NORMAN, Okla.—The end of the fall 2013 season marked the best fall the University of Oklahoma’s men’s tennis team has ever recorded.
Heading into August the team looked to continue its success from the spring, where they were crowned Big 12 Champions.
In their first tournament of the year, the BU Invitational, the Sooners captured their first win when Axel Alvarez and Nick Papac won the doubles draw. Alvarez also reached the semifinals in the singles draw at the Invitational.
Guillermo Alcorta excelled at the ITA All-American Championships in Sept. The senior won five straight singles bracket matches before playing in the final round against Virginia’s Mitchell Frank.
Newcomer Andrew Harris proved this season why Oklahoma recruited him. Harris won the singles bracket at the USA F27 Futures in Oct. The Australian ousted three professional players, including Dennis Nevolo in the finals, en route to his first collegiate victory.
At the ITA Central Region Championships in early Nov., the Sooners shined in all phases of the game. In singles play head coach John Roddick saw two of his players, Dane Webb and Axel Alvarez, battle in the final round, where Alvarez was victorious. In the doubles bracket two OU tandems, Alvarez and Guillermo Alcorta along with Austin Siegel and Dane Webb reached the quarterfinals.
In their last tournament, the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, the Sooners finished out the season with strong performances and breaking records. Alvarez won three consecutive matches before appearing in the semifinals for a second time this year. OU also had three players advance to the quarterfinals, something that hasn’t been done at the tournament since 2008.
Heading into spring, Roddick says having numerous players competing well is exciting.
“For the most part it was a bunch of different guys doing well every week,” Roddick said. “Come the team season, that’s a good sign. I just know one through six we’re going to have tough people to beat every time.”
“As coach going into the spring it’s encouraging because I just know that we’re going to be tough to get points off in a lot of those positions, so that’s the exciting part.”
Roddick’s squad begins their spring season Jan.21, at home against Wichita State at 5 p.m.
For more on OU men’s tennis follow the team on Twitter @OU_MTennis.