Cowboys Set for Home Opener with Nebraska
About the Cowboys
The Cowboys are 6-8 (0-2) on the year. OSU has faced eight consecutive ranked opponents, with this weekend marking the ninth and 10th straight. In those eight matches, Oklahoma State has gone 3-5, recording wins over then-No. 41 Hawai’i, No. 56 UNLV and No. 44 Penn State. The Cowboys have also defeated Memphis, Sacramento State and Western Michigan in 2010. OSU returns three letterwinners from last year’s squad, which finished with a 14-8 record and reached the NCAA Tournament for a school-record seventh consecutive season.
About the Opponents
UCF enters the match with a 9-5 record and on a two-match winning streak. The Knights, ranked No. 63 in the ITA team rankings, defeated Air Force, 6-1, and DePaul, 7-0, in their previous two matches. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Nebraska, which faces Texas A&M Friday afternoon, enters the weekend at 12-6, having won its last match against Wichita State, 5-2. The Huskers are ranked No. 37 in the ITA team rankings and hold a pair of spots in the ITA singles rankings. Calin Paar holds the No. 92 spot, while Christopher Aumueller is ranked No. 96. Oklahoma State holds a 44-6 all-time series advantage over Nebraska. The Cowboys have won seven straight in the series, including a 4-3 decision in last year’s contest.
Oklahoma State has faced 13 different opponents in 14 matches this year. Among those opponents, 11 are ranked in the latest ITA poll, including five in the top-20. Also, four of the six teams the Cowboys have beaten in 2010 are in the ITA rankings, and the Cowboys’ last 10 opponents are ranked. OSU’s 13 opponents, to date, have a combined record of 161-70 and not one has a losing record.
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 ITA Player of the Year and has been the No. 1-ranked singles player for much of his career. Nedovyesov holds an 11-3 record at No. 1 singles this year, while he finished the 2009 fall campaign with a 12-3 record, winning the ITA Central Regional Championships.
“He is the highest-ranked ATP 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 ITA team rankings, which is where it opened the 2010 season. Since then, the Cowboys have been ranked in every ITA poll in 2010. OSU holds the No. 49 spot in the latest edition of the rankings (March 30) after being No. 44 in the previous poll. In addition to the team ranking, Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Anton Bobytskyi are ranked in the ITA singles rankings at No. 14 and No. 98, respectively, while Nedovyesov and Aleksey Bessonov are the 16th-ranked doubles team.
After the Cowboys take on the Huskers Sunday, they return to Stillwater for an April 7, Bedlam matchup against Oklahoma at 2 p.m.