March 1 | 6 p.m. CT | Norman | Headington Family Tennis Center
March 3 | 1 p.m. CT | Norman | Headington Family Tennis Center
NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team kicks off its four-match homestand this weekend with Tulsa Friday at 6 p.m. CT, followed by Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
OU enters the matchup with an 8-3 record. To date, six of OU’s wins have come at the Headington Family Tennis Center. Five of those wins were shutouts.
The Sooners sit at No. 24 in the latest ITA team rankings. Oklahoma was also tabbed No. 18 in the Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25 release.
Spencer Papa represents the Sooners in the ITA singles ranking where he is No. 61 nationally after compiling a 4-2 record at the top spot.
Last Time Out
OU split its last weekend of competition, falling to then-No. 9 Mississippi State 4-2 before bouncing back for a 4-3 win over No. 49 Kentucky both at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
Against Kentucky, the Sooners dropped the doubles point but used impressive singles performances by Jake Van Emburgh, Mason Beiler, Alex Bakshi and Max Stewart to put the Wildcats away.
With the match tied at 3-all, Stewart delivered for the Sooners in a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Kentucky’s Parth Aggarwal to clinch the contest. Stewart has won three matches this season with each of those clinching for the team.
Prior to his time at OU, head coach Nick Crowell served as associate head coach at Florida State under current head coach Dwayne Hultquist. Sunday’s contest with be the first meeting between Crowell and his mentor, and the first
Additionally, all five of OU’s American players grew up or trained in the Sunshine State. Freshmen Beiler (New Port Richey) and Matt Rodriguez (Boca Raton) as well as sophomore Van Emburgh (Belleair Beach) hail from Florida. Both Papa and Stefano Tsorotiotis attended tennis academies there, with Tsorotiotis teaming up with Van Emburgh at the IMG Academy in their high school days.
The Golden Hurricane has compiled a 9-6 record on the season. Tulsa has lost its last three matches, falling to Texas A&M 5-2 in College Station and Baylor (5-2) and LSU (5-2) in Tulsa. TU is 0-2 in road matches this season.
Majed Kilani is Tulsa’s representative in the ITA singles rankings, checking in at No. 84. Kilani is 8-3 overall playing primarily at the No. 1 line.
Scouting Florida State
The Seminoles enter the matchup at 10-2 on the year with all of those matches played at home or at a neutral site. Florida State will play its first true road contest Friday at Georgia Tech.
In their last match, the Seminoles swept conference rival Clemson 4-0 in Tallahassee.
Lucas Poullain is FSU’s only ranked player in singles, clocking in at No. 63. Poullain remains undefeated (6-0) on the season, with five of his wins coming at the No. 2 spot.
In doubles Alex Knaff and Aziz Dougaz are No. 54 and own a 2-2 mark at the top spot. Sebastian Arcila and Knaff are 4-1 overall with a 4-0 record on court one.
First serve against Tulsa is set for 6 p.m. CT on Friday. The Florida State match is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Free food from Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant will be provided at Sunday’s match with Florida State.
OU Athletics has introduced a clear bag policy and walk-through metal detectors at all home events this season. More information on the policy and procedures can be found here.
Admission to the Headington Family Tennis Center is always free.
OU is home again to face Memphis on March 8, followed by Charlotte on March 16. The contest with Memphis will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma Plus.