Women's Tennis Travels to Las Vegas

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 03, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team is set to play UNLV on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The No. 61 Sooners go into the match with a 4-3 overall record, while the Lady Rebels are 6-3.

Oklahoma’s four-match winning streak was snapped on Feb. 18 with two straight losses to Arizona and Fresno State. Prior to that, the Sooners picked up wins over Minnesota, Missouri and Oklahoma Baptist.

Sophomore Gabby Baker will play the No. 1 position for the Sooners. Also slated to compete for the Sooners are juniors Irina Lykina and Monica Purice, sophomores Christi Baxley and Chelsea Orr and freshman Brittany Baldy.

Sophomore Elena Gantcheva, ranked 18th in the country, is slated to top the lineup for the Lady Rebels. Gantcheva is 6-3 at the No. 1 spot and 22-8 this season.

Saturday will mark the sixth time that the Sooners and Lady Rebels have met, with UNLV owning a 4-1 record over Oklahoma.

Last Time Out
The Sooners dropped two difficult road matches to then-No. 46 Arizona and No. 44 Fresno State at the Wathen Tennis Center in Fresno, Calif., on Feb. 18 and 19.

Due to heavy rains, the Sooners did not play any doubles matches against Arizona. In singles junior Monica Purice picked up a win at the No. 3 spot to give the Sooners their only point in the 5-1 decision. Against Fresno State, freshman Gabriela Nastasa won her match at No. 6 singles to put the score at 6-1.

Match Notes
  With the two losses, Oklahoma fell to a 4-3 overall record.
  Freshman Gabriela Nastasa made her second career appearance against Fresno State and defeated Bruna Paes, 3-5, 7-6, (9-7). She is now 2-0 in spring matches.
  Sophomore Gabby Baker and junior Monica Purice are 6-5 in spring matches, a team best.

Scouting UNLV
The No. 44 UNLV Lady Rebels are coming off of a loss to No. 39 Fresno State in the Lady Rebel Classic on Feb. 26. The loss dropped them to a 6-3 record.

Sophomore Elena Gantcheva has played every match this spring at the No. 1 spot and owns a 6-3 spring record and a 22-8 overall mark. In doubles, Gantcheva has paired with Nikol Dimitrova at No. 1 doubles and has tallied a 7-2 record.

Johnson Enters 18th Year at Oklahoma
After 17 years as the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Oklahoma, Mark Johnson has accumulated 276 victories and has coached 23 conference champions, four NCAA singles qualifiers and five pairs of NCAA doubles qualifiers.  In addition, the five time Coach of the Year has also led eight consecutive teams to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic honors.



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