NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team heads to Orlando for a pair of matchups at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona, Fla.
The Sooners will take on USF Friday at noon in a neutral site contest. On Saturday, OU faces Texas A&M as part of USTA College MatchDay, an elite event that showcases fourteen of the country's top NCAA Division I teams.
“We are very excited to be part of this special series of College MatchDay events hosted by the USTA,” said head coach Nick Crowell. “Playing big matches in big time environments is what we want to do here at Oklahoma. Our guys have preparing very hard and we look forward to the opportunities this weekend against USF and Texas A&M.”
The No. 29 Sooners head to Orlando with a 7-1 overall record. In its last match, OU dominated in-state rival Tulsa, winning 6-1 in its first road contest of the season on Feb. 9.
Alex Bakshi leads the Sooners with a 5-0 record on courts one and two in singles. The junior broke into the ITA rankings this week, tabbed No. 108. No. 22 Ferran Calvo is 1-2 on the year on courts one, two and three.
Two more Sooners remain undefeated in singles action: Jochen Bertsch has compiled a 6-0 record on courts three, four and five; and James Davis has a 2-0 mark in the six slot. Freshman Jake Van Emburgh owns a 4-1 record at No. 4 singles.
In doubles play, Van Emburgh and Calvo have yet to drop a match, good for a 5-0 mark from the top spot. The German duo of Bertsch and Oetzbach is 4-2 at No. 2 doubles, and newcomers Bakshi and Davis are 4-2 on court three.
In singles play, Alberto Barroso-Campos is ranked No. 71 in the latest ITA release and owns a 4-3 record on courts one and two. Peter Bertran is 3-2 from the No. 2 and No. 3 lines.
Bertran and Jakub Wojcik have own a 4-1 mark on courts two and three in doubles play. Barroso-Campos and Grayson Goldin are 4-3 in the top spot.
Friday’s matchup will be the first-ever meeting between the Bulls and Oklahoma.
The No. 5 Aggies come into Saturday’s contest following a run to the semifinal of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Texas A&M defeated then-No. 11 Florida, 4-0, and upset then-No. 3 North Carolina, 4-3, en route to the semifinals, where it fell to No. 7 UCLA, 4-2.
The Aggies are 7-2 on the season and 3-2 against ranked opponents.
The Texas A&M roster boasts five ranked singles players: No. 17 Valentin Vacherot, No. 21 Arthur Rinderknech, No. 46 Patrick Kypson, No. 51 Jordi Arconada and No. 86 AJ Catanzariti.
Kypson, a freshman, leads the Aggies from the No. 1 line, where he is 4-3. Rinderknech owns a 6-1 mark and is 5-1 on court two. Arconada is 7-2 overall with a 5-2 record in the three spot.
Vacherot is 5-1 overall and 4-1 at No. 4 singles. Juan Carlos Aguilar, who is not ranked, is 7-1 on the year with a 6-0 mark on court five.
In doubles, Aguilar and Arconada are 1-3 on the year between courts one and two and tabbed No. 29 in the latest ITA release. Rinderknech and Kypson are 1-1 from the No. 1 line and are ranked No. 42 nationally. Arconada and Kevin Lam are No. 31 in the ITA rankings, but have not played a match together yet this season.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series with the Sooners, 28-16-1. The last time the teams met was in 2015, when the then-No. 13 Aggies upset No. 1 Oklahoma, 4-3, in College Station. The loss was OU’s first of that historic season which saw the Sooners to a 29-3 overall record that included the 2015 ITA National Indoor title and an appearance an NCAA finals appearance.
USTA College MatchDay
College MatchDay is annual event that showcases a number of the country’s top college tennis programs at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, with eight team matches on six dates, including several rivalry matchups and two combined men’s and women’s events. College MatchDay is one of the USTA’s primary platforms to promote college tennis, with six of last year’s matchups drawing 5,348 total fans to the National Campus.
The National Campus’ 1,200-seat collegiate stadium – the only off-campus stadium in America built specifically for college tennis – will host 14 of the country’s premier NCAA Division I tennis programs in MatchDay events, which began on Feb. 3, when the Florida and Florida State men and women played simultaneously on both sides of the Campus’ 12-court stadium.
First serve against USF is set for 12 p.m. CT. Live stats will be available for the Sooners’ match with USF Friday.
The College MatchDay clash with Texas A&M begins at 9:30 a.m. CT, and will be broadcast on the Tennis Channel, as well as online at the Tennis Channel Everywhere. Live stats will also be available for the match.
Complimentary tickets for the College MatchDay event can be found here. Fans are encouraged to reserve tickets online in advance.
For more information on College MatchDay, visit the College MatchDay home page on the USTA National Campus' website.
For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter.