May 11, 2008
Tulsa Head Coach - Vince Westbrook
Your thoughts about 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.
In singles, (Arnau) Brugues plays very well beating the number-3 ranked player in the country. Viktor (Kolik) hadn't hit a ball in three weeks and gave it all he had today. At No. 3, Will (Gray) had one match point in the second set to win that match, and then put himself in a deep hole in the third set. Ricardo (Soriano) played solid at four, Alberto (Sottocorno) played very solid at five. Losing at six was very disappointing.
On Losing the Doubles Point:
Absolutely, winning the doubles point is a big momentum boost. Especially in this type of tournament, the doubles point is huge. You win the doubles point and you have a 1-0 advantage, so having to make up for that lost point and win four singles matches is very tough. Like I told our guys, we win as a team, we lose as a team. Of course, we're very disappointed, but we've had a great year. We're 22-5, the best year in program history and the highest ranking in school history. This one hurts because we thought we should be here playing next week. We knew it was going to be tough when you put our rival against us.
Is this loss even tougher because the NCAA Championships is on your home court:
Oklahoma State Head Coach - James Wadley
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.
Your thoughts about the match:
"Tulsa has a great, great team, I felt like they just outplayed us the last time, we knew we had a shot this time if we just played our best tennis and today we played really well. Our No. 2 and No. 3 guys that been struggling the last part of the year because of injuries, just battled their butts off today. Ivan (Puchkarov) was able to win at No. 2 and (Dmytro) Petrov there at three to win that match, then (Igor) Sobolta are kid at No. 6 won a good singles match. I was very happy with our guys in doubles, they came out and really battled, they swept in doubles last time, in all three doubles easily, this time we were able to jump on them and really fight and play hard. I thought our guys really rose to the occasion, it's tough a lot of pressure is on Tulsa and they have a terrific team and this match could have gone either way, one point or the other, one way or the other, it could have been really easily 6-3 their way or what ever. It was good match, I was very happy with the quality of play. I thought the quality of play on all the courts was very good, it was really good college tennis, it was college tennis at its best."
Talk about the perseverance of you guys, so many times this match could have swung either way:
"That's exactly right, of course they all are looking at this gigantic scoreboard here, so they know what is going on all the courts and it is very difficult to play under the pressure, of course we are away from home, even though Tulsa is kind of our second home, we practice over here a lot. You know, I can't say enough, I could have seen us get beat 4-0 today, but I was real happy our guys really battled and performed at a really high rate. The No. 1 match was the two best players in the state battling and Tulsa was able to win that. I though it was tremendous college tennis."
Talk about this rivalry and does it mean more to win:
It is a tremendous rivalry. It always means more. Vince (Westbrook) and Mike (Wheelen) are great friends of mine and it was a battle. We get along well, we compete as hard as we can and there isn't anyone I would rather beat than Vince and there isn't anyone he would rather beat than me. It was a great college match and I appreciate all our fans that showed up, we had a good contingent come over from Stillwater, so it made it great for the guys."
You have played in the National Championships before, but to play at your second home:
Well it is very special to be able to play in this arena; you know we have a singles player (Oleksandr) Nedovyesov and a doubles team in, but to have our team going back to the sweet sixteen, when people really counted us out because we were struggling late in the season with Ivan (Puchkarov) injured and (Dmytro) Petrov injured and we just had to come together today and of course the biggest win was No. 6 singles today, kind of goes unsung because it was finished so quick. (Igor) Sobolta being able to beat Ross Cunningham in a three-setter, set this up for (Dmytro) Petrov and Ivan (Puchkarov) could win a match for us."