NORMAN - The 12th-ranked Oklahoma men’s tennis team was victorious in its first two matches of the 2017 spring campaign on Sunday, defeating Abilene Christian 7-0, and Nebraska-Omaha, 6-1.
Senior Alex Ghilea and junior Spencer Papa started things off on the right note for Oklahoma, as the doubles duo took care of business in defeating ACU’s Henry Adams and Nico Agritelley, 6-1, early on.
"We've got a lot of new players in here and it was great to see them compete today. We saw a lot of good things all day long."
- Head Coach Nick Crowell
It was eventually Bertsch and Harris who pulled out a victory in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-2), to give the Sooners the doubles point. The duo battled back from an early service break to give Oklahoma the doubles point. Bragusi and Oetzbach went 5-6, unfinished.
The Sooners powered their way through singles, as all six Oklahoma victories came in straight sets.
Papa, ranked No. 18 by the ITA, grabbed the Sooners' first singles win of the day with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Josh Sheehy to earn the second point of the match.
Not long after, Bertsch, a freshman, earned his first career singles win donning the crimson and cream, as he took care of Paul-Michael Domanski 6-1, 6-3. Bragusi, ranked No. 118, then defeated Jonathan Sheehy, 6-2, 6-2, to tally his first singles victory of the 2017 campaign.
At No. 4 singles, Oetzbach, also freshman, joined his German teammate, Bertsch, in winning his first-ever singles match as a Sooner. Oetzbach defeated Hunter Holman, 6-3, 6-3.
Also winning his first singles match as a member of the Oklahoma squad was sophomore Adrian Chamdani. The Duke transfer was victorious over Sebastian Langdon, 6-2, 6-4.
Ghilea defeated Agritelley 6-3, 6-2, to give Oklahoma the 7-0 win over the Wildcats.
In the second half of the doubleheader, Oklahoma earned its second win of the day, beating Omaha 6-1.
Chamdani and Harris raced off to a fast start and never looked back, as the Oklahoma tandem took down Omaha’s duo of Matt Dunn and Nathan Reekie, 6-1. Soon after, Ghilea and Papa clinched the doubles point for the Sooners with their 6-4 victory over Razvan Grigorescu and Colin Buckley on court one.
Freshman Arnaud Restifo, in his first collegiate singles match, was dominant in his 6-1, 6-1 victory over Louis-Jonas Heizlsperger at the No. 6 position, giving the Sooners their first singles point.
Bertsch then took down Paul-Michael Domanski, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 4 spot for another Oklahoma singles point. Bragusi clinched the match, defeating Jonathan Sheehy 6-2, 6-2.
Following the clincher, Oetzbach defeated Hunter Holman (6-3, 6-3) and Chamdani took down Sebastian Langdon (6-2, 6-4), to add two more points for OU. Papa fell to Grigorescu, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 in singles to finalize the score at 6-1 in favor of the Sooners.
The wins were not only Oklahoma’s first of the season, but also the first of head coach Nick Crowell’s career. The first-year head coach came to Norman after 13 years at Florida State as an assistant and associate head coach.
"We're glad to come out and get two W's here," Crowell said. "We've got a lot of new players in here and it was great to see them compete today. We saw a lot of good things all day long, and we're looking forward to this next weekend coming up."
Ghilea, a two-time All-Big 12 honoree and veteran for this year's group, was pleased how the new additions to the team performed.
"It was great to see," Ghilea said. "I was really impressed by Adrian Chamdani in his doubles match. Jochen Bertsch and Adrian Oetzbach played two great singles matches, and Arnaud (Restifo) had a really good singles match. I remember when I was first a freshman, I was very nervous, so for him (Restifo) to win 6-1, 6-1, was a great accomplishment."
The squad will be back in action on Saturday as they travel to North Carolina to take on No. 2 Wake Forest at 5 p.m. CT.
For more information on OU men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter @OU_MTennis.