OU faces former conference rival Texas A&M on Sunday.
Feb. 23, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 9 University of Oklahoma men's tennis team (7-2) travels to College Station, Texas, to face No. 14 Texas A&M (8-3) Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m.
"Whoever comes out on top, I don't think the match is going to be easy either way," OU head coach John Roddick said. "We know it's going to be a hard fought match [featuring] two teams that have a chance to do well nationally throughout the rest of the year. So it'll be a fun match for the guys."
The Sooners enter the match after going 2-1 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash., last weekend. OU lost to No. 5 Duke in the first round, but followed by beating No. 19 Washington and No. 12 California in the consolation rounds.
Both OU and Texas A&M boast several ITA-ranked singles and doubles players.
In singles, Guillermo Alcorta, Costin Paval and Dane Webb are ranked Nos. 65, 68 and 199, respectively. Paval and Webb partner as the No. 19 doubles team.
The Aggies have three ranked singles players. Shane Vinsant is the highest ranked, at No. 67. Jackson Winthrow is No. 100 and Harrison Adams is No. 124. Texas A&M also has two ranked doubles teams. The Vinsant and Adams team are seventh and Winthrow pairs with Junior Ore at No. 124.
"It's different for us because it's a non-conference match and that's why it's so early," Roddick said. "Normally we wouldn't be playing a team like that outside this early."
The Sooners lost to the Aggies in the 2011 Big 12 Championship Final, but swept Texas A&M last season, once in regular season play, 5-2, and once during the Big 12 Championships, 4-1.
The match against Texas A&M also marks the beginning of OU's outdoor season.
"I think most of our players play better outdoors, so we're looking forward to going outdoors," freshman Leonard Stakhovsky said. "We're really excited to play on Sunday."
This match continues the Sooners' long road stretch, which began Feb. 15 at National Indoors. They will not return home until March 12, and face Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Virginia and Louisville before then.
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