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Texas Tech men’s tennis loses to Oklahoma

Posted: April 9, 2017 - 10:27pm

The Texas Tech men’s tennis team didn’t have much guidance from Lubbock’s iconic winds.

Whereas the story of Friday evening’s match was about keeping composure in blustery conditions, Sunday evening’s 4-2 loss was a lesson in managing emotion without it. From the various passionate comebacks across the McLeod Tennis Center to the ultimate clinching from the visiting No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners, Tech found itself on the wrong side of the scoresheet, its second consecutive loss.

The Red Raiders are currently 9-12 (0-2 Big 12).

Oklahoma won singles play when No. 52 Alex Ghilea defeated No. 66 Bjorn Thompson, 7-5 7-5; No. 82 Florin Bragusi beat Connor Curry, 2-6 6-2 6-4; Arnaud Restifo overcame Pyry Hyrkkonen, 7-5 6-2; and Adrian Oetzbach prevailed over Jackson Cobb, 6-3 6-4.

Doubles competition was Tech’s to keep, however. No. 17 Curry and Thomson beat Jochen Bertsch and Spencer Papa, 6-2; Cobb and Alex Sendegeya defeated Oetzbach and Restifo 6-4.

“We wanted to come out with a little bit better energy,” said Tech head coach Bret Masi. “I think we did (Friday) against Oklahoma State … when you’re playing a set to six, it puts a little more pressure to be able to come back from that.”

The Sooners (13-9, 1-3) broke a three-match losing streak in the process.

Masi’s assessment was fairly even-keeled yet honest: “Yeah…toward the end of sets, I don’t think we played well enough. We just didn’t execute (in some areas).

Masi was pointed in his evaluation of mentality, pointing to situations where the team should have not put themselves behind the ball.

“You hope the guys keep finding their way back, but the thing is you can’t put yourself in those situations,” he said. “Two things – one, we gotta stay even in the head and when you are in those positions you gotta finish the sets off well. I didn’t think we executed (those two points) in the right places. It’s a fine line between good and great, and if you don’t execute, you won’t be either one.”

On the topic of wind, which Masi brought up postgame, he felt the unique home-court advantage Lubbock provides didn’t, well, provide Sunday evening.

“It seemed like, to me, when the wind stopped, it stopped our momentum (in singles),” he said. “When we had the wind – I don’t know if it was ironic or not – you can see how when the wind stopped, they (Oklahoma) were playing a little more comfortably.”

As Tech attempts to rebound from a winless weekend, Masi offered a slice of reality as the team prepares for the road ahead.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I know the guys are disappointed but life goes on and we’ve got to be able to go to Dallas and Austin this weekend and get some wins.”

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