Tulsa Men's Tennis Completes Conference USA Three-Peat
April 20, 2008
Dallas, Texas - Since joining Conference USA three years ago, the University of Tulsa men's tennis program has won the league's championship title and received the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The Golden Hurricane earned this year's title with a 4-1 victory over No. 22 and second seed Rice Sunday at the Turpin Tennis Stadium in Dallas. The Owls have been runner-ups to TU the last three seasons. The victory gives the ninth-ranked Golden Hurricane a dual mark of 21-4, including a record of 13-4 against ranked opponents.
Tulsa scored first by earning a tough double point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. After the score was tied at 2-2, TU's Victor Kolik and Alberto Sottocorno rallied off six-straight points for a 7-2 advantage over Bruno Rosa and Filip Zivojinovic. The duo cruised to an 8-3 win. No. 2 doubles saw Rice's duo of Chong Wang and Tobias Scheil push Tulsa's 38th-ranked duo of Arnau Brugues and Ricardo Soriano to the limit before the Golden Hurricane pair claimed a 9-7 win, after seeing the match tied seven times.
The best doubles match of the day, between two ranked teams, was pulled off the court after Tulsa clinched the doubles point. Rice's No. 24 tandem of Christoph Muller and Ralph Knupfer was leading No. 25 Andy Connelly and Ross Cunningham, 7-5.
Senior co-captain Cunningham put the Hurricane up 2-0 with an easy 6-1, 6-3 win over Polyakov at No. 6 singles, while Brugues, TU's top player and 22nd-ranked, upset No. 15 Rosa, 6-1, 6-4, for the team's third point, giving Tulsa a 3-1 lead.
Clinching the championship title was Tulsa native and senior co-captain Will Gray. Gray dispatched Knupfer, 6-3, 6-4, to give Tulsa its third C-USA Championship in as many years. Gray's victory gives him 87 career singles victories, which places him fourth all-time in TU history. Muller scored the Owls only point with a 6-4, 6-2 win over freshman Kolik at No. 2 singles. Kolik had won four previous matches against ranked opponents before falling to No. 50 Muller. Tulsa's next action will be determined after the draw for the 2008 NCAA Championships is set. The field will be announced on Tuesday, April 29 between 3:00-3:30 p.m. CT on ESPNews. The Golden Hurricane women also won its second-straight C-USA tennis championship title with a 4-1 win over Marshall in Houston earlier today.
#9 Tulsa 4, #22 Rice 1
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