NORMAN, Okla. — No.3 Oklahoma heads south to Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend in hopes of capturing its third straight Big 12 Tournament title.
The Sooners (21-2) have recorded the best season in OU men’s tennis history and with their 6-1 win over Oklahoma State on April 20 earned their second regular season title in the last three seasons.
“Winning the tournament would mean a lot to the program,” OU head coach John Roddick said. “I think it would put an exclamation point on the best season OU men’s tennis has ever had. So from that stand point, it would be really nice.”
In 2012, nearly two decades after its first conference title; OU upset Baylor 4-3 to bring the title back to Norman. The Sooners extended their title as conference champs in 2013 on their home court, upsetting Baylor for the second straight year.
“For our team, a three-peat would solidify our dominance here at Oklahoma,” junior Nick Papac said. “It’s been a really long time since we’ve been in a position to win multiple conference titles in a row. So for us, as a team, it would mean that we really set ourselves apart from previous teams and other teams in our conference.”
Before hoisting that trophy for the third time, OU faces perhaps the toughest draw in the tournament.
“We’re No. 3 in the country and we have the toughest draw in the tournament that a team could get,” Roddick said. “But it’s a good test and we’ll see how tough this team really is.”
OU, the No. 3 seed, opens up tournament play against the hosting team, 6th-seeded TCU. The two teams faced off earlier this season, with the Sooners sliding past the Horned Frogs, 4-3.
“When we play TCU, the second time around, we just need to make sure we take care of business,” junior Dane Webb said. “We’ve been doing that pretty well lately, with wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and not let it get too close.”
With how the brackets unfolded this year OU has a chance to face Texas again, and the team is eager for a chance to avenge their lone regular season conference loss.
“I’m really excited to possibly play Texas again,” Webb said. “We lost a close one to them last time and I want another chance to play them.”
The Sooners’ match against TCU begins at 12 p.m., Friday, April 25.