No. 28 Oklahoma (8-8) pulled off a 4-1 upset over No. 15 Arizona (15-4) in Norman on Monday afternoon.
The Sooners started strong with doubles play with sophomore Alex Martinez and freshman Nathan Han beating Jonas Ziverts and Jett Middleton, 6-2. Sophomore Mark Mandlik and senior Max Stewart clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 win over Filip Malbasic and Gustaf Strom to make it 1-0 in favor of OU.
The third doubles match was stopped and had junior Mason Beiler and senior Jake Van Emburgh leading 4-3 over Carlos Hassey and Alejandro Reguant.
“We’ve been working hard all year long and these guys came out today and got great starts in doubles,” head coach Nick Crowell said afterward. “We were up breaks on all three courts pretty quickly and finished off the doubles in style. I thought our guys played aggressive and all the things we've been working on in practice, we saw them execute all day long.”
The hot start continued into singles play with No. 69 Beiler beating No. 54 Malbasic, 6-2 and 6-1, to give the Sooners the 2-0 lead. Freshman Welsh Hotard beat Nick Lagaev, 6-3 and 6-4, to make it 3-0 in favor of OU. No. 50 Ziverts beat Van Emburgh, 6-3 and 6-3, to give the Wildcats their first point and move the total to 3-1 in favor of OU.
Mandlik finished the upset with a 6-1 and 6-4 win over Hassey to give the Sooners the victory. The other two matches were stopped but saw Han win his first set, 6-4, over Reguant. He was trailing 4-1 in set two when the match stopped.
"Mark had a big day today," Crowell said. "He hasn't been in our doubles lineup as much this year but really came through big getting that ‘W’ and served it out with two aces at the end of the match at 5-4 in the second against a really good player. It was great to see Mark just get out there and play his game and have fun doing it."
The other remaining match saw Martinez win his first set, 6-0, over No. 105 Strom. Strom fought back and took set two, 6-4. Strom led 2-0 in set three when the match was stopped.
Oklahoma will be back in action at 12 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 27, against No. 21 UCF in Norman. The match will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
"It felt really good to be home,” Mandlik said. “We've had a lot of tough matches against really good teams and we hadn't been able to get through that barrier, but today we finally did it. It's all the guys together. We've all been working so hard and I couldn't be more proud of this team.
"Our goal was to come out here and play really, really hard in singles and get up on every court, and we basically did that and it was just nice to finish in straight sets on three courts and get a 4-1 win today."