Tulsa Men's Tennis Loses in a Heartbreaker to OSU, 4-3
May 11, 2008
Tulsa, Okla. - The University of Tulsa's men's tennis team lost a heartbreaker to in-state rival and No. 20-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The loss ends one of TU's best seasons, finishing with a record of 22-5, including a mark of 13-5 against ranked opponents. The Golden Hurricane also obtained the highest ranking in school history earlier this season of No. 8.
This was the second time Tulsa lost to the Cowboys in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the last time being in 1998.
The match was won at the No. 3 position with Dmytro Petrov coming back to defeat senior co-captain, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, after Gray had him at match point in the second set. Junior and 18th-ranked Arnau Brugues tied the match up at 3-3, by defeating No. 3 Oleksandr Nedovyesov, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The win was Brugues' ninth against ranked individuals and the highest opponent his has beaten this year.
No. 114 Ricardo Soriano gave TU its second win of the day and pushed the match score to 3-2. Soriano defeated Nathan Byrnes, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, at No. 4, the day after Byrnes clinched the win for OSU over Denver.
Alberto Sottocorno got TU's first win at No. 5, beating Anton Bobytskyi, 6-1, 6-2, in the first singles match to finish. Sottocorno win tied the match after Tulsa dropped the doubles point.
Freshman Victor Kolik and Ross Cunningham were defeated at positions No. 2 and No. 6, respectively. No. 82 Kolik fell to No. 71 Ivan Puchkarov, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), while Cunningham lost to Igor Sobolta, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
The Golden Hurricane dropped the doubles point to put them in a 1-0 hole. The combo of Gray and Sottocorno fell to Bobytskyi and Sobolta, 8-2, at the No. 3 doubles position. TU's No. 55 ranked pair of Brugues and Soriano was upset by Petrov and Puchkarov, 8-4. The match at No. 1 went unfinished with the No. 18 ranked duo of Byrnes and Nedovyesov leading, 7-4, over Andy Connelly and Cunningham.
Head coach Vince Westbrook said of the match, " Every time we play OSU, that's the way these matches go. We had our chances. Will Gray was serving for match point. The doubles cost us today. We came out very tentative in the doubles and that came back and hurt us." Westbrook said in being unable to reach the NCAA Championships on Tulsa's home court, "For four years, getting to next week on our home court, that's the reason these guys came here. We had our opportunities, and that's why we're so disappointed. This is what we worked for, for four years, but for these guys this is probably the highest-pressure situation they've been in. You have teams come in that can swing and play free, and we have a whole community that wants us there. There's that type of pressure. Hopefully, we'll mature as a program because of this and be able to break through in the future. We'll have a great team next year."
Tulsa will have three representatives at the NCAA Championships, No. 18 Brugues and No. 27 doubles team of Connelly and Cunningham. The singles and doubles portion of the NCAA Championships begins on Wednesday, May 21st.
#20 Oklahoma State University 4, #11 Tulsa 3
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE