Norman, Okla.—An impressive singles performance by senior Whitney Ritchie helped lead No. 20 Oklahoma to a 4-3 win over No. 49 Utah Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
With the match tied at three-all, Ritchie battled to a third set against Tereza Bekerova to clinch the match with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
“Ritchie stepped up when we needed her most,” head coach David Mullins said. “She found a way to get another big win at No. 1 singles today."
Earning the other two singles victories for the Sooners was senior Hermon Brhane and junior Abbi Melrose. Brhane defeated Sarah Pham 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 2 position while Melrose defeated Luisa Rosa 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 6 position.
The Sooners first point came in doubles where the team notched their tenth straight doubles win. Ritchie and senior Mia Lancaster defeated Tereza Bekerova and Paige Miles 8-7 to give the Sooners an advantage. Freshman Morgan Chumney and sophomore Emma Devine clinched the point defeating Luisa Rosa and Sarah Richter, 8-7.
"We had little to no business winning doubles today but the team fought as hard as they could to erase big deficits on all three courts,” Mullins said. “Without that point I don't believe we would have won this match today."
Oklahoma finished the month of February with a perfect 6-0 record, including a 4-0 mark on the road and a 5-0 mark against ranked teams.
"We showed that we can handle adversity pretty well this year away from home,” Mullins said. “This weekend has made us a better team in the long run. It was a great way to cap of a spectacular February.”
The Sooners next stop will be in Stillwater as they take on Oklahoma State in a non-conference Bedlam matchup Sunday March 9 at 1 p.m. The meet will air on ESPN3 as part of the College MatchDay initiative.
OKLAHOMA 4, UTAH 3
1. Ritchie/Lancaster (OU) def. Bekerova/Miles (Utah), 8-7
2. Devine/Chumney (OU) def. Rosa/Richter (Utah), 8-7
3. Engbroks/Brhane (OU) & Craig/Pham (Utah), Unfinished
Order of Finish: 1, 2
1. Ritchie (OU) def. Bekerova (Utah) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2. Brhane (OU) def. Pham (Utah) 6-3, 6-2
3. Craig (Utah) def. Lancaster (OU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Richter (Utah) def. Chumney (OU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Miles (Utah) def. Devine (OU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Melrose (OU) def. Rosa (Utah) 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 5, 3, 6, 1