NORMAN, Okla. -- Despite a shuffled lineup, No. 3 Oklahoma asserted its strengths in a 5-2 win against Louisville on Sunday afternoon at the Gregg Wadley Indoor Tennis Pavilion.
Axel Alvarez dominated in No. 1 singles and Oklahoma (11-1) cruised to its clinching point in its first match since the team earned its highest ranking in program history.
ITA third-ranked Alvarez, playing in the premier spot for the first time, dispatched Louisville’s Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, 6-1, 6-0.
“That was as good tennis as I’ve ever seen him play,” Oklahoma head coach John Roddick said. “That guy beat [Costin] Paval last year when we played them. That score is not indicative of that guy’s ability. He’s good. To really not just let the guy get up the whole match is pretty impressive.”
Paval graduated Oklahoma as an All-American and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year. Alvarez revenged one of just four singles losses his former teammate suffered in 2013.
The Sooners were without freshman Andrew Harris, who compiled a 7-1 record this spring playing No. 3 and 4 singles and also partnered with Dane Webb in No. 1 doubles.
Webb teamed with Austin Siegel to clinch the doubles point with an 8-5 win against Albert Wagner and Chris Simich. Peerakit Siributwong and Nick Papac dropped Alex Gornet and Jeffrey Brown 8-3 for the Sooners’ first win.
“It’s a lot bigger challenge,” Roddick said of Harris’ absence. “I thought our level was very good for doubles, especially Dane and Siegel, in 2 doubles when they’ve never played together, played really well.”
Second-ranked Guillermo Alcorta finished Wagner 6-4, 6-2 in No. 2 singles and Siributwong gutted a 7-5, 7-5 victory against Van Damrongsri for the overall win.
“Days like that, when you’re missing guys in your lineup, you want to be sure you get out there and take care of business. I feel like that level can be higher, but the effort is there, the process was good.”