NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team will face off against Kansas State in the first round of the Big 12 Tennis Championships on Thursday in Waco, Texas. First serve is set for 9 a.m. CT.
Oklahoma concluded its regular season on Friday against Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Sooners fell, 5-2, to the Lady Raiders to close out with a 9-15 overall record and a 3-8 mark in the conference.
The Sooners enter the Big 12 Championships as the No. 10 seed, while the Wildcats are the seventh seed.
Should the squad advance to the quarterfinals, Oklahoma will play No. 2 Texas A&M on Friday at 8:30 a.m. The championship match is set for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets for the championships will be sold at the Baylor Tennis Center on each day of the event. All-Championship passes for adults are $10 with children’s passes at $5 for the weekend. General admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and students.
Last Time Out
In a tough Bedlam match on Tuesday afternoon, the University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team fell to Oklahoma State, 4-3, at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman. The Sooners concluded their home slate with a 5-5 home record.
In the last match of the regular season, the University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team fell to Texas Tech, 5-2, in Lubbock on Friday. OU wrapped up with a 9-15 overall record and a 3-8 mark in Big 12 matches.
Three Sooners claimed singles victories against the Cowgirls. Sophomore Gabby Baker, junior Monica Purice and sophomore Chelsea Orr won their matches and Nos. 1, 3 and 5, respectively.
Baker has dominated in singles for the last half of the season and has won nine of her last 10 matches at the No. 1 position.
Scouting Kansas State
Kansas State concluded the regular season with a 10-9 record and a 6-5 mark in Big 12 duels. The Wildcats enter the Big 12 Championships as the No. 7 seed and are ranked 55th in the country.
Sophomore Tamar Kvaratskhelia will likely play the No. 1 singles spot for Kansas State and goes into the championships with a 17-13 record. She is probable to pair with freshman Maria Perevoschikova at No. 1 doubles.
And So We Meet Again
Oklahoma and Kansas State are no strangers in the Big 12 Tennis Championships. Last year, the two squads faced off in the first round with the Wildcats winning the match, 4-3. The Sooners and Wildcats also met in 1997 and 2001. In 1997, Oklahoma defeated Kansas State, 5-1, in the first round and advanced all the way to the semifinals. In 2001, Oklahoma dropped a 4-1 decision to the Wildcats in the first round.
The two teams also met earlier this season on April 2 in Manhattan, where OU fell, 6-1. The Sooners won one doubles match, thanks to juniors Anne Carter and Monica Purice, and one singles match with the help of sophomore Gabby Baker.
Although the Sooners have recently struggled against Kansas State, OU holds a 19-10 all-time series record against the Wildcats.
Sooners in the Championships
In the 10-year history of the Big 12 Tennis Championships, the Sooners have tallied an even 9-9 record in the tournament. Oklahoma has advanced to the quarterfinals in six of those years and to the semifinals three times. OU has made one appearance in the championship match, which came in 1999 when the Sooners dropped a 5-1 decision to Red River Rival Texas.
Big 12 Success
Sophomore Gabby Baker has become one of the best No. 1 singles players this season. With an 8-3 record in Big 12 matches, Baker is tied for second for the most wins at that position.
Juniors Anne Carter and Monica Purice have also established themselves in conference doubles matches. At the No. 3 spot in the Big 12, the Sooner tandem is 6-4 and ranks third at the position.
Sooners In and Out of the Rankings
For the first time since March 7, the women’s squad made a brief appearance in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings for the week of April 18. The Sooners came in at No. 75.
Sophomore Gabby Baker also edged into the singles rankings at No. 125 after going on a six match winning streak.
With 13 victories this spring, sophomore Gabby Baker leads the OU squad with a 17-11 overall mark. Although she struggled in January and opened the season with four straight losses, Baker has improved dramatically and bounced back to record a six-match winning streak during mid-season. Baker enters the Big 12 Tennis Championships with three consecutive wins.
Four Sooners Named to Academic All-Big 12 Teams
Gabby Baker, Christi Baxley, Anne Carter and Irina Lykina were recently honored by the conference as 2006 Academic All-Big 12 Tennis first team selections. Baker was given special recognition for maintaing a perfect 4.00 grade point average.