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Cowboys fall flat in Bedlam, lose 11th straight to Sooners

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Emile Hudd and Matej Vocel talks to each other during the No. 27 Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oklahoma Big 12 Conference tennis game at Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman on Friday, March 29, 2019.

NORMAN -- The streak continues.

Mason Beiler’s clinch over Maxim Tybar sealed the Oklahoma State men’s tennis team’s 11th consecutive losses in the Bedlam matchup.

No. 17 Oklahoma defeated No. 27 OSU 6-1 on a windy Friday night at Headington Family Tennis Center. The loss was the Cowboys’ sixth on the road this season, as injuries continues to pile up on what has already been an injury-plagued season for OSU.

With fans from both sides nearly filling in all the seats at Headington Family Tennis Center, the chemistry got going early in the doubles play. Both Sooners and Cowboys’ tandems determined to register the early advantage as teams traded their serving games until the key moment.

OSU was first to gain an advantage when Luke Hammond and Artur Dubinski broke serve in the eighth game, then converting the final serving game for a 6-3 victory. OU then replied with a 6-4 victory courtesy of Alex Bakshi and Spencer Papa on Court 1.

The doubles play went down to Court 2 when OSU’s Emile Hudd and Matej Vocel faced a triple match-point situation, but managed to get out of jam to force the tiebreaker. The duo held a 6-5 lead with a serving opportunity, but allowed OU tandem Jake Van Emburgh and Ferran Calvo to come back with an 8-6 victory.

Hudd described the loss as the deal breaker.

“It’s one big time,” Hudd said. “To be so close and then lose it in the tiebreak obviously it’s a real pain. But we fought hard and it’s our first match together so we are taking a lot of positivity and hopefully next time we can close out."

Losing the doubles point seemed to be the deal breaker for the Cowboys and they started off slowly in singles. The Sooners took the first set in five out of six courts, including a 6-0 victory courtesy of Calvo against Dubinski on Court 2. Dubinski, who competed in both doubles and singles play for the first time since February, decided to retire after the first set, giving OU a 2-0 lead.

OSU assistant coach Scoville Jenkins wasn’t pleased with how the Cowboys started off the singles play.

“We started off the doubles really good and it was good energy,” Jenkins said. “The singles, it was a little disappointing how as a team we came off really slow and they didn’t, especially when our back was against the wall. I think a lot of people fought and stayed competitive, but sometimes when you are down like this, it is a little to late.”

Head coach Jay Udwadia mentioned some key points of emphasis for his team at a media availability before the match, but those were the moments that prevented OSU’s attempt to mount a comeback.

Vocel, trailing 4-0 against Papa in the second set, broke serve in the fifth game. He then served a double fault in the next game to give Papa the match-clinching serving game. On Court 6, Hammond had a chance to force the final set of a triple breakpoint opportunity, but saw his chance slip away after a spectacular backhand volley from Stefano Tsorotiotis.

“We had a few of those today,” Jenkins said. “I thought (OU) really relished and dug in deep the bigger points on the bigger moments. I thought we got nervous and tight and they didn’t and they went out for it. We didn’t hold off the situation as good as they did.”

Papa converted the serving game to finish off Vocel 6-4, 6-1. Van Emurgh clinched the match against Tybar after a lengthy conversation between Jenkins and the umpire for a controversial double touch call. Hammond fell 8-6 in the tiebreaker, before Scaglia dropped a break point in the final game against Mason Beiler en route to a 6-3, 6-4 loss.

The Cowboys’ single point of the night came from Hudd, who defeated Jochen Bertsch in straight sets as OSU avoided getting swept for the second straight matchup. However, the damage had already been done.

“It’s obviously a tough one to lose,” Hudd said. “I felt like we were right there with them most of the matches. We were a little bit banged up on some courts so on another day, maybe. There are a lot of positives to take away with it so we just have to move to the next one and hopefully bring it home.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com