All-division preview: Oklahoma ends regular season with key Big 12 battle
No. 4 Oklahoma closes the regular season this weekend when it hosts Baylor and Texas Tech.
OU plays No. 6 Baylor on Friday and finishes with Texas Tech on Sunday.
In their past two meetings, Oklahoma defeated Baylor. The Sooners edged the Bears 4-3 on Feb. 16 at the International Tennis Association’s National Team Indoor Championships. In the 2013 Big 12 tournament, OU upset top-seeded Baylor to win its second consecutive Big 12 title.
“This is one of the biggest matchups in college tennis this year,” OU head coach John Roddick said. “Not just based on the rankings, but also where the two teams are. There’s a big separation between the top seven or eight teams, so whenever two of those teams play each other, it’s a big deal.”
Baylor (19-4, 2-0) heads into Friday fresh off its Big 12 opening weekend. BU shutout Texas Tech 7-0 on April 5, and earned the weekend sweep, finishing TCU 6-1.
A win by Oklahoma would put the Sooners in a tie for second in the conference standings with Baylor. Texas, which is off this weekend before going to Baylor next Friday, is undefeated at the top of the standings.
Both Baylor and Oklahoma feature a singles player in the top 10 of the ITA rankings. Second-ranked Julian Lenz will go against No. 6 Axel Alvarez Llamas at the No. 1 singles.
Roddick’s squad (18-2, 1-1) split its opening conference matches. OU fell 4-3 to Texas on March 28 before bouncing back to defeat TCU 4-3 two days later.
Texas Tech is currently 0-1 in conference play. Before heading to Norman, the Red Raiders battle No. 24 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Friday.
Around DI: Top-ranked Ohio State looks to bounce back from its loss to Kentucky when it hosts No. 41 Tulsa (Friday) and then goes to No. 36 Purdue (Sunday). ... Second-ranked Southern California could rise to the nation's top spot next week if it can get through trips to Arizona (Friday) and Utah (Sunday) unscathed. ... No. 3 UCLA has the same opponents as Southern California, just in reverse order. ... Virginia, the nation's fifth-ranked team, can win its 11th consecutive ACC regular-season title with its matches against No. 32 NC State (Friday) and No. 23 Wake Forest on Sunday. ... Eighth-ranked North Carolina's final home regular-season match comes on Sunday when it faces No. 20 Clemson. ... No. 10 Texas A&M finishes its regular season on Sunday with a match at No. 16 Mississippi State.
Around DII: West Florida, the top-ranked team in the division, ends its regular season with a meeting against No. 14 Columbus State on Saturday. ... Fourth-ranked Saint Leo celebrates senior day with a match against No. 20 Rollins. ... No. 5 Armstrong Atlantic meets No. 13 Valdosta State on Friday. ... No. 7 Lander ends its regular season with No. 20 Georgia College on Sunday. ... Tenth-ranked Azusa Pacific squares off against No. 11 UC San Diego on Friday.
Around DIII: In its three matches this weekend, second-ranked Washington (Mo.) faces No. 10 Case Western on Saturday and No. 17 Chicago on Sunday. ... No. 3 Amherst has a key NESCAC matchup on Sunday when it goes to No. 12 Bowdoin. ... Another important NESCAC match happens on Friday when fifth-ranked Williams meets No. 8 Middlebury. The Panthers then go on to face No. 29 Wesleyan (Conn.) on Saturday and No. 27 Trinity (Conn.) on Sunday. ... Trinity (Texas), which dropped one spot to No. 7 in the latest ITA poll, faces No. 20 Texas-Tyler in the first of its two matches on Saturday. ... No. 10 Case Western squares off against Chicago on Friday