, 3, 4, 2, 6
1. Baker/Orr (OU) def. Grimes/Muscolino (TU), 8-4
2. Baxley/Lykina (OU) def. Diaz-Barriga/Delport (TU), 8-6
3. Anne Carter/Purice (OU) def. Smith/Julie Westfall (TU), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2