On Thursday afternoon, The University of Tulsa's men's tennis 48th-ranked player, Or Ram-Harel, dropped a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 decision to Virginia Tech's 14th-ranked Joao Monteiro in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles Championship at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Ram-Harel finished the 2015-16 season with an overall 11-14 singles record. He helped lead TU to a runner-up finish in the American Athletic Conference for the second consecutive season, and he was named to the 2016 American Athletic All-Conference Singles Team for the second time in his career. The talented junior improved his overall record to 1-2 in the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles Championship.
"When I look back, I had a lot of ups and downs," Ram-Harel said. "When I started the year, I wasn't very good. I think my tennis through the year got better and better. In the middle of the semester, I kind of lost my way of fighting and the way I compete on the courts. But in the past month, I was able to find it again. To get back my tennis and the mentality, I think, allowed me to take the next step, but it just didn't happen today."
In the initial set, Monteiro held his first serve, before he broke Ram-Harel's first serve to take a 2-0 lead early in the set. Both players broke each others next serve to bring the score to 3-1 in the set, and each player held their next serve to make the score 4-2. Monterio went on to hold his serve, and then he broke Ram-Harel's next serve to end the set 6-2, taking a 1-0 match lead going into the second set.
Both players held their first two serves in the second set tying the score at 2-2. Monterio held his serve and he broke Ram-Harel's next serve to take a 4-2 lead. Ram-Harel responded as he broke Monterio's serve and held his next serve to tie the score at 4-4 in the set. TU's Ram-Harel held his next serve, before Monterio held his next serve to tie the match score again at 5-5. Monterio couldn't hold his serve as Ram-Harel broke it to take a 6-5 lead, and then Ram-Harel held his next serve to end the set 7-5, tying the match score at 1-1 going into the final set.
In the final set, both players held their first serves to tie the score at 1-1, before both players broke each other's serves to tie the score again at 2-2. The two continued to battle as they both held their next serve to tie the score for a third time in the set at 3-3. Monterio held his serve, and broke Ram-Harel's next serve to take a late 5-3 lead, before he went on to hold his final serve to end the set 6-3 and the match 2-1.