STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 29 Texas Tech men’s tennis team will hit the road and face a pair of Top 20 opponents in No. 14 Oklahoma State and No. 16 Oklahoma to begin its Big 12 season over the weekend.
Friday’s first serve against the Cowboys is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT with live video streaming available at www.okstate.com/watchtennis followed by an 11:30 a.m. CT first serve versus the Sooners on Sunday televised by FOX Sports Oklahoma. Live updates for both matches can be found courtesy of @TexasTechTennis on Twitter.
“We’ve been harping on the guys about this being the new part of the season,” Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. “With Big 12 starting, we get to start fresh as the intensity starts to pick up. Nothing really changes in terms of our preparations, our practice and how we do things. We’ve just got to try to keep playing better, and we know that the guys have to start raising their level in terms of the competition. They are three months into the season so their tennis is starting to get better. They’re also more consistent so we know what we are going to get when they come out there. Hopefully, the best tennis is here to come in April.”
Texas Tech (17-5, 0-0 Big 12) has won five of its last six matches which includes a 4-0 sweep of Northwestern last time out on March 28.
The Red Raiders were swept by the Oklahoma schools at home last season. However, Texas Tech bounced back with a 4-3 victory over the Cowboys in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament. The Red Raiders captured a 4-1 win against the Sooners during their last regular season trip to Norman in 2016.
Texas Tech is led in singles action by Tommy Mylnikov who improved his ITA singles ranking by 11 spots to No. 108. He has dialed up wins in four of his last five outings from the No. 1 singles position.
Alex Sendegeya is on a season’s best five-match winning streak with four of the five victories coming in three sets. He knocked off Northwestern’s Nick Brookes by a 7-6 (2), 6-2 score line on court two last time out.
Ilgiz Valiev has compiled a 15-5 singles record followed by Connor Curry and Matheus Leite who have registered 11 victories apiece in dual matches.
The Red Raiders have picked up the doubles point in 16 of 22 matches this season. Jackson Cobb and Sendegeya have notched wins in three of their last four matches sparked by a 7-6 (2) win against No. 56 Ben Vandixhorn and Dominik Stary of Northwestern.
Oklahoma State (18-4, 0-0 Big 12) have posted a 13-1 mark at home with its lone setback coming to then No. 1 Wake Forest on Feb. 11. The Cowboys have a pair of singles players ranked in Julian Cash at No. 82 followed by Artur Dubinski at No. 104.
Oklahoma (15-2, 0-0 Big 12) has emerged with wins in nine of its last 10 matches going back to Feb. 9. OU’s losses on the season have come to then No. 16 Illinois on Jan. 28 and at then No. 3 UCLA on March 15. The Sooners have three singles players ranked which include Ferran Calvo at No. 60, reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Alexander Bakshi at No. 85 and Jake van Emburgh at No. 105.
“Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have good doubles,” Masi said. “They have won most of their points this year, and I feel pretty solid about what we’ve been doing in our doubles. You don’t want to put yourself down when you are on the road and have to win four singles matches. It’s nice to maybe get that one ahead then only have to win three. Doubles is not the end all, but it definitely gives us a boost. Anything that can take away the crowd and gain some momentum is greatly appreciated especially in environments like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.”
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's tennis program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TechMensTennis and @TexasTechTennis on Twitter.