Cowboy Tennis Heads to Blue Gray Tennis Classic

The No. 54 Oklahoma State men’s tennis team travels to Montgomery, Ala., this week to compete in the Blue Gray Tennis Classic. The Cowboys begin competition as they take on No. 44 Penn State Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center. will play Texas Tech or Harvard Friday, depending on Thursday’s results.

About the Cowboys
The Cowboys are 5-4 on the year and are on a two-match win streak, with both wins coming against ranked opponents. Last week, knocked off 41st-ranked Hawai’i in Las Vegas, Nev., before taking down No. 56 on its home court. Oklahoma State won its season-opening dual match against Memphis, 5-2, before dropping matches against Rice and Texas A&M at the Kick-Off Weekend in College Station, Texas. In their next match against Sacramento State, the Cowboys won 4-3 with the help of a last-match, dual-deciding victory from defending National Player of the Year Oleksandr Nedovyesov at No. 1 singles. Oklahoma State then lost a non-conference dual against Oklahoma, 4-3, ending a 20 match Bedlam win streak that lasted 15 years. Oklahoma State has also defeated Western Michigan, 5-2, and lost to No. 10 Louisville, 6-1. The Cowboys return three letterwinners from last year’s squad, which finished with a 14-8 record and reached the Tournament for a school-record seventh consecutive season.

About the Opponents
Penn State enters the match on a nine-match win streak with an 11-1 record in 2010. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 44 in the team rankings and finished 14-13 in 2009. Oklahoma State owns a 2-0 all time series advantage over Penn State, with the winning the last match, 4-3, in 2009.

Teams competing at the event include Oklahoma State, Arizona, Boise State, Furman, Fresno State, Harvard, Middle Tennessee State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, San Diego State, South Florida, Texas Tech, and William & Mary.

All About Oleksandr
Oklahoma State senior Oleksandr Nedovyesov has already left his mark as one of the best athletes in the history of the Cowboy tennis program. Nedovyesov was named the 2009 Player of the Year and has been the No. 1-ranked singles player for much of his career. Nedovyesov holds a 7-2 record at No. 1 singles this year, while he finished the 2009 fall campaign with a 12-3 record, winning the Central Regional Championships.

“He is the highest-ranked player we have ever recruited,” coach James Wadley said. “He is an unbelievable talent. He has solid strokes in every area. As the defending player of the year, it will be difficult for him this season. Everyone is going to be gunning and going after him. He knows that, and he needs to rise to the challenge. He has risen to the challenge before, and he will again.”

Cowboys in the Rankings
Oklahoma State finished the 2009 season ranked No. 25 in the final team rankings, which is where it opened the 2010 season. The Cowboys have been ranked in every poll in 2010. holds the No. 54 spot in the latest edition of the rankings. In addition to the team ranking, Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Anton Bobytskyi are ranked in the singles rankings at No. 19 and 75, respectively, while Nedovyesov and Aleksey Bessonov are the 12th-ranked doubles tandem in the poll.

Up Next
After the Cowboys finish competition at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic, they begin conference play as they take on the Texas Longhorns March 26, in Austin, Texas.

Updated 03-18-2010

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