Tech Defeats Oklahoma State 5-1, Big 12 Title in Sight
The No. 20 Red Raiders (14-6, 3-0 in Big 12 Conference play) had to weather the storm on and off the court to eventually pull out the 5-1 victory against Oklahoma State on Friday night at the DeBois Tennis Complex.
Due to some weather in the area, the Big 12 foes chose to play singles first instead of starting off the routine way with doubles.
In the end doubles were never needed.
Oklahoma State (7-11, 0-3) started off strong against Tech by grabbing leads in every singles match except for the No. 6 match.
Despite having their backs against the wall, the Red Raiders showed their resilience as they fought back.
Francisco Zambon and No. 45 Gonzalo Escobar got the ball rolling for Tech with wins in their respective matches, Zambon beating Alejandro Carstens 6-0, 6-0 and Escobar topping Rifat Biktyakov 6-4, 6-2.
With the 2-0 lead in hand, the Red Raiders continued to roll as Gabriel Wanderley got a victory in the No. 5 spot defeating Trevor Hortsmann 6-4, 6-3.
After Rafael Garcia fell in the No. 3 spot, Tech got the match-clinching victory from Vitor Manzini at the No. 4 spot to seal the win.
Manzini defeated Eric West in three sets, after dropping the first set 6-1, and battled back to get the win.
The Red Raiders would go on to win the match 5-1, after No. 98 Raony Carvalho defeated No. 100 Vlad Bondarenko in three sets, preserving their undefeated record in Big 12 play and setting up something special for Sunday.
On Sunday, Tech takes on No. 13 Oklahoma and with a victory; the Red Raiders would clinch a share of the Big 12 Regular season title and also the No. 1 overall seed in the Big 12 Tournament, which is set to start on April 26 in College Station.
The Sooners were the team favored in the preseason to win the Big 12.
Tech and Oklahoma are set to play at the Headington Family Tennis Center on Sunday with first serve set for 1 p.m.
Caroline Starck Clinches 4-3 Victory for No. 22 Lady Raiders with Win, beat A&M for first time since 1987
After doubles and five singles matches the decision of which team would walk away in victory and which team would walk away in defeat came down to the match on court four.
That is where Caroline Starck, Texas Tech's captain, was going head-to-head with Lauren Santacroce to decide the match.
Starck dropped the first set, 6-2, but then fought back to stay alive winning the second set to set the stage for a thriller.
Starck would dominate the third set winning 6-1, slamming the door on the match sealing the victory for the No. 22 Lady Raiders beating No. 20 Texas A&M 4-3.
The win marked the first win against Texas A&M for the Lady Raiders since 1987.
With the win the Lady Raiders stayed perfect in Big 12 Conference play and snapped a 27-match losing streak to the Aggies.
Before the match came down to the game on court four, the Lady Raiders had to do some work to get there.
Tech (16-3, 6-0 in Big 12 play) started the match off on the right foot winning the doubles point thanks to a 9-8 (7-2) victory by Caroline Starck and Nikki Sanders beating Janine Erasmus and Nazari Urbina to clinch the first point of the match.
Heading into the singles, the Lady Raiders needed just three wins to win the match, but that is easier said than done, especially in Big 12 play.
The Aggies (13-3, 4-2) tied it up with No. 5 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar defeating Elizabeth Ullathorne in straight sets.
But just as the Aggies answered, so did the Lady Raiders.
Freshman Kenna Kilgo won in straight sets in the No. 5 spot to give Tech a 2-1 lead, but A&M answered right back with a win at the No. 2 spot and the No. 3 spot to take the 3-2 lead.
So with the top of the lineup getting shut down, the fate of the match fell into the hands of the players in spots four through six.
And they delivered.
Sanders kept the Lady Raiders hopes alive in the No. 6 spot with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Sheri Olivier to tie it all up at 3-3.
The match then came down to Stark in the No. 4 spot and she battled back to win the final two sets of her match to seal the historic win for the Lady Raiders.
The road does not get any easier as Tech continues its road swing with a trip to Austin on Sunday to take on the No. 13 Longhorns.
Texas (11-5, 4-0) faces No. 12 Baylor, who the Lady Raiders defeated earlier this season, on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in Austin before facing Tech.