NORMAN, Okla. Oklahoma's season came to an end Sunday afternoon as OU fell to Oklahoma State, 0-4, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma advanced to the second round after defeating Cal in a close 4-3 match Saturday. OU began singles play trailing 0-1 after losing the doubles point. OU sophomore Rob McKenzie and freshman Vaclav Kucera were the only successful Oklahoma tandem in doubles play. The duo defeated Oklahoma State's Artsem Burmistrau and Nathan Byrnes 8-4 at the No. 2 slot.
In singles competition, senior Marek Velicka lost a long three-set match to the Pokes' Ivan Puchkarov. Velicka won the first set 6-2, but fell in the final two 6-1, 6-0.
At the No. 1 and 3 slots, Kucera and Daescu fell in straight sets to Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Daniel Byrnes. The two teams did not finish the remaining singles matches after the Pokes' secured the win.
Oklahoma finished the season 20-9 overall and 2-4 in Big 12 play. 2007 was a record-breaking season for the Sooners. With four of eight netters new to the team, Lockwood led the young squad to some impressive feats.
The Sooners claimed the Rice Invitational title after defeating two top-30 squads and one top-25 team. The upsets did not go unnoticed as the Sooners climbed from No. 54 to No. 23 in the ITA polls. The jump into the top 25 ended a 15-year drought.
Also, freshman standout Kucera was named Player of the Week March 26 for his impressive play at the Rice Inviatitional. Kucera was the first OU player to be recognized with this honor in the past five years.
Oklahoma snapped a decade-long losing streak against the Aggies as it downed the squad 6-1 during conference play.
Lockwood reached a career milestone in his 20th season with the Sooners as he picked up his 300th career victory after defeating Texas Tech in the final conference match of the season.
Oklahoma was selected to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 and advanced to the second round. The win over Cal in the first round was OU's 20th of the season. The last time an OU team had a 20-win season was 1994.
The Sooners have a promising future ahead as they will only lose one netter, senior Velicka. Velicka, a native of the Czech Republic, has been a valuable assest to Oklahoma since joining the team in 2003. In his time at OU, he has been a consistent threat on the courts and in the classroom. His career highlights include winning the Central ITA Regional Championship in 2004, the Central ITA Regional Doubles Championship in 2006 and consistently placing on All-Academic and All-Big 12 teams. This year Velicka posted a 20-win season and helped lead his team to a new level.
No. 8 Oklahoma State 4, No. 26 Oklahoma 0
OSU: (19-4) OU: (20-9)
NCAA Second Round- 5/13/07
Stillwater, Okla. Debois Tennis Center
No. 1- #47 D. Byrnes/Nedovyesov (OSU) def. #27 Chavarria/Daescu (OU); 8-5
No. 2- Kucera/McKenzie (OU) def. Burmistrau/N. Byrnes (OSU); 8-4
No. 3- Puchkarov/Petrov (OU) def. Velicka/Thomas (OU); 8-6
Order of finish: D2, D3, D1*
No. 1- #23 Nedovyesov vs. #83 Kucera (OU); 6-4, 6-1
No. 2- #30 Puchkarov def. Velicka (OU); 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
No. 3- D. Byrnes (OSU) def. Daescu (OU) ; 6-2, 6-3
No. 4- Petrov (OSU) vs. McKenzie (OU); 5-7, 0-1
No. 5- Burmistrau (OSU) vs. Chavarri (OU); 6-3, 4-4 DNF
No. 6- N. Byrnes (OSU) vs. Thomas (OU); 6-4, 4-1 DNF
Order of finish: S1, S2, S3*