NORMAN -- Oklahoma men’s tennis continued it’s home-court dominance Friday evening, defeating Tulsa 7-0 at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman, Okla.
Coming off back-to-back wins against No. 7 Northwestern and No. 6 Florida at National Indoors, the 5th-ranked Sooners won the doubles point and then swept singles, including four three-set matches, to take the win over the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa, which came in ranked No. 41 in the nation and boasting a win over then-No. 4 Texas, fell to 4-7 on the season.
"Tonight was a hard-fought battle," OU head coach Nick Crowell said. "Our guys stayed tough when Tulsa made a big push."
Oklahoma came out of the gates hot, earning the doubles point for the eighth time in 12 tries this year. The Sooners’ tandem of freshman Jochen Bertsch and senior Spencer Papa first defeated Tulsa’s Okkie Kellerman/Dominic Bechard, 6-3. OU’s senior duo of Florin Bragusi and Alex Ghilea clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 defeat of Okkie Kellerman/Dominic Berchard at the No. 2 spot.
The Sooners carried their momentum over to singles, led by Bragusi who made quick work of Bechard in a 6-0, 6-2 win that took just 45 minutes at line three. The win pushed Bragusi to 9-1 in singles.
"Florin did a great job of pushing our lead to 2-0 and getting off quick," Crowell said. "Spencer and Oetzbach were both down match points and won their matches."
Freshman Arnaud Restifo hits a shot during his 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Daniel Santos at No. 6 singles. He improved to 3-0 in singles on the year.
Bertsch extended Oklahoma’s lead to 3-0 with his 7-6, 6-3 win at the No. 5 position over Jarod Hing. The freshman continued his clutch play this season, as he bounced back from a 5-2 deficit in both the first set and first set tiebreaker to win the match. The victory pushed the Mannheim, Germany, native, who has proven to be a key component in Oklahoma's 10-2 run this season, to 8-1 in singles in 2017.
Ghilea clinched the match for his team, bouncing back in a big way after falling 6-3 in the first set and dropping the first three games of set two. The Neamt, Romania, native went on to win 10 consecutive games en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. Oklahoma extended its lead to 5-0 when freshman Arnaud Restifo moved to 3-0 in the year in singles with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win at the No. 6 spot.
"Alex was a set and break down and Jochen fought off a 2-5 deficit," Crowell said of his players. "We were resilient again tonight and we look to build on it. It's always good to get all seven points. Tonight, that was our goal and we did it. I'm proud of our team and now we can turn our focus to another shot at Ohio State."
Oklahoma earned yet another point when 24th-ranked Papa, at the No. 1 position, took down No. 25 Ram-Harel, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8). It marked Papa's second consecutive win over a top-25 opponent.
After dropping the opening set, freshman Adrian Oetzbach climbed out of a 5-2 hole in the third set at No. 5 to win the what proved to be the last match remaining, 7-5 (6-7, 6-3, 7-5), and secure the sweep for the Sooners.
The 7-0 win was the Sooners' third straight and pushed Oklahoma to 10-2 on the season. Crowell's team has earned four top-25 wins, two of which came over top-10 opponents. OU is 7-0 on its home court in 2017.
Oklahoma will return to action after a nine-day break on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, for a date with the 2nd-ranked Buckeyes. The Crimson and Cream return to the Headington Family Tennis Center on March 12 for a matchup with Cornell. As always, admission to regular season matches is free for all fans.
For more information on Oklahoma men's tennis, follow the team on Twitter @OU_MTennis.
1. Bertsch/Papa (OU) def. Kellerman/Bechard - 6-3
2. Ghilea/Bragusi (OU) def. Kilani/Or Ram-Harel - 6-3
3. Chamdani/Oetzbach (OU) vs. Pritchard/Santos - 4-4 UNF
1. #24 Spencer Papa def. #25 Or Ram-Harel - 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8)
2. #75 Alex Ghilea def. Majed Kilani - 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
3. #64 Florin Bragusi def. Dominic Bechard - 6-0, 6-2
4. Adrian Oetzbach def. Mitchell Pritchard - 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5
5. Jochen Bertsch def. Jarod Hing - 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
6. Arnaud Restifo def. Daniel Santos - 6-2, 3-6, 6-3