ATHENS, Ga. -- Oklahoma is making history.
After nearly five hours of play, the second-seeded Sooners (27-3, 4-1 Big 12) topped the seventh-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (26-6, -2 ACC) 4-2 to advance to the first national semifinal appearance in program history.
"They really competed really well," OU head coach John Roddick said. "It was a very hard-fought match and our guys did a great job mentally of not letting things get to them."Due to rain in the Athens area, the match was delayed an hour and moved inside to the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility with only four courts on which to play.
The Sooners dropped the doubles point for the first time in the tournament, falling on court Nos. 1 and 3. Nick Papac and Alex Ghilea fell 8-6 at the No. 3 position and Axel Alvarez and Dane Webb were topped 8-5 at No. 1.
Andrew Harris tied the match at 1-all with a straight-set victory at the No. 4 position. He dominated Oystein Sterio only giving up two games in his 6-1, 6-1 win.
Webb made an aggressive comeback after dropping his first set. Hedefeated Brett Clark 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to give Oklahoma its first lead of the match.
At the No. 2 spot, Alvarez showcased his ability to bounce back after falling 7-6 in his first set. He answered the first-set loss by winning 12 consecutive games to defeat Ronnie Schneider 6-0, 6-0 in the final two sets.
Due to only having four courts, Ghilea and sophomore Austin Siegel began their matches with the Sooners leading 2-1. After Alvarez’s win to put Oklahoma within one point of victory, Ghilea, Siegel and Alcorta continued play to try and advance the Sooners to the semifinals.
After a marathon battle that saw a total of 34 games played, Alcorta lost a heartbreaker to Brayden Schnur. After winning his first set, Alcorta fell in the next two giving the Tar Heels their second point of the match.
Ghilea sent the Sooners to the semifinals with his performance on court No. 6. He won in straight sets to clinch the victory and keep Oklahoma’s season alive.
Oklahoma will face UCLA at 5 p.m. ET Monday. The Sooners are 0-1 against UCLA after falling to the Bruins 4-2 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.