The University of Oklahoma dropped just one set all weekend on its way to winning its second championship on Sunday at the Missouri Valley Tennis on Campus section championships, held March 10-11 at Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kansas.
The Sooners steamrolled the competition in pool play before eventually topping second-place Iowa, 30-16, in the title match, and earning a trip to the Tennis on Campus National Championships next month in North Carolina. The runner-up Hawkeyes locked up a spot in North Carolina as well.
The University of Missouri also qualified for the National Championships with a third-place finish, defeating Washington University, 23-18. Mizzou and Wash U were tied going into the final mixed doubles match-up, with the Tigers taking that game 6-1.
The full list of participating schools is as follows: Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Missouri Science and Technology, Missouri State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. Louis University, Tulsa and Washington University. Athletes from all 14 schools displayed great sportsmanship while keeping the competition fierce.
"We had a great group of players who displayed great attitudes on and off the court - even at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday after losing an hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time!" said Director of Community Tennis Marissa Moment Brown. "We had some strong competition this year. There were several teams that could have competed in the Championship bracket for one of the three bids to Nationals."
Three sportsmanship awards were given out at the event to recognize those that stood out from the rest. The team from Missouri State earned the Team Spirit/Sportsmanship award while Ty Merkle (Missouri) and Christine Anjard (Kansas State) were honored for male and female sportsmanship, respectively.
"This was an awesome experience," said senior Garret Gann, team captain of Oklahoma. "It’s always competitive, always fun. I think we all love the team aspect that this format provides. And we are looking forward to representing the Missouri Valley alongside Iowa and Missouri at Nationals!"
Tennis on Campus is a USTA program that is designed to give college students an opportunity to keep their competitive spirits alive, stay in shape and meet fellow college students from around the country. The program is flexible, incorporating players of all ability levels and teams of all sizes in a fun, competitive environment outside of the Division I atmosphere. This year, 14 schools from across the five-state Missouri Valley section were represented.
For more information about Tennis on Campus, please visit www.tennisoncampus.com