The Oklahoma men’s tennis team is in action this weekend as four Sooners head to Louisiana to participate in the 2015 Cajun Tennis Classic hosted by the University of Louisiana.
Senior Austin Siegel, juniors Florin Bragusi and Alex Ghilea and sophomore Spencer Papa will represent OU in both singles and doubles at the four-day event running Thursday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 27.
The tournament features a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw made up of student-athletes from Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, USC and host-Louisiana. The tournament also boasts 25 players ranked in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings.
Ghilea will be the highest-ranked Sooner in the field. The native of Neamt, Romania, currently sits at No. 50 after an impressive sophomore campaign in which he compiled a record of 22-7 playing primarily at number four singles. Ghilea was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2015 ITA National Indoor Championships. He is scheduled to face Eric Perez of Louisiana at 9 a.m. Thursday in the singles draw.
Bragusi is also in the rankings for OU. Ghilea’s fellow Romanian sits at No. 106 in the singles ranks after a 13-4 run last spring. Bragusi earned a reputation as the Sooners’ closer after going 4-0 in situations in which he was the last match on with the dual tied at 3-all. Not only was Bragusi perfect in those situations, they were also some of the Sooners’ biggest matches, including the Big 12 Championship final, matches with Ohio State and Virginia, as well as the round of 16 meeting with UCLA at the NCAA Championships. Bragusi will face Simon Freund of LSU at noon Thursday.
Papa will see his first action of the fall this weekend. The Edmond, Okla., native saw plenty of action as a freshman last season and was instrumental in the Sooners’ run to the national final. Papa was particularly strong at the end of the 2015 spring season, going 4-1 during the NCAA Championships, a mark that earned him a place on the All-Tournament team at number five singles. Papa will take on Boris Arias of LSU at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The elder statesman of the group, Siegel saw limited action last year, finishing 2-1, but will look to play a more integral role this season. Siegel will play Gerardo Lopez of TCU at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
In the doubles draw, Papa and Ghilea will pair to take on Walker Duncan and Emil Reinberg of Georgia, while Bragusi and Siegel will square off with Max de Vroom and Nick Crystal of USC. Doubles play is slated to begin Friday.