Jan. 24, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. – The 25th-ranked Oklahoma women’s tennis team defeated North Texas, 4-3, Tuesday inside the Gregg Wadley Pavilion to improve to 3-0 this season.
Oklahoma won the doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead over the Mean Green and won the first three singles matches in straight-sets to clinch the win.
“The team did pretty well, maybe a little better than I expected,” OU head coach David Mullins said. “I knew it was going to be a tough match. Overall I’m happy to get the four points and get out of here with a win. I know North Texas will be a good team this year and this win will help us down the road in the rankings.”
Sophomore Mia Lancaster and freshman Abbi Melrose won OU’s first doubles match on the day, defeating Kseniya Bardabush and Irina Paraschiv of UNT, 8-2, at the No. 3 position. In three doubles matches this season, the Sooner duo has given up just five game points and is currently undefeated in doubles.
“Double was good, we put ourselves in some good positions,” Mullins said. “Our execution wasn’t good but that’s something that will sharpen up in the weeks ahead.”
OU’s No. 1 doubles pair, sophomore Whitney Ritchie and senior Marie-Pier Huet, clinched the doubles point win for the Sooners after edging out Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova of UNT, 9-7.
“In singles, I thought we got off to a pretty decent start other than Nicole at five but she fought back,” Mullins said. “Abbi seemed a little nervous and tight. I think it’s going to her, and Nicole, a couple weeks to get used to dual match season.”
OU’s Whitney Wofford claimed the Sooners’ first singles point Tuesday. The sophomore defeated UNT’s Vykydalova at the No. 6 spot, 6-2, 6-2.
Ritchie gave the Sooners a 3-0 lead over the Mean Green after beating Nadia Lee of UNT at the No. 2 singles spot, 6-0, 6-2. Ritchie has given up just six combined games over three singles matches this season and has won all three in straight-sets.
Mia Lancaster secured the win for OU after winning the team’s fourth dual point by defeating Paula Dinuta at the No. 3 spot, 6-3, 6-2. Lancaster also clinched OU’s win over Drake last Saturday.
With the dual already decided, North Texas kept the match close by winning the three remaining singles points. UNT’s Starkova defeated Huet at the No. 1 spot, 6-3, 6-2, Ilona Serchenko topped OU’s Nicole Long at the No. 5 spot, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4), while OU freshman Abbi Melrose retired at the No. 4 spot after leading UNT’s Bardabush, 6-5, in the first set.
Next up, OU heads to Los Angeles for the 2012 ITA Kickoff Weekend featuring UCLA, St. Mary’s and Utah. OU will play St. Mary’s in the first round on Friday, Jan. 27 at noon CT. The Sooners will play UCLA or Utah on Saturday afternoon.
No. 25 Oklahoma 4, North Texas 3
1. Huet/Ritchie (OU) def. Starkova/Vykydalova (UNT), 9-7
2. Lee/Sprinkmeyer (UNT) def. Long/Wofford (OU), 8-9 (4)
3. M. Lancaster/Melrose (OU) def. Bardabush/Paraschiv (UNT), 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Valentina Starkova (UNT) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU), 6-3,6-2
2. Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Nadia Lee (UNT), 6-0, 6-2
3. Mia Lancaster (OU) def. Paula Dinuta (UNT), 6-3, 6-2
4. Kseniya Bardabush (UNT) def. Abbi Melrose (OU), 6-5, ret.
5. Ilona Serchenko (UNT) def. Nicole Long (OU), 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4)
6. Whitney Wofford (OU) def. Barbora Vykydalova (UNT), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 3*, 1, 4, 6
*Clinched the match