The No. 25-ranked University of Tulsa men’s tennis team, making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Championship, faces No. 13 Baylor match on Saturday, May 11, in a 6 p.m. tilt at the Hurd Tennis Center. The winner of the May 11 contest will advance to the Round of 16, which will take place in Champaign, Ill.
ABOUT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP:
First and second round regional action will be played May 10-12 at 16 campus sites. The later rounds as well as the individual singles and doubles tournament are set for May 16-27, to be hosted at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.
Tulsa is making its 15th NCAA Championship appearance, and its eighth straight trip to the tournament. All 15 tournament appearances have occurred under the direction of Head Coach Vince Westbrook.
The Golden Hurricane is looking for its third-straight Round of 16 appearance after making its first Round of 16 appearance in 2011 and again in 2012.
Tulsa is one of two Conference USA teams to make it into the tournament, as No. 32 Memphis made the championship by winning the Conference USA Championship in April.
This marks the first time since 2007 that TU has left the state of Oklahoma for a first round contest. Tulsa hosted first and second round action in 2008 and 2009, and traveled to Norman, Okla., the three previous seasons.
This is the second time this season Baylor and Tulsa have faced off. Tulsa defeated Baylor, 5-2, earlier this season on Feb. 3, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Hurricane also defeated Baylor, 4-3, on April 11, 2012 in Waco, Texas.
Freshman Carlos Bautista enters this weekend riding a 12-match winning streak in singles competition, while junior Clifford Marsland holds a 10-match winning streak.
12 of Tulsa’s 15 wins have come against ranked foes, while all seven of the TU losses were at the hands of top-35 teams, including two losses to top-10 teams.
ABOUT THE TEAMS:
Tulsa: The No. 25-ranked Golden Hurricane finished as the Conference USA Championship runner-up. Tulsa faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation facing 13 teams that made the NCAA Championship. The Golden Hurricane has won eight of its past nine contests, and is led by No. 41-ranked Japie De Klerk and No. 56-ranked Clifford Marsland.
Baylor: The No. 13-ranked Bears won the Big 12 regular season title and are making its 16th straight appearance in the Big Dance. Baylor is the event’s overall No. 13 seed, and are hosting first and second round action for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons. Baylor had a 10-match winning streak snapped by No. 14 Oklahoma in the finals of the Big 12 Championship. Tulsa defeated Baylor, 5-2, on Feb. 3, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center as the Hurricane rallied from a 1-0 deficit to dispatch the Bears. BU defeated Prairie View A&M, 4-0, on Friday night in the first round of the tournament.
LAST TIME OUT (May 10, 2013):
Freshman Carlos Bautista earned a 7-5, 6-2 triumph at No. 5 singles to propel the No. 25-ranked Tulsa men's tennis squad to a 4-1 victory over No. 43 Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center on Friday, May 10.
The Hurricane clinched the doubles point, as the senior duo of Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson defeated John Patrick Mullane and Drew Lied, 8-3, on Court 2. Junior Japie De Klerk and freshman Carlos Bautista teamed up for an 8-2 win over Aaron Pfister and Denis Bogatov on Court 3 to seal the point for TU.
Tulsa jumped out to a 2-0 advantage after No. 41-ranked De Klerk dispatched No. 11-3 ranked Pfister, 6-3, 6-1 on the top court.
On Court 3, Ive took down Bogatov, 6-4, 6-1, to propel TU to a 3-0 lead.
After freshman Lucas Vaz dropped his match on Court 6, Bautista clinched the match with his 7-5, 6-2, win over Gijs Linders of MSU on Court 5.
On Court 4, sophomore Alejandro Espejo was up 6-4, 5-3, against John Patrick Mullane and Marsland was tied 6-3, 4-6, 3-3, when his match against Drew Lied at No. 2 singles was halted.
LAST TIME AGAINST BAYLOR (Febuary 3, 2013):
Tulsa senior Grant Ive’s three-set win at flight No. 3 gave the Hurricane its fourth point to clinch an upset victory for the 22nd-ranked Golden Hurricane over 14th-ranked Baylor on February 3, 2013, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Tulsa went on to win the match 5-2.
The visiting Bears went ahead 1-0 by winning the doubles point, but the Hurricane jumped out to a strong start in singles taking the first set in five of the six matches.
Tulsa’s Tristan Jackson tied the score at 1-1 with his singles victory at the No. 6 position with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Roberto Maytin. Clifford Marsland put the Hurricane ahead 2-1 when he upset 60th-ranked Mate Zsiga in straight sets 6-4 and 6-3 at flight one.
At the No. 2 singles position, Tulsa’s 34th-ranked Japie De Klerk was in trouble early in his first set against Baylor’s 50th-ranked Marko Krickovic, trailing 4-1, but De Klerk regrouped to take the next five points and claim a first-set 6-4 victory. He took a 5-1 lead in the second set and held on to take the straight set victory with a 6-3 win in the second and put the Hurricane ahead by a score of 3-1.
With a 3-1 Tulsa lead, it was a pressure-cooker at the No. 3 position between Grant Ive and Baylor’s Patrick Pradella. Ive suffered Tulsa’s lone loss in the first set, losing 6-3, but bounced back strong in the second set when he grabbed a 6-1 victory over Pradella to force a final set. In the third, Ive jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but Pradella battled back to tie it at 5-5 and take the lead at 6-5. Ive would then force the tiebreaker by winning the next point. Ive took out the suspense early in the tiebreaker when he jumped out to a 2-0 lead, then after a point by Pradella, closed the match with five straight points to win the tiebreaker 7-1.
Ive’s victory gave the Hurricane its fourth point to clinch the team win.
At flight six, Tulsa freshman Carlos Bautista took a 6-3 victory in the first set, dropped the tiebreaker in the second and lost in the third set 6-2 against Diego Galeano as the Bears scored its first singles point after claiming the doubles to open the match, making the score 4-2.
Tulsa’s Alejandro Espejo’s victory at the No. 4 slot increased Tulsa’s margin of victory to 5-2. After trailing 1-3 in the first set, Espejo battled back to tie the score 3-3 and again at 4-4 before winning the last two points of the first set for a 6-4 win. Espejo lost the second set in a 7-4 tiebreaker, but closed things out for the Hurricane with a 6-2 final set win.
The Bears began the match by claiming the doubles point. Baylor’s No. 3 doubles team of Pradella and Julian Lenz began the match 2-0 and increased the lead to 6-1 before winning 8-2 to get the Bears off to a solid start in doubles play. Tulsa’s Ive and Jackson handed the Baylor pair of Krickovic and Maytin an 8-5 defeat at flight two, but Baylor gained the point with an 8-5 victory at the No. 1 position behind the play of Zsiga and Lupieri defeating Tulsa’s tandem of Marsland and Espejo.
De Klerk, Marsland Selected For NCAA Singles Championship:
Juniors Japie De Klerk and Clifford Marsland have both been selected to the NCAA singles tennis championships.
De Klerk and Marsland will compete in the 64-person NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Singles Championship that will take place May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., following the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 16-21.
De Klerk earned the Conference USA automatic bid by being the highest ranked player in the league. De Klerk, ranked No. 41 in the latest ITA Rankings, had a 13-7 record for the Golden Hurricane this spring and picked up eight wins against nationally ranked foes. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships in October. This marks the second time De Klerk has been in the singles field, as he played in the tournament his freshman campaign after being named the fourth-alternate.
Marsland, ranked No. 56, tallied a 17-3 record during the spring and a 20-4 ledger during the entire season. Marsland had a sparkling 10-2 record playing No. 1 singles for TU, and a 7-1 record at No. 2 singles. Marsland was named Conference USA Player of the Week twice during the season. He earned a 4-2 record against ranked opponents, including wins against No. 49 ranked Rok Bonin of Minnesota, No. 60 Mate Zsiga of Baylor, No. 8 ranked Marcos Giron of UCLA and No. 116 Samir Iftikhar of New Mexico. He earned a season-high ITA Ranking of No. 44. This marks the first year Marsland will compete in thesingles championship after appearing the past two years in the doubles championship.
All matches will be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.
Automatic qualification into the DI singles championships is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA Top 125 eligible/entered singles players, the subcommittee applies the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All singles players must have a minimum of 13 completed singles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
De Klerk, Marsland and espejo earn first-team all-conference honors:
Juniors Clifford Marsland and Japie De Klerk were named to the Conference USA Men’s Tennis All-Conference Singles first team, while Marsland and sophomore Alejandro Espejo earned a spot on the All-C-USA Doubles first team, the league announced on April 30.
Also earning all-conference honors was freshman Carlos Bautista, who snared a spot on the second-team all-singles squad.
De Klerk, ranked No. 47 in the latest ITA Rankings, had a 13-7 record for the Golden Hurricane this spring and picked up eight wins against nationally ranked foes this season. He had won seven of his past 10 matches, and sported a 10-2 record at No. 2 singles for TU.
Marsland, ranked No. 49, tallied a 17-3 record during the spring and a 20-4 ledger during the entire season. Marsland had a sparkling 10-2 record playing No. 1 singles for TU, and a 7-1 record at No. 2 singles.
Marsland and Espejo earned an 11-8 record at No. 1 doubles for TU, with two victories over ranked opponents. The TU duoe defeated No. 44-ranked Nelson Vick and Esben Hess-Olesen of North Carolina and Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki of SMU.
Bautista recorded a 16-4 record this spring and ended the regular season on an 11-match winning streak for the Golden Hurricane. He picked up a win against No. 116 ranked Clay Thompson in TU’s 4-3 setback to then No. 3 UCLA. Bautsita totaled a perfect 6-0 record against C-USA foes, and a 3-0 ledger in the 2013 C-USA Championship.
MARSLAND NAMED TO TULSA ULTIMATE TEAM:
Redshirt junior Clifford Marsland was named to the Tulsa “Ultimate Team” during the 2012-13 Golden Cane All-Sports Awards Gala.
The “Ultimate Team” honors those student-athletes who, during the current academic year, have exemplified qualities and characteristics that are consistent with the missions and values of The University of Tulsa. The qualities and characteristics considered include academic success, campus involvement, community outreach, athletic participation and other areas of student involvement. The “Ultimate Team” members for the 2012-13 academic year are Jessica Adams (volleyball), Allyson Brooks (women’s rowing), Cory Dorris (football), Caitlin Everett (softball), Scottie Haralson (men’s basketball), Clifford Marsland (men’s tennis), Taleya Mayberry (women’s basketball), Chris O’Hare (men’s cross country/track & field).
Marsland maintains a 3.514 GPA in exercise and sports science and education. He is a three-time C-USA all-academic selection and was named the C-USA Men’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2012. He is two-year letterwinner and four-time all-conference honoree, winning the award in both singles and doubles competition. He has a 20-4 overall record this season. Off the court, Marsland has volunteered at Sequoyah Elementary, and is currently student teaching at Thoreau Academy.
MARSLAND EARNS SPOT ON C-USA ALL-ACADEMIC SQUAD:
Redshirt junior Clifford Marsland was named to the Conference USA Men’s Tennis All-Academic Team for the third year in a row, the league announced today.
Marsland is one of two Golden Hurricane players ranked among the ITA’s Top 125. The Perth, Australia native is a three-time All-C-USA Singles first team honoree as well as a two-time ITA Scholar Athlete and C-USA Player of the Week selection.