Three Sooners Named to All-Big 12 Tennis Teams

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 01, 2006

DALLAS, Texas   Three Sooner tennis players landed on the All-Big 12 Teams, the league office announced Monday. Men’s tennis junior Marek Velicka and women’s tennis sophomore Gabby Baker were recognized for the singles team, while Velicka and Ivanov were a unanimous selection for the doubles team.

Velicka is the only men’s player on this year’s singles team who has been given the honor for three consecutive seasons. He finished the regular season with a 16-11 overall record and a 10-9 mark in the spring. Velicka played the top position in all but five matches this spring.

“With Marek’s selection for the third year, it shows that he should be considered one of the all-time best OU men’s tennis players,” said men’s tennis head coach Paul Lockwood. “I look forward to him having another stellar year in his senior year.”

Velicka and Ivanov have had one of the most successful seasons in doubles in the program’s recent history. The Sooner tandem, who had not paired up before the fall, won the ITA Central Region Doubles Championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Indoor Championships before being eliminated. Velicka and Ivanov were the first Oklahoma doubles team to reach the championships since 1991. In the fall, the duo tallied an impressive 6-1 record and concluded the season with a 22-5 overall record and the top record at No. 1 doubles in the conference. They were one of only two doubles teams to be unanimously selected to the All-Big 12 team this year.

“What a year Alexei and Marek had with a 22-5 overall record,” said Lockwood. “By having the best record at No. 1 doubles in the conference, I know these two players will go down as one of the strongest doubles teams in this program’s history. I’m so proud of Alexei for finishing his career with an all-conference honor.”

Baker nabbed the honor for the women’s team for the first time in her career. Although she missed the entire 2005 spring season due to an ACL injury, Baker bounced back with a 17-11 overall singles mark in the regular season to end the year with the best record of any player on the OU women’s squad.

The All-Big 12 honors are selected by the league’s head coaches who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

All-Big 12 Singles Team (men)
Marek Velicka, Jr.

All-Big 12 Doubles Team (men)
Marek Velicka/Alexei Ivanov**

All-Big 12 Singles Team (women)
Gabby Baker, So.

** - unanimous selection



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