OU Wins Thriller to Advance to Round of 16
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 21 Oklahoma men’s tennis team came out on top of a 4-3 thriller against No. 13 Texas A&M on Sunday in College Station to earn a spot in the NCAA Tennis Championships round of 16.
With the match tied at 3-all, freshman Mason Beiler battled through a third-set tiebreaker on court five to claim the match for the Sooners with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) comeback victory.
"It's unbelievable. It's an unbelievable feeling. I love these guys. I'm just so glad I was finally able to get it done for the team," said Beiler. "I love these guys. We go in day in and day out and do the work side by side. You can't help but love these guys."
Beiler won his first set against Noah Schecter 6-2 before Schecter came back to claim set two 6-4 and force a wild third set that went to a tiebreaker. Beiler fell behind 5-3 in the breaker before working his way back to claim it 9-7 and send his team to the round of 16.
Elsewhere in the match, OU took the doubles point and added singles wins from Jochen Bertsch and Ferran Calvo.
"Unbelievable effort today," said OU head coach Nick Crowell. "These guys stayed out here all afternoon and played a heck of a doubles point to get us a lead and we got a couple guys off the court quick. It turned into a dog fight out here and these guys just stayed with it the whole match. It was a team effort; everyone that played got a win today."
In doubles, OU's Spencer Papa and Max Stewart got things started with a 6-4 victory over Pranav Kumar and Hady Habib on court three. The duo led the entire match and ended it on a service winner from Papa.
On court two, Jake Van Emburgh and Calvo fell to Val Vacherot and Noah Schacter 6-4.
The point came down to court one, where No. 25 Alex Bakshi and Stefano Tsorotiotis posted a 6-4 upset of No. 8 Carlos Aguilar and Barnaby Smith. The Sooners pulled away after tying the match at 3-all, then Bakshi used an ace to put it away.
The Aggies tied the match at 1-all when No. 44 Bakshi fell to No. 58 Habib 7-5, 6-0 on court two.
OU regained the lead when Bertsch took down Austin Abbrat 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 6 line. Bertsch gave up just two games in the first and never trailed in the second to tally his second win of the weekend.
No. 77 Van Emburgh fell to No. 86 Vacherot 6-3, 7-5 at the two spot and the match was tied once again at 2-2.
Calvo gave the Sooners the lead with a win on court four. The senior roared through his first set against No. 120 Smith 6-2 before facing a tight second set that went to a tiebreaker. Calvo jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the breaker before Smith tied it at 4-all, but the Sooner prevailed 7-6 (5).
No. 32 Papa dropped a heartbreaker to No. 31 Aguilar, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.
The match came down to Beiler on court five and the freshman held on for a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) win over Schecter to claim the win for OU.
The Sooners are set for a round-of-16 meeting against Wake Forest on Friday at 3 p.m. CT in Winston Salem, N.C. The winner will head to the quarterfinals, held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., May 16-19.
1. #31 Juan Carlos Aguilar (TAMU) def. #32 Spencer Papa (OU) 6-0, 4-6, 7-5
2. #58 Hady Habib (TAMU) def. #41 Alex Bakshi (OU) 7-5, 6-0
3. #86 Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. #77 Jake Van Emburgh (OU) 6-3, 7-5
4. Ferran Calvo (OU) def. #120 Barnaby Smith (TAMU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Mason Beiler (OU) def. Noah Schachter (TAMU) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7)
6. Jochen Bertsch (OU) def. Austin Abbrat (TAMU) 6-2, 6-4
1. Alex Bakshi/Stefano Tsorotiotis (OU) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Barnaby Smith (TAMU) 6-4
2. Valentin Vacherot/Noah Schachter (TAMU) def. Jake Van Emburgh/Ferran Calvo (OU) 6-3
3. Spencer Papa/Max Stewart (OU) def. Hady Habib/Pranav Kumar (TAMU) 6-4