Tulsa, Okla. – Junior Marko Ballok won a grueling 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5, decision against Adham el-Effendi to lift the 17th-ranked Tulsa men’s tennis team to a 4-3 victory over 55th-ranked SMU on Sunday night at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The win snaps a four-match losing streak for the Hurricane, who improves to a 10-5 record on the season.
Tulsa fell behind early losing the doubles point with losses at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Patrick Collins and Rusty Turpin fell to Gaston Cuadranti and Robin Fahgen, 8-4, in No. 3 doubles, and Alberto Sottocorno and Ashley Watling dropped an 8-5 decision to Adham el-Effendi and Darren Walsh in the No. 2 slot. Ross Cunningham and Philip Stephens salvaged Tulsa’s only doubles win with an 8-5 decision over David Costa and Chris Hooshyar in the No. 1 position.
SMU grabbed a 2-0 lead when Artem Baradach defeated Wojciech Starakiewicz, 6-3, 6-1, in No. 2 singles, but TU quickly responded with a pair of wins from Ross Cunningham the No. 5 position and James Seagraves in the No. 6 slot to even the score at 2-2.
The Hurricane gained their first lead of the night at 3-2, when Ashley Watling defeated David Costa, 6-2, 7-6 (5), in No. 3 singles, but SMU tied the match at 3-3 when 54th-ranked Robin Fahgen defeated Philip Stephens, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 4-6, in No. 1 singles. Ballok was down 5-3 in the third set before he won the next four games to seal the match and the Tulsa victory.
Tulsa returns to the court next weekend when they face 28th-ranked Vanderbilt at Noon on Sunday, March 1 at the Case Tennis Center.