NORMAN, Okla. - The Oklahoma women’s tennis team played a tough match Saturday afternoon in windy Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Sooners fell 4-3 to No. 60 Alabama. Three of the six singles matches went into third sets, while one doubles match went into a tie breaker.
“It was one of the toughest losses I have ever been a part of,” said OU head coach Mark Johnson. "We had a great opportunity to win singles and just didn’t finish. It was very disappointing.”
In doubles, Oklahoma was led by Irina Lykina and Gabby Baker at No. 2, who paired up to defeat Alabama’s Nicole Briceno and Paulina Bigos, 8-2.
In singles, Lykina at No. 3, Christi Baxley at No. 4 and Cox at No. 6 all played tough three-set matches.
“We dug a hole, then got out of it and then didn’t quite get it finished," Johnson said. “We fought hard in doubles and didn’t quite get it and we were within points of winning in singles. It was tough.”
At No. 3 singles, Lykina was the last to walk off the court after being defeated by Alabama’s Nicole Briceno. After winning the first set 7-6 Lykina dropped the second set 6-7 and fell 6-4 in the third.
At No. 4, Baxley squeaked by Alabama’s Alice Tunaru 7-5 in the first set. She then fell 6-3 in the second before pulling it together for a Tunaru 6-2 win in the third set.
Oklahoma’s Orr at No. 5 and Baker at No.2 also pulled out victories for the Sooners.
OU will be back in action on Thursday, March 1 at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman to take on TCU. The match will begin at 2 p.m.
No. 60 Alabama 4, Oklahoma 3
1. Mari Muller (UA) def. Monica Purice (OU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Gabby Baker (OU) def. Shelley Godwin (UA) 6-1, 6-3
3. Nicole Briceno (UA) def. Irina Lykina (OU) 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
4. Christi Baxley (OU) def. Alice Tunaru (UA) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2
5. Chelsea Orr (OU) def. Andrea Brenes (UA) 7-5, 7-5
6. Bianca Svensson (UA) def. Racael Cox 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
1. Muller/ Brenes (UA) def. Purice/ Baxley 9-8
2. Lykina/ Baker (OU) def. Briceno/ Bigos 8-2
3. Godwin/ Svensson (UA) def. Cox/ Orr 8-4