Previewing OU-Georgia in the Elite Eight

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 22, 2010

May 22, 2010

 Oklahoma (19-7, 2-5 Big 12) vs. Georgia (20-7, 9-2 SEC) 
 Date & Time  Sunday, May 23, at 4:00 p.m. CST
 Location  Athens, Georgia | Dan Magill Tennis Complex
 TV  None
 Tournament Info  NCAA Championship Central
 Video  Webcast
 Live Stats
 Game Info  Match Notes

Previewing the Bulldogs
No. 11 Georgia (20-7) advanced to the quarterfinals for the second-straight year after beating No. 6-ranked Florida, 4-2. The Bulldogs have reached the national championship match in three of the last four seasons.

The Bulldogs have one ranked doubles tandem in 32nd-ranked Javier Garrapiz and Nate Schnugg.

In singles, 22nd-ranked Javier Garrapiz leads Georgia. Nate Schnugg checks in at No. 75, and Drake Bernstein (No. 115) rounds out the ranked Bulldogs. 

Oklahoma-Georgia Series
The Sooners and Bulldogs have faced-off twice in 1984 and 1998. Georgia won both matches in Athens, 5-1 and 6-1, respectively. 

Pupil Squares off Against Mentor
Manuel Diaz, who reached the 20-win plateau for the 18th time in his 22-year career as the head coach of the Bulldogs, faces his pupil, OU head coach John Roddick, in the quarterfinals Sunday. 

Diaz coached Roddick during his four years at the University of Georgia from 1994-98. 

Roddick was also an assistant coach under Diaz from 2000-02. That was Roddick's last collegiate coaching stent before taking the head coaching position at OU. 

Roddick Returns to Athens 
John Roddick, a four-time All-American at the University of Georgia, returns to Athens as the head coach of an up-and-coming Big 12 program. Roddick played collegiate tennis at Georgia from 1994-98, where he manned the No. 1 singles position for three years. Roddick returned as an assistant coach at Georgia from 2000-02, where he helped coach the 2001 National Championship team.

Recapping Oklahoma's Upset over No. 3 Texas
Freshman Lawrence Formentera clinched the match for 20th-ranked Oklahoma over No. 3 Texas, 4-2, to give the Sooners their second win in program history over the Longhorns. 

"It was an unbelievable effort," head coach John Roddick said. "I have never been prouder of a group of guys in my entire life."

The Sooners (19-7, 2-5 Big 12) handed Texas (27-3, 6-0), the 2010 Big 12 Champions, its first loss against a conference opponent this season. OU's last win over the Longhorns came in 2005 when the Sooners claimed a 4-3 victory over UT. 

Despite dropping battles at the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions OU was still able to pull out the victory over the Longhorns because of its sensational play in singles. 

In singles, freshman Costin Paval (No. 74) evened the score, 1-1, after he routed UT's Kellen Damico (No. 99) at the No. 3 position, 6-4, 6-1. The Big 12 Freshman of Year has now won five-straight at the No. 3 spot and boasts a 19-4 dual record. 

65th-ranked Beleleu took care of business against UT's 20th-ranked Ed Corrie at the No. 2 position, 6-4, 6-3.

Junior David Pultr gave Oklahoma its first lead of the match after he defeated UT's Jean Anderson at No. 4. Pultr rallied from a 0-4 deficit to take the first set, 7-6, and the Czech native duplicated that score in the second set. The junior has won eight of his last nine matches and is 16-8 on the year. 

Roughly two hours later, freshman Lawrence Formentera clinched the match for the Sooners after going three sets with the Longhorns Vasko Mladenov at the No. 6 spot. The Colton, Calif., native dropped his first set 2-6 but rallied to take the next two sets, 7-6, 7-5. 

"I knew the team was relying on me and George (Chanturia)," freshman Lawrence Formentera said. "They were both really close matches, but I knew that if it came down to me, I was the better player. George kept me in there. I just went for it."

OU by the Numbers 
On the year, OU has defeated 13 teams ranked in the ITA top-72, while each of the Sooners' losses has come against teams ranked in the ITA top 15. In addition, the Sooners have defeated San Diego State (No. 50) and OSU (No. 48) twice this season. 

OU's highest win came over No. 3 Texas in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships. The Sooners previous highest win was over No.14 Texas Tech in the second round of the NCAA Championships. 

Oklahoma's Singles Leaders 
A trio of ranked individuals including 28th-ranked Andrei Daescu, No. 65-ranked Ionut Beleleu and No. 74 Costin Paval leads the Sooners. 

Double the Trouble 
In doubles, OU has two ranked tandems in No. 18 Daescu and Paval and 49th-ranked Daescu and Beleleu. 

Daescu and Paval have defeated three pairs ranked in the top-24, including Tulsa's 24th-ranked tandem twice. In total, the duo has defeated a total of eight pairs in the top 80. 

Sooners, Bears Representing Big 12
Oklahoma and Baylor are the only two schools remaining from the Big 12 in the Elite Eight. 

The Big 12 had all seven schools represented when the 64-field bracket was announced. Four schools, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M advanced to the Round of 16 before UT and A&M were eliminated by fellow Big 12 programs. 

Baylor defeated Texas A&M, 4-1, Friday and will play No. 4 Tennessee Sunday.

OU's Road to the Round of 16 
In his first year, head coach John Roddick led 20th-ranked Oklahoma to its first ever appearance in the NCAA Round of 16. The Sooners advanced to the Round of 16 after defeating No. 40 Tulsa in first round action, 4-0, and upsetting 14th-ranked Texas Tech, 4-2, to claim the Norman Regional. 

Big 12 Honors 
Costin Paval became the first Sooner to win a post-season award for the OU men's tennis program after garnering Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. At that time, the Bucharest, Romania, native boasted a 25-8 overall record, in which he went 16-4 in dual matches. 

Ionut Beleleu was one of 12 athletes to make the All-Big 12 team. The junior from Zalua, Romania was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 First team for the second-straight year.

ITA Accolades 
Silviu Tanasoiu was named the ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, senior Blake Boswell was awarded the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship and freshman Costin Paval was announced as the ITA Player to Watch, all in the central region.

Where Oklahoma Began the Season 
Oklahoma began the season ranked No. 44 nationally but quickly jumped in the rankings after starting the season with a 12-1 mark, vaulting OU as high as No. 17. 

Pre-season rankings had senior Andrei Daescu, No. 10 nationally and No. 1 in the central region. The Romanian native vaulted in the rankings after his second place finish at the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships this past fall. 

Junior Ionut Beleleu checked in at No. 59 nationally and No. 8 in the central region, while freshman Costin Paval entered the rankings for the first time in his young career at No. 69 nationally and No. 9 in the central region.




Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.