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OU women's tennis: Sooners sweep Oral Roberts, 7-0, in home opener

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Marcelina Podlinska

Then-sophomore Marcelina Podlinska serves the ball in her singles match against Texas Christian on March 6.

The Sooners (1-0) started off the spring 2021 season with a 7-0 home opener win over Oral Roberts (0-1) in Norman Saturday.

OU began the day well in doubles play, with senior Martina Capurro and freshman Dana Guzman picking up a key 6-1 victory over ORU’s Gorana Kadijevic and Zere Iskakova.

“I think it was important because it was Guzman’s first dual match. … It’s different from coming from juniors where you are used to playing singles or having a warm-up. … In college, it’s just right away,” OU head coach Audra Cohen said afterward. “Boom, you’re in a doubles match.

“She handled herself really well and just showed her poise and composure, and that she could play at a really high level.”

Juniors Mercelina Podlinska and Kianah Motsono were scheduled to play a doubles match, but ORU had to forfeit due to a player’s absence. Sisters Carmen and Ivana Corley, sophomore and junior respectively, played their doubles match, beating ORU’s Oleksandra Nahurska and Aliksandra Lebedeva, 6-2, and giving OU the sweep in doubles play. 

Coming off an impressive fall season in singles and doubles play, Cohen said the Corleys feel no pressure to keep playing well but instead, to improve.

“The pressure on them to not focus on results as much as the process of getting better is probably the greatest pressure they feel. … I think it’s important that they continue to grow and prove they haven’t by any means hit their capacity,” Cohen said.

In singles action, OU gave no ground, winning every set played. The Corley sisters would continue their success with Carmen besting Nahurska, 6-0 and 6-1. Ivana handled Iskakova, 6-1 and 6-0. 

Capurro beat ORU’s Lebedeva, 6-4 and 6-2. The newcomer Guzman further proved she’s ready for the college level with a win over Kadijevic, 6-2 and 6-0. Podlinska got the best of the Golden Eagles’ Rai Sengupta, 6-0 and 6-1.

Next, the Sooners will take on Wyoming on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. CT in Norman. It’ll be the second of five-straight matches at home for the Sooners to start the season, and when asked what she looks forward to most as the schedule progresses, Cohen kept her answer short.

“Just great competition with a lot of home matches,” Cohen said, “And we get to play ranked teams on our own turf here, and great opportunities to develop as a program.”

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