OU Ready for Clash with Cornell
NORMAN – The No. 18 Oklahoma men’s tennis team returns to the Headington Family Tennis Center Saturday to host Cornell at 2 p.m. CT.
Last Time Out
In its last match, OU (5-2) fell to then-No. 24 Michigan 4-2 in Ann Arbor. The Sooners picked up the doubles point via a 7-6 (1) win from Spencer Papa and Jake Van Emburgh at the top spot and Alex Bakshi and Stefano Tsorotiotis’ 7-5 victory at the No. 2 line.
In singles, Tsorotiotis came away with a victory. The sophomore got a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over Gabe Tishman on court five.
Sooners in the Rankings
Redshirt senior Papa broke into the first ITA singles rankings of the season at No. 47. Papa is 4-1 on the year from the No. 1 line.
In doubles Papa and Van Emburgh are No. 33 after compiling a 5-1 record, also at the top spot.
As a team, OU held steady at No. 18 overall. The Sooners were also tabbed No. 22 in the Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25.
The Sooners have won the doubles point in six of their seven matches this season. Four different doubles pairs have clinched the point for OU, with Van Emburgh and Papa sealing two matches at the top spot and Alex Bakshi and Stefano Tsorotiotis also winning two at the No. 2 and 3 lines.
Cornell enters the matchup at 2-2 on the year. In its last weekend of competition, the Big Red fell to then-No. 24 Michigan 4-1 before sweeping Michigan State 4-0, both on the road.
Cornell’s lineup features two ranked players in No. 15 David Volfson and No. 101 Lev Kazakov. Kazakov owns a 2-1 mark at the No. 2 spot, while Volfson has yet to play a match this spring.
Alafia Ayeni leads the Big Red from the top spot, where he is 2-1 on the year. Ayeni and Eero Vasa have combined a 2-1 record in doubles, playing primarily at the No. 1 position.
The teams last met in 2018 at Cornell, with OU prevailing 4-2. Current Sooners Bakshi, Van Emburgh and Calvo all notched singles wins after OU picked up the doubles point.
The Sooners last clashed with Cornell in Norman in 2017, when the Big Red pulled off a 4-3 victory. OU opened the match with the doubles point and Papa got a win at the top spot, but Cornell came out on top.
Free donuts will be provided while supplies last.
OU Athletics has introduced a clear bag policy and walk-through metal detectors at all home events this season. More information on the policy and procedures can be found here.
Admission to the Headington Family Tennis Center is always free.
OU is back on the road for a meeting with Arkansas on Feb. 16. The Sooners will then play a pair of matches at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. OU will face Mississippi State on Feb. 23 before meeting Kentucky on Feb. 24. The Mississippi State match will be contested as part of the 2019 USTA National Campus Collegiate Series, which showcases some of the premier schools in the nation at the Collegiate Center.