No. 50 Oklahoma State rallies back to stun sixth-ranked Tennessee 4-2
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State pulled off one its biggest wins in program history on Friday, defeating No. 6 Tennessee 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd at the Greenwood Tennis Center.
OSU (6-0) roared back from a 2-0 deficit behind wins at Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles, giving the squad its best start since racing out to a 7-0 record in 1997. The win also marks the team's fourth victory against a currently ranked opponent this year, after only defeating one ranked opponent in 2013.
An upset bid looked bleak for the Cowboys after losing the doubles point in a 6-5(4) tiebreak loss to Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, the country's top-ranked doubles duo. Sebastian Sachs and Jakob Sude nearly pulled off the upset at the No. 1 spot despite being down early 5-2.
Reese, ranked No. 16, responded with a 6-0, 6-4 win against Sachs at the No. 2 spot to give the Volunteers a 2-0 lead, but it would be the last victory Tennessee would record on the evening.
Freshman Lucas Gerch got the Pokes rolling on the comeback trail in a 6-3, 6-5(3) triumph against Bartosz Sawicki at No. 4 singles. Brady Bohrnstedt then completed a rebound win of his own by dominating the second and third sets against Andrew Dromski, pulling out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 success that tied the match at 2 and shifted the match's momentum toward the home side and the Greenwood Tennis Center's packed crowd.
The Cowboys then grabbed the lead after Sude finished off 34th-ranked Mikelis Libietis, battling fellow European in two set-deciding tiebreakers before eventually overpowering Libietis 6-5(1), 6-5(4). Sude's point at the No. 1 spot was his first against a ranked opponent in his OSU career and moved him to 2-0 in dual play.
With third set deficits at the decisive Nos. 3 and 6, Oklahoma State found itself in a hole with Arjun Kadhe and Chris Haworth both trailing 3-1.
Only playing in the sixth match of his freshman campaign, Kadhe reeled off five consecutive games to end the Tennessee threat. The win was his second match-clinching finish of the season after cementing the team's triumph against No. 34 Minnesota earlier this year.
No. 10 Mississippi State 4, No. 53 Texas Tech 3
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Down 3-0, Mississippi State rallied to take down Texas Tech (2-2) 4-3 Friday at the McLeod Tennis Center. The win moves MSU to 5-0 to start the season for the second consecutive year and the seventh time in history.
State found itself down early, dropping the doubles point to the Red Raiders. TTU picked up a win on court one when the No. 33 duo of Hugo Dojas and Maxime Hinnisdaels defeated MSU’s No. 52 tandem of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp 6-3. The Bulldogs evened the score when Rishab Agarwal and Zach White took down Tech’s Carlos DiLaura and Francisco Zambon 6-3 on court three, bringing the doubles point down to court two.
Pushing the match to a tiebreaker, Tech’s duo of Felipe Soares and Johann Willems downed MSU’s Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid 6-5(5) to give TTU the early 1-0 advantage.
TTU pushed its lead to 3-0 after claiming victories from Jolan Cailleau and Zambon. Cailleau defeated Schmid 6-3, 6-2 on court six, while Zambon took down Agarwal 6-4, 6-5(3) to put the Red Raiders within a point of an upset.
Quickly following the break, Angus took care of business on court three, defeating Hinnisdaels 6-5(3), 6-4, to bring MSU within two. Lakat followed Angus’ victory, catching fire in the third to put away TTU’s No. 101 Soares 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on one, cutting the Red Raider lead to one.
White used a break to open his final set, riding it all the way to a 6-5(4), 4-6, 6-3 triumph, making the Bulldog comeback nearly complete.
Stropp busted out of the gates in the third, going up a double break 4-0 against Tech’s No. 65 Dojas. However, Dojas fought back to push the match to a tiebreaker. Despite going back-and-forth to start, Stropp pulled away late in the breaker, taking the match 6-5(6), 3-6, 6-5(5) and giving the Bulldogs the win in dramatic fashion.