Trio of Sooners Named to All-Big 12 Teams
NORMAN – Three members of the Oklahoma men’s tennis team have earned All-Big 12 recognition, the conference announced Wednesday.
Alex Bakshi and Spencer Papa were tabbed All-Big 12 Singles Second Team while Bakshi and Stefano Tsorotiotis were named to the conference’s doubles second team.
"It's always great to see our guys on the All-Big 12 Team," said OU head coach Nick Crowell. "We play in the toughest league in the nation and our guys have worked extremely hard to be up there and recognized with the best."
Alex Bakshi — All-Big 12 Singles Second Team
Bakshi compiled a 10-5 record on the season at the top three spots in the lineup. The senior tallied eight wins over ranked opponents, including an upset of No. 7 Yuya Ito of Texas in the Big 12 Championship semifinals. The senior is currently ranked No. 41 in the most recent ITA singles release.
The accolade is the second of Bakshi’s career after he was named to the All-Big 12 Singles First Team in 2018 and earned player-of-the-year honors.
Bakshi has punched his ticket to the 2019 NCAA singles championships for his second straight appearance in the tournament. The Tbilisi, Georgia, native advanced to the second round in 2018.
Spence Papa — All-Big 12 Singles Second Team
After returning from an injury that sidelined him for the 2018 season, redshirt senior Papa led OU from the No. 1 line where he went 8-7 on the year. The veteran took down five ranked players and twice earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors. Papa checks in at No. 32 in the ITA singles rankings.
This is Papa’s second All-Big 12 honor after the Sooner was named to the second team in 2017.
Papa has earned a trip to the 2019 NCAA individual Championships, where he will make his second career appearance.
Stefano Tsorotiotis/Alex Bakshi — All-Big 12 Doubles Second Team
Tsorotiotis and Bakshi broke on to the scene during Big 12 action and went 6-3 on the season, good for a No. 25 ranking in the latest ITA release. The duo has defeated ranked opponents in three of its last four matches, including No. 4 Bjorn Thomson and Parker Wynn of Texas Tech in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals.
Bakshi and Tsorotiotis are set for the NCAA doubles championships. An OU doubles team has not played in the championships since 2017, when the tandem of Papa and Andrew Harris brought home the Sooners’ first-ever NCAA individual title.
The No. 21 Sooners make their 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance Friday when they take on No. 29 Arizona at 10 a.m. CT in College Station, Texas. Should OU win the match, it will face either host No. 13 Texas A&M or Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the second round.