ABILENE, Texas (Feb. 3, 2013) – Beating ranked NCAA Division II opponents is nothing new for Oklahoma Christian, but Saturday’s 7-2 road win over No. 11 Abilene Christian (Texas) might end up being a bit more important than past wins over ranked foes.
OC, in its first season in the Division II membership process, wasn’t considered for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason Division II team rankings, but will be eligible for those rankings as the season progresses. A win over a top-notch foe like ACU (1-1) should earn the Eagles some attention from Division II poll voters unfamiliar with the Eagles’ run of sustained success in the NAIA.
The Eagles’ top two players, Bruno Tiberti and Martin Poboril, also posted wins in matches that figure to be important for individual rankings purposes.
As a team, OC (2-0) has won 15 straight matches, a run that included last season’s NAIA championship and shows no sign of ending soon, especially the way the Eagles played Saturday.
ACU picked up one of its two points at No. 1 doubles, as the third-ranked duo of Hans Hach and Borja Cortes beat OC’s No. 8-ranked pair of Poboril and Tiberti 8-2.
But OC posted two lopsided doubles wins, with Nicolas Auruccio and Julio Pulido beating ACU’s Alfredo Desiati and Guilherme Gesser 8-3 at the No. 2 position and Josip Smoljan and Paulo Roessle downing ACU’s Marco Bensley and Jason Proctor 8-4 at No. 3.
OC picked up three straight-set singles wins, most notably at No. 2, with No. 33 Poboril downing No. 42 Cortes 6-3, 6-4. Auruccio beat Proctor 7-6, 6-3 at No. 5 and Roessle rolled past Bensley 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6.
The other three matches all were decided by super tiebreakers. Gesser beat Smoljan 3-6, 6-3, 12-10 at the No. 3 position to give the Wildcats their second point, but at No. 4, Pulido edged Nicklas Wingord 5-7, 6-3, 10-7.
Tiberti also scored a key win for individual rankings purposes. Last year’s No. 1-ranked NAIA player entered this season at No. 41 in Division II, but he beat the No. 2-ranked Hach 2-6, 6-2, 11-9. That decision is sure to vault Tiberti up the Division II rankings when they’re updated later this month.