No. 3 Men's Tennis fights past Oklahoma State, 5-2
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 3 Texas dropped the doubles point but battled to win five of six singles matches Sunday afternoon en route to a hard-fought 5-2 victory over No. 33 Oklahoma State at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. Texas (14-1) remains unbeaten in Big 12 Conference play at 2-0 and collects its 12th consecutive victory.
Texas fell behind 1-0 after surrendering the doubles point for a second consecutive match. Senior Roger Gubser (Laredo, Texas) and junior Hubert Chodkiewicz (Corpus Christi, Texas) scored the lone Longhorn doubles victory, as the duo recorded its eighth consecutive win by defeating Artsem Burmistrau and Tomas Bohunicky, 8-5.
The Cowboys extended their lead to 2-0 as Ivan Puchkarov defeated UT senior Callum Beale (Adelaide, Australia) at the third singles position, but Texas took the five remaining matches. UT freshman Michael Venus (Orlando, Fla.) sliced the deficit in half, winning 6-3, 6-1 over Nathan Byrnes at sixth singles. Sophomore Milan Mihailovic (Nis, Serbia) evened the tally at two, knocking off Burmistrau, 6-3, 6-0.
The remaining matches at the fifth, first and second positions each went to a third set, leaving Texas and Oklahoma State with equal opportunities to capture the match with the score knotted at two points apiece. After dropping the first set at No. 5, freshman Miguel Reyes Varela (Cuernavaca, Mexico) forced a third set by taking the second set, 6-4. After Reyes Varela and OSU's Olexsander Kotsiuk held serve through the final set's first five games, Reyes Varela scored the one service break he would need, as he assumed a 4-2 lead on his way to a 6-3 third-set win to give Texas a 3-2 lead.
The first singles position matched UT's 20th-ranked Helgeson against OSU's 23rd-ranked Daniel Byrnes. Helgeson took the first set in a tiebreaker but surrendered the second set, 6-2. Trailing 5-3 in the final set with the outcome of the match still hanging in the balance, Helgeson held serve and registered a crucial service break to even the set at five games apiece. Helgeson held service once more but Byrnes responded with a service hold of his own, pushing the match into a third-set tiebreak. Helgeson took a 6-1 lead and gave up two more points before putting away Byrnes, 7-3, to clinch the match for the Longhorns.
Gubser scored a 6-2 first-set win over OSU's Bohunicky and held a 4-1 lead in the second set before Bohunicky took the final five games of the set to force a third frame. Trailing 3-1, Gubser held serve and broke Bohunicky to even the set at three games apiece. Gubser and Bohunicky held serve through the set's remaining six games as the match progressed to a third-set tiebreak. Gubser took the final six points of the tiebreak to capture the match for the final 5-2 margin.
Texas continues Big 12 Conference play next weekend at Nebraska and Colorado.
No. 3 Texas 5, No. 33 Oklahoma State 2
Singles - Order of Finish: 3, 6, 4, 5, 1, 2