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OU men's tennis: Sooners fall, 5-2, in 1st road contest at Tennessee

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Jake Van Emburgh

Junior Jake Van Emburgh during a doubles match against San Diego on Feb. 9, 2020.

The Sooners (1-1) lost a tough one to 13th ranked Tennessee (1-0), 5-2, on the road Saturday morning.

OU got off to a slow start, losing a doubles match for its first loss of the season when graduate transfer Jonathan Sheehy and sophomore Alex Martinez lost, 6-3, to Mark Wallner and Andrew Rodgers. Sophomore Mark Mandlik and freshman Welsh Hotard won their second straight doubles match, 6-3, over Joel Gamerov and Giles Hussey to tie it up at 1-1 in doubles, meaning match three would decide the point.

69th ranked junior Mason Beiler and senior Max Stewart could not come out on top, losing 6-4 to Johannus Monday and Martim Prata, and giving Tennessee the 1-0 lead.

Heading into singles play, the Sooners would have to mount a comeback. It didn’t start well when Mandlik lost 6-2 and 6-0 to Prata, giving Tennessee the 2-0 lead. Beiler lost early by the score of 6-2 and 6-2 to Monday, giving the Vols the 3-0 lead. Freshman Nathan Han came up short in his spring debut, losing 6-1 and 6-4 to Luca Wiedenmann and putting the Sooners down 4-0 to give the Vols then win.

The Sooners didn’t give up despite dropping the next game, when Stewart lost to Hussey, 6-2 and 6-4, making the score 5-0 in favor of the Vols. Sophomore Justin Schlageter would drop his first set to Rodgers, 6-4, before winning the second match, 7-5, to send it to the tiebreaker. Schlageter would win the tiebreaker, 10-3, giving the Sooners their first point.

Martinez would round out the field, winning his first set, 6-4, over Wallner before dropping the second set, 7-6, on a 17-15 tiebreaker. The match would head to the third set, and Martinez would win, 10-4, giving the Sooners the last two points to finish out the morning.

Oklahoma will be off until next Saturday, Jan. 23 when it takes on Wake Forest in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Match times for the contest have yet to be announced.

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