NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma men’s tennis team returns to the courts looking for its third upset of a nationally ranked team when it plays Big 12 foe Baylor on Friday, March 18, at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. The match will begin at 6 p.m. and admission is free to the public.
The Sooners begin Big 12 play against the conference and national powerhouse Baylor. Picking up a win over the Bears will be a tough task. Baylor, the defending national team champion, enters the week ranked No. 1 in the ITA team rankings and has three players ranked among the top 50 nationally in singles. BU also boasts three top-50 doubles teams.
Out in front for Oklahoma is sophomore Marek Velicka. Velicka won the singles championship title in the ITA Region V tournament last fall. Velicka owns a stellar 9-2 singles record. He teams up with senior Silviu Tanasoiu to own a 9-1 doubles record. Tanasoiu is also competing well for the Sooners, owning a flawless 9-0 singles record.
OU is finding success in their doubles teams, not losing a doubles point this season. The No. 1 duo of junior Tommy Garrison and senior Ondrej Fukala own a stellar 8-0 record, while freshman Ryan Thomas and teammate junior Alexei Ivanov own a 8-1 doubles record.
Leading the way for the Bears are seniors Benedikt Dorsch and Benjamin Becker. Dorsch was the ITA Player of the Year last season as he finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country. Becker finished No. 9 in the ITA rankings, but won the NCAA singles title.
Along with Dorsch and Becker, freshman Lars Poerschke plays a large role for the Bears this season. Poerschke is ranked nationally and teams up with Michal Kokta to form the 22nd ranked doubles team in the nation.
Oklahoma has not fared well against Baylor as the Bears own a 7-1 all-time Big 12 record versus OU. OU defeated Baylor, 4-3, in 1997, the first year of Big 12 play.