The 25th-ranked Oklahoma State Men's Tennis Team (18-4) defeated No. 11 Minnesota, 4-2, in the second round of the NCAA Regional at the Baseline Tennis Center. The Cowboy's Boris Kuharic, a former Golden Gopher, clinched the match with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win at No. 3 over Chris Wettengel.
"Both teams played terrific," OSU Head Coach James Wadley said. "We had our backs against the wall, but we've been in this position before and have come back. Mark's (van Elden) win at No. 1 got us going and Boris came back to Minnesota and was the hero."
With Oklahoma State leading the match 3-2, the final two singles matches went to tiebreakers in the third set. Minnesota's Thomas Haug rallied at No. 2 singles to force a third-set against Yevgen Bondarchuk, but following Kuharic's win, Haug's match was abandoned at 3-6, 7-5, 6-6.
Minnesota got on top early by clinching the doubles point as Aleksey Zharinov and Eric Robertson defeated Kuharic and Felipe Diaz at No. 3 by the score of 8-5. Haug and Avery Ticer defeated Mark van Elden and Jiri Jezek at No. 1 doubles, 8-3.
Junior Clay Estes then put Minnesota up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-0 win against Jiri Spousta at No. 6 singles. Oklahoma State rebounded as van Elden topped Zharinov at No. 1 by the score of 7-5, 6-3. The Cowboys tied the match at two after Jezek rallied to defeat Manuel Lievano, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The Cowboys took a 3-2 lead as Tomas Bohunicky won the final three games of the third set to defeat Ticer at No. 5, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
Kuharic then clinched the match at No. 3 singles over Wettengel. He played for the University of Minnesota last season, before transferring to Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State will advance to next week's NCAA Sweet Sixteen in Athens, Ga., while the Golden Gophers finish their season with a 21-6 record.
"I'm proud of our effort today," Minnesota Head Coach David Geatz said. "It was a great match between two outstanding teams. You have to give them credit to come back the way they did."
#25 Oklahoma State 4, #11 Minnesota 2
No. 1 - Ticer/Haug (MN) def. van Elden/Jezek (OSU), 8-3
No. 2 - Bondarchuk/Spousta (OSU) vs. Lievano/Estes (MN) - OSU 6-4, abd
No. 3 - Zharinov/Eric Robertson(MN) def. Kuharic/Diaz (OSU), 8-5
Order of Finish: 1,3
No. 1 - #59 Mark van Elden (OSU) def. #52 Aleksey Zharinov (MN), 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 - Yevgen Bondarchuk (OSU) vs. #82 Thomas Haug (MN), 6-3, 5-7, 6-6, abd.
No. 3 - Boris Kuharic (OSU) def. #121 Chris Wettengel (MN), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5)
No. 4 - Jiri Jezek (OSU) def. Manuel Lievano (MN), 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 - Tomas Bohunicky (OSU) def. Avery Ticer (MN), 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
No. 6 - Clay Estes (MN) def. Jiri Spousta (OSU), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6,1,4,5,3