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OU men's tennis: Sooners defeat Tulsa, 6-1, notch 9th-straight win over Golden Hurricane

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Max Stewart

Junior Max Stewart serves the ball during a doubles match against San Diego on Feb. 9, 2020.

Oklahoma (6-4) beat in-state rival Tulsa (5-4), 6-1, in Norman Sunday night marking the Sooners’ ninth-straight win over the Golden Hurricane.

Doubles play started off strong when senior Jake Van Emburgh and junior Matt Rodriguez beat Ezequiel Santalla and Daniel Siddall 6-0.

The Sooners would win the doubles point for the fifth-straight match when junior Mason Beiler and senior Max Stewart beat Boriss Kamdem and Tom Thelwall-Jones, 6-2, to give OU the 1-0 lead.

“We worked on our doubles so hard last few weeks," OU head coach Nick Crowell said after the match. "For us it's a huge point, and our guys are really buying in and doing the right things. It really paid off tonight and we are just going to come back tomorrow and do it again.”

The third doubles match stopped after the point win. Freshman Nathan Han and sophomore Alex Martinez were tied, 3-3, with No. 29 Kody Pearson and Connor Di Marco at the time.

In singles play, No. 69 ranked Beiler would dominate his opponent Santalla, 6-2 and 6-0, only dropping two games to give the Sooners the 2-0 advantage.

Han would do the same to Juan P. Cenoz, winning 6-3 and 6-1 to make it 3-0 in favor of the Sooners.

Van Emburgh would get the upset win over No. 67 Pearson, 6-2 and 6-3, to continue the Sooners’ domination early, making it a 4-0 OU advantage and clinching the match.

“I think it was huge for Jake to get off to a good start,” Crowell said. “He played great in doubles and carried that momentum into singles. I look for him to build on that win and build confidence into the rest of the season.”

The last three games would play out, with Stewart picking up a 6-3 and 6-4 win over Siddall to give OU a 5-0 lead. Sophomore Mark Mandlik would win his first set, 6-4, over Stefan Hampe, but would drop the second set, 7-6, to force a third set tiebreaker. Hampe won the tiebreaker, 12-10, to give the Golden Hurricane their first point, making it a 5-1 advantage for the Sooners.

Martinez would round it out against Di Marco, winning the first set, 6-3, before dropping the second set, 7-6, to again force the third set tiebreaker. Martinez would win it, 7-4, to officially give the Sooners the 6-1 win.

OU will be back in action at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, Feb. 25 against Louisiana in Norman. The matches can be viewed on Playsight.

“We actually play 10 of our next 11 at home including this match, so we are going to have a big home stretch.” Crowell said. “Our guys love it and we love our courts and couldn’t be more excited.”

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