ATHENS, Ga. – The Oklahoma Sooners will represent the Big 12 in the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship after knocking off North Carolina, 4-2, in the event's quarterfinal round. OU is the lone Big 12 squad remaining after Baylor and Texas were eliminated in the round of eight.
After nearly five hours of play, the second-seeded Sooners (27-3, 4-1 Big 12) topped the seventh-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (26-6) to advance to the first-ever Final Four appearance in program history.
The Sooners dropped the doubles point for the first time in the tournament, falling on courts one and three. Nick Papac and Alex Ghilea fell, 8-6, at the No. 3 position and Axel Alvarez and Dane Webb were topped, 8-5, at No. 1.
Andrew Harris tied the match at 1-all with a straight set victory at the No. 4 position. The freshman dominated Oystein Sterio only giving up two games in his 6-1, 6-1 win. Dane Webb made an aggressive comeback after dropping his first set. The junior defeated Brett Clark 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to give Oklahoma its first lead of the match.
At the No. 2 spot, Alvarez showcased his ability to bounce back after falling 7-6 in his first set. The sophomore answered the first set loss by winning 12 straight games to defeat Ronnie Schneider 6-0, 6-0 in the final two sets. Ghilea sent the Sooners to the semifinals with his dominating performance on court six. The freshman won in straight sets to clinch the victory and keep Oklahoma’s season alive.
Oklahoma will face the winner of the UCLA/Ohio State match on Monday, May 19, at 4 p.m. CT. The Sooners are 1-0 against Ohio State this season after defeating the Buckeyes 4-1 and 0-1 against UCLA after falling to the Bruins 4-2 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The ninth-ranked Longhorns (23-6) concluded their 2014 campaign after returning to the round of eight for the first time since 2009 with a 4-1 loss to No. 1 USC. Texas struck first by claiming the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Senior All-American David Holiner and junior Jacoby Lewis finished first with an 8-6 win over Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson at the No. 3 position. 16th-ranked Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olesen clinched the doubles point in a tiebreaker against the nation's top-ranked doubles team, USC's Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento.
The Longhorns fell behind early in singles action by surrendering the first set in all four singles matches and would go on to losses on all four courts. Glasspool and Hess-Olesen will compete in the NCAA individual singles and doubles draws beginning on Wednesday, May 21, in Athens, Georgia.
The sixth-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team (26-6) fell in the quarterfinal round to No. 4 Virginia (27-2) , 4-0, on Sunday to end its 2014 dual-match season. Virginia claimed an early 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles point with victories on courts one and two.
Virginia continued to roll in singles competition, picking up five of six first set wins. Virginia’s Justin Shane was the first to finish on court five, putting away Mate Zsiga, 6-1, 6-3, to go up 2-0. No. 46 Ryan Shane put the Cavaliers up 3-0 with his 6-3, 6-4 victory on court three over Diego Galeano. Baylor fought off multiple match points on courts one and six, before sixth-ranked Alex Domijan was finally able to beat Baylor’s third ranked Julian Lenz, 6-4, 6-3, to clinch the match and the 4-0 sweep for Virginia.