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OU men's tennis: Sooners open season, post 18 match wins in Lakes Tennis Invite

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Nick Crowell

OU Head Coach Nick Crowell claps during a doubles match against San Diego on Feb. 9, 2020.

The Oklahoma men’s tennis team traveled to Frisco, Texas, to play Texas and Texas Tech in the Lakes Tennis Invite from Sept. 18–20 and picked up 18 total wins over the weekend. 

OU won 10 singles matches and seven in doubles in the event. The weekend tournament marked the Sooner debuts of freshmen Welsh Hotard and Nathan Han — the tournament’s runner up.

"(Han) came out of the blocks hot this weekend, winning all three doubles matches and winning three out of four in singles against some of our conference's best players," OU head coach Nick Crowell said in a Monday press release. "His excitement and enthusiasm is contagious, and work ethic is extremely high."

On Friday, Sooner junior Mason Beiler and Hotard beat Texas Tech opponents Parker Wynn and Francisco Vittar in two sets, and Han won his match against the Red Raiders’ Dimitrios Azoidis in three sets.

OU graduate student Jonathan Sheehy and sophomores Alex Martinez and Justin Schlageter lost singles matches to Texas opponents Eliot Spizzirri, Chih Chi Huang, and Jacob Bullard, respectively.  

In doubles, senior Max Stewart and Alex Martinez beat Huang and Bullard, 8-4. Sheehy and Han beat Texas Tech opponents Azoidis and Ilgiz Valiev, 8-5, while Hotard and junior Matt Rodriguez beat Texas Tech opponents Franco Ribero and Vittar, 8-4.

Texas’ Micah Braswell and Eshan Talluri beat Sooners Beiler and Schlageter in one round of doubles. OU did not lose any matches to the Red Raiders on Friday. 

Saturday, Martinez beat Texas Tech’s Valiev in his singles match in three sets, and Han beat Red Raider Connor Johnson in two sets, going 7-5 in the first set and 6-4 in the final set.

Texas’ Braswell, Huang and Evin McDonald bested Beiler, Sheehy and Schlageter in singles matches with each of those matches going into three sets. OU lost one singles match to Texas Tech when Hotard was defeated by Isaac Arevalo in two sets, 6-3 and 7-5.  

In doubles, the Sooners took four wins. Against their Texas counterparts Spizzirri and Huang, Han and Sheehy got a score of 7-6 and Beiler and Rodriguez beat Longhorn opponents Harper and Braswell with a score of 6-2.

Against Texas Tech’s Arevalo and Johnson, Rodriguez and Schlageter won, 7-6, and Han and Sheehy claimed a 6-1 victory over Parker Wynn and Azoidis. 

OU lost three doubles matches — two against the Red Raiders and one against the Longhorns. Texas Tech’s Wynn and Collier defeated Martinez and Beiler, 6-3, and Ribero and Arevalo beat Martinez and Hotard, 6-3. Additionally, Texas opponents Harper and Braswell won over OU’s Rodriguez and Hotard, 6-4. 

On the final day of the tournament, the Sooners picked up five wins in singles. Beiler and Han won in two sets against Texas foes Huang and Harper, respectively.

Schlageter won two singles matches against Texas Tech players Johnson and Azoidis, with both matches going into three sets. Beiler beat Texas opponent Spizzirri in three sets by scores of 5-7, 6-2, and 1-0.

OU took six losses in singles. Three of those came from Texas’ Payton Holden, Leighton Allen and McDonald causing Hotard to lose twice, and Han lost in two sets, 6-2 and 6-4.

Against Texas Tech, Rodriguez, Martinez and Sheehy suffered losses to Arevalo, Wynn and Ribero, respectively, with Rodriguez’s and Martinez’s matches going into three sets.  

Texas freshman Micah Braswell won the overall Lakes Invite title. Braswell beat OU three times this past weekend. He won once in singles against Beiler and twice as part of a doubles team that beat the Sooners, though Beiler and Rodriguez beat Braswell and his teammate in a doubles match on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Han claimed runner-up after his big singles wins and his perfect record in doubles matches.

"Our guys competed extremely hard and the work we've been putting in early this fall is paying huge dividends,” Crowell said in the release. “This team is very special and can't wait to compete again.” 

Oklahoma will play next on Nov. 6 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Big 12 Individual Championship.

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