Feb. 25, 2012
TULSA, Okla. ------ The UAB men's tennis team took advantage of winning a critical doubles point to edge past Oklahoma State here Saturday, 4-3, in the first of two matches the Blazers will play this weekend at the Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus.
UAB (7-2) split singles play but captured the victory over the Cowboys on the strength of taking two of three matches in doubles.
The meeting was the first-ever between the two schools' tennis programs.
The Blazers clinched the match with a win at No. 5 singles by sophomore Lucas Dirube. Dirube's 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over OSU's Trevor Horstmann gave UAB a 4-1 lead before the Cowboys trimmed the final margin with a pair of close three-set wins at No. 1 and 3 singles.
But it was the point in doubles that again proved to be pivotal.
Of its eight matches that doubles has been contested, UAB has won at least two of three to win the doubles point in seven of those. The Blazers have not lost the doubles point since a loss to No. 31-ranked Florida State on Jan. 21.
On Saturday, UAB took wins at the No. 1 and 3 positions to claim the point. Dirube and Chris Helliar were the first to win, cruising past the Cowboy duo of Adolfo Aires and Horstmann, 8-2, at the No. 3 spot.
At No. 1 doubles, the Blazers' David Zimmerman and Tom Puetz were 8-6 winners over Rifat Biktyakov and Vlad Bondarenko. Oklahoma State notched its only win in doubles at No. 2 as Eric West and Chris Haworth squeaked past UAB's Danny Manlow and Daniel Moser, 8-6.
UAB took a 3-1 lead as Zimmerman got past Biktyakov at No. 2 singles, 7-5, 6-3. Moments later, Dirube clinched for the Blazers with his win at No. 5.
OSU's Bondarenko was a three-set winner at No. 1 singles over Manlow, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 before West edged past Helliar at the No. 3 position, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.
UAB will be in action again Sunday when the Blazers take on No. 19-ranked Tulsa. The match is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. CT.
UAB 4, Oklahoma State 3
1. Vlad Bondarenko (OSU) def. Danny Manlow (UAB) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
2. David Zimmerman (UAB) def. Rifat Biktyakov (OSU) 7-5, 6-3
3. Eric West (OSU) def. Chris Helliar (UAB) 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
4. Chris Haworth (OSU) def. Daniel Moser (UAB) 6-4, 6-4
5. Lucas Dirube (UAB) def. Trevor Horstmann (OSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
6. Tom Puetz (UAB) def. Adolfo Aires (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
1. David Zimmerman/Tom Puetz (UAB) def. Rifat Biktyakov/Vlad Bondarenko (OSU) 8-6
2. Eric West/Chris Haworth (OSU) def. Danny Manlow/Daniel Moser (UAB) 8-6
3. Chris Helliar/Lucas Dirube (UAB) def. Adolfo Aires/Trevor Horstmann (OSU) 8-2
Records: UAB 7-2, Oklahoma State 3-2