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Sooners Land Four in the ITA Preseason Rankings

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team landed four Sooners in the ITA preseason singles rankings and one team in the doubles release, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Tuesday.

Alex Bakshi clocked in at No. 16 nationally. Bakshi is coming off a junior season that saw him earn both Big 12 Newcomer and Player of the Year honors. Bakshi compiled a 21-6 overall record in 2017-18, including a 4-0 mark in conference action, with all of those wins over ranked opponents. Bakshi was an at-large selection for the NCAA singles tournament, where he advanced to the second round. Over the summer, the senior captured a doubles title at the ITF Georgia Futures tournament in his hometown of Tblisi.

Senior Ferran Calvo is ranked No. 34 to open the fall season. Calvo put together a 31-10 campaign during his junior year, qualifying for the NCAA singles championships. Calvo, who hails from Valencia, Spain, opened his career at OU on a 17-0 run during the 2017 fall slate, winning two individual titles along the way. 

Jake Van Emburgh is No. 70 in the singles rankings. The sophomore had a successful summer, bringing home the 2018 Oracle/ITA National Summer Championships singles title after winning all six of his matches in the tournament in straight sets. In his first year at OU, Van Emburgh went 25-6 in singles and garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors, as well as the ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year Award. The IMG Academy product went undefeated (3-0) against Big 12 competition, and was the only Sooners freshman to appear in every match during spring duals.

Redshirt senior Spencer Papa makes his return to the court this fall, ranked No. 118 overall. Papa competed during the 2017 fall season, but redshirted due to injury during the spring. Papa was the 2017 doubles national champion, and played in the 2017 US Open’s doubles main draw by virtue of winning the NCAA championship.

The Sooners are one of just seven teams in Division I tennis to land four or more players in the preseason singles rankings. 

In doubles, Bakshi and Van Emburgh enter the fall at No. 13 in the ITA release. The duo was ranked as high as No. 40 during spring duals after compiling a 4-5 record at the No. 1 line. Bakshi and Van Emburgh were named to the All-Big 12 second team.

The Sooners return to action Friday at the Alabama 4-in-the-Fall, hosted by the University of Alabama.

For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter.  

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