Three Sooners earn spots in the NCAA Men's Individual Tennis Championships
Three University of Oklahoma men's tennis players earned spots in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships as individuals the NCAA announced Wednesday.
Senior Alex Ghilea and junior Spencer Papa were both named at-large selections for the 64-player singles bracket while Papa and senior Andrew Harris earned a berth in the 32-team doubles tournament. Harris, although ranked No. 30 nationally in singles, did not qualify for the singles championship because he did not play the minimum number of matches during the year. Harris missed much of the season due to injury.
Ghilea is 16-3 in singles on year after playing at No. 2 and No. 3 singles this season. The Neamt, Romania, native currently ranks 40th nationally in singles. Papa has played primarily at No. 1 singles all year and sits at No. 18 in the Oracle/ITA standings. Papa is 7-5 at the top spot with five wins over ranked opponents this year.
As a pair, Harris and Papa rank No. 15 in the nation with a record of 7-3, all at the top doubles spot. The duo earned All Big 12 Tournament Team honors at No. 1 doubles after its their performance at the Big 12 Championships a week ago.
Doubles and singles championships will be held immediately following the conclusion of the team portion of 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships. The Sooners earned the No. 14 overall seed of the tournament and will host Bryant, Mississippi State and SMU for first and second round play May 12 and 13 at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
This marks the Sooners' eighth straight season to host a regional and Oklahoma has advanced out of its regional in four straight seasons. The Sooners are looking to take one final step in 2017 as they have finished as the national runner-up in each of the last three seasons, including 2016 when they entered the tournament as the No. 11 overall seed.