Men's tennis team powers through long road stint
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 6 OU men’s tennis team will travel to play its seventh consecutive road match against the No. 41 Louisville Cardinals at 5 p.m. tonight in Louisville, Ky.
The 9-3 Sooners match up against a 9-7 Louisville squad. The Cardinals boast a 6-0 record at home. However, even after a loss to No. 1 Virginia, the goal is to stay the course and keep working hard.
“I don’t think anything changes going into Louisville and the matches going forward,” sophomore Dane Webb said. “I think we just have to keep doing the same thing and putting ourselves in [a good] position. After a couple of tries we will start to get some of those good wins.”
Coach John Roddick agrees.
“You just have to keep focused on what you’re doing and keep trying to play at a high level,” Roddick said.
The Sooners are 9-3 this season, losing all three matches to teams currently ranked inside the ITA top five —Kentucky, Duke and Virginia.
Webb has won four of his last five singles matches. One of his wins gave the Sooners its only point in a 6-1 to Virginia.
“I feel like I’m playing well,” Webb said. “I had a couple losses in the beginning [of the season], but since then I feel like I’ve been playing well. I have some good wins, so I think I’m starting to get into a groove and feel confident.”
The Sooners’ last home match was Feb. 8, against Tulsa, so the team is used to traveling. However, that does not mean they aren’t ready to come home.
“A long time can get tiring at some point, but we can’t think of that stuff and that’s the way the schedule was meant to be, ” senior Costin Paval said. “We can’t really complain about it. We just have to try to focus on the process and not think about it.”
OU often has a long road stint in the early part of the spring season. Roddick said it helps the team bonding and it is something the team has come accustomed to.
“I haven’t seen any ill-effects of being on the road,” Roddick said. “To be quiet honest, I kind of like having a really tough road stretch at some part during the year because it does toughen guys up.”
The team is sharply focused on the Louisville game, but also looks forward to the benefits of coming back home next week.