NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 12 University of Oklahoma men’s tennis team travels to Texas this weekend for a match-up with two conference rivals. They first face No. 15 Baylor Friday, April 12, in Waco, Texas. After that, they travel to Lubbock, Texas, to play No. 44 Texas Tech Sunday, April 14.
“We’ve started playing better down low in our lineup and our doubles has been really good recently,” OU head coach John Roddick said. “I think if we can stay strong there and play well there, that gives us a really good shot any night out.”
In the Big 12 preseason rankings released April 1, OU was selected as the unanimous favorite with 25 points. Baylor stood at second with 20 total points. After the first week of competition, those standings remain the same, with Oklahoma and Baylor the only two undefeated teams in the Big 12.
“The Baylor match is looking like it’s going to be one of the biggest in the conference season at this point,” Roddick said.
The Sooners (15-5, 2-0 Big 12) enter the match against the Bears after sweeping conference newcomer No. 35 TCU, 7-0, Sunday, April 7. Before that, the team topped rival No. 23 Texas, 5-2, Friday, April 5.
In their only match last weekend, Baylor (15-4, 1-0 Big 12) routed Texas Tech, 6-1, on Sunday.
OU has three ranked singles players: No. 23 Costin Paval, No. 38 Guillermo Alcorta and No. 53 Dane Webb. Paval and Webb team as the No. 27 doubles tandem, and Alcorta pairs with Axel Alvarez Llamas as the No. 75 duo.
Baylor has five ranked singles players, but no ranked doubles teams. They are led by No. 29 Patrick Pradella. No. 55 Julian Lenz, No. 74 Tony Lupieri, No. 77 Marko Krickovic and No. 91 Mate Zsiga round out their ranked players.
On Sunday, the Sooners face Texas Tech (14-7, 0-1 Big 12). The Red Raiders are 7-3 at home, but have lost their last two home matches. The team has no singles or doubles players in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
“Lubbock is a tough place to play,” Roddick said. “We lost a really close one there two years ago. There’s a little bit of altitude and the wind can actually be worse down there than it even is here. They have a pretty big home court advantage. No matter what the teams are ranked, it’s always going to be a tough match.”
With its loss to Baylor, Texas Tech stands at No. 5 in the Big 12 rankings.
OU returns home to face in-state rival Oklahoma State Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m., in its last regular-season match of the year.
Follow @OU_Tennis on Twitter and like Oklahoma Men’s Tennis on Facebook for more information about the men’s tennis team.