Men’s Tennis begins season in national spotlight, seeks first NCAA championship

By Courtlin Haygarth, Contributing Writer    (Courtesy Photo/Bison Athletics)

ITA Central Regional Championships, October first, 2017. That was the last tennis action OBU Tennis saw. This Saturday, February 10th, a new season begins when the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison meet the Washburn Ichabods in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

This contest will be OBU’s first match of the early 2018 season, where this will be Washburn’s third match, splitting their first two matches after losing to Drury University and then defeating McKendree University

The Bison enter the 2018 year ranked 21st according to the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Rankings (ITA) Division II rankings. The Ichabods of Washburn come in ranked 19th.

Last year at the ITA Central Regional Championships, OBU’s David Aguilera and Lucas Branco faced Washburn’s Alejandro Valarezo Plaza and Blake Hunter, respectively, in singles, with Branco getting the best of Hunter and Plaza defeating Aguilera.

The Washburn duo ended up winning the doubles title in that tournament, defeating the Bison duo along the way. They will have a chance at each other again come February tenth in OKC.

Entering this year, the Bison of Oklahoma Baptist were voted as pre-season favorites in the Great American Conference (GAC).

In an interview with OBU Head Coach Nick Papac, in addition to winning the conference, Papac’s goal for their men’s and women’s team is for them each to reach the Sweet Sixteen at the end of year NCAA tournament.

The first step en route to that goal begins in OKC on February tenth as the Bison of Oklahoma Baptist University take on the Ichabods of Washburn University.

 

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