Women's Tennis Heads to California

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 17, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team goes on the road Feb. 18 and 19 to face No. 46 Arizona and No. 44 Fresno State in Fresno, Calif.

The Sooners, who are ranked No. 62, are riding a two-match winning streak after defeating Minnesota on Jan. 29 and Missouri on Feb. 13. Oklahoma is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference.

Projected to play in this weekend’s matches are juniors Irina Lykina and Monica Purice, sophomores Gabby Baker, Christi Baxley and Chelsea Orr and freshman Brittany Baldy.

After taking on Arizona and Fresno State, the Sooners will take a week off before going head-to-head with UNLV on March 4 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Last Time Out
The Sooners took home their first Big 12 victory of the spring by defeating Missouri, 4-3, at the Green Tennis Center in Columbia, Mo., on Feb. 13.

The tandem of Gabby Baker and Irina Lykina won at No. 1 doubles, as did Chelsea Orr and Monica Purice at the No. 2 position. In singles action, Lykina, Purice and Christi Baxley picked up their first singles victories of the spring at the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively.

Scouting Arizona
No. 46 Arizona is off to its best spring start in more than 10 years and goes into this weekend’s match looking to protect its perfect 7-0 record. The Wildcats moved up 12 spots in the rankings with wins over Cal Poly and No. 49 Denver last weekend.

In singles, Arizona is led by senior Stephanie Balzert, who is 7-0 at the No. 1 position. Balzert has also tallied a perfect record, 7-0, at No. 1 doubles with Juliette Mavroleon.

Saturday’s match will mark the fourth time that Arizona and OU have met. In their last meeting, the Sooners defeated Arizona, 4-3, to improve their record to 1-2 against the Wildcats.

Scouting Fresno State
Fresno State (1-2) has seen tough competition so far this season, as its two losses have come to No. 1 Stanford and No. 24 Pepperdine. Despite their record, the Bulldogs are ranked 44th in the country.

The Bulldogs’ success is in large part due to their doubles pair, Lucia Sainz and Katharina Winterhalter. The duo, ranked No. 4, have tallied a 2-1 record.

Oklahoma is 2-0 all time against Fresno State, but the two teams have not met since 1988 when the Sooners handed the Bulldogs an 8-0 loss.

Baker Ranked in Initial ITA Poll

Despite playing in only one tournament in the fall, sophomore Gabby Baker appeared at No. 73 in the intial Fila Collegiate Tennis rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Baker, who missed the entire 2005 spring season due to an ACL injury, advanced to the round of 16 at the Wilson ITA Central Regional Tournament in October.



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