NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners celebrated their head coach’s 100th win by punching a ticket to Athens, Georgia, and their second consecutive NCAA Round of 16 appearance.
No. 2 overall seed Oklahoma (25-3) defeated Harvard (18-7) 4-0 at the Gregg Wadley Indoor Tennis Pavilion on Sunday afternoon in an NCAA championship second-round match.
It was a milestone win for John Roddick in his fifth season as Oklahoma’s head coach.
“I didn’t even know,” Roddick said. “I’m just more excited about going to Athens. I’m proud of the guys because it’s never easy to get there. We still have a lot of work to do but it’s always a good feeling."
Sustained wins climbed past the 20 miles per hour limit and gusted into the 40s.
After a contentious doubles battle, Oklahoma cruised to three straight-set singles victories on court Nos. 1, 2 and 5.
The Sooners claimed doubles after a 22-point tiebreaker played by Nick Papac and Alex Ghilea.
Tied 6-all on court No. 3, the Sooners played to two ad points in the 14th game before Harvard wrestled the match into an extra set. Harvard’s Sebastien Beltrame and Christo Schultz led 6-4 before Oklahoma scored three in a row. Papac returned Schultz’s 11-10 serve wide of his reach to clinch the point.
Playing at 4-all, Papac was struck in the face with Ghilea’s racket while chasing a long volley. Papac suffered a cut between the eyes that was tended on court, delaying the nail-biting finish for several minutes.
Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez needed just 54 minutes to win 6-0, 6-1 against Harvard’s Sebastien Beltrame at No. 2 singles.
Guillermo Alcorta capped his final collegiate match on his home court with a 6-2, 6-2 victory versus Denis Nguyen. OU freshman Austin Siegel finished Brian Yeung 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 for the sweep.
Oklahoma will face Kentucky, 4-3 winners against Clemson, in the Round of 16 at 4 p.m. ET May 16.
The Sooners defeated the Wildcats 5-2 in Norman on Feb. 16.