NORMAN – The Oklahoma women’s tennis team opened 2017 with a 6-1 victory over UTEP Saturday at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
The Sooners (1-0) opened the contest by winning the doubles point over UTEP (0-3), then claimed five of six singles matches in straight sets.
“It’s awesome in so many ways,” said head coach Audra Cohen following her first win at Oklahoma. “It was nice to see the girls compete – we’ve been working really hard and for them to all get out here and compete and compete together at the same time. All the energy in this building has been great to watch all day.”
At No. 1 doubles, junior Lily Miyazaki and freshman Julie Byrne topped the Miners' Vivienne Kulicke and Milou Pietersz, 6-3. UTEP’s Visscher and Bennett defeated OU’s Serena Nash and Mimi Fotopolous, 6-3, at the No. 3 line.
Juniors Malene Stripp and Simran Sethi clinched the doubles points for the Sooners grabbing a 6-3 victory on court two.
Oklahoma made a statement in singles play, with five Sooners winning in straight sets. Miyazaki, Nash, Stripp, Sethi and Byrne all won their matches by margin of two games or more.
No. 10 Miyazaki made quick work of UTEP's Vivienne Kullcke, 6-1, 6-2, on court one. Nash put the Sooners up 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 win at the No. 3 line over the Miners' Lois Wagenvoort.
On court six, Byrne clinched the match for the Sooners with 6-2, 6-3 win over the Miners' Raven Bennett. Sethi and Stripp extended OU's lead to 6-0 by earning 6-4, 6-4 victories on courts four and five, respectively.
Byrne had a strong showing in her spring debut. The freshman worked her way into the lineup and competed in doubles and singles play Saturday, winning both matches with what Cohen calls her “chutzpah".
“I was really impressed with (Julie)," Cohen said of Byrne. "She’s a freshman and this is her first dual match and she came out and really came out firing and played offensive tennis, which is true to who she is.”
The Sooners are back in action next Sunday when they visit Arkansas. Match time is 1 p.m. CT in Fayetteville, Ark.
For more information on Oklahoma women’s tennis, follow @OU_WTennis on Twitter.