Top-seeded Longhorns take the doubles point and get singles wins from senior Luis Diaz Barriga, sophomore Josh Zavala and freshman Kellen Damico in 4-0 Big 12 semifinal win over fifth-seeded host Texas A&M; Horns to meet Baylor for a third consecutive Big 12 Championship match on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central.
Top-seeded Texas (20-4) took the doubles point and collected singles victories from senior Luis Diaz Barriga, sophomore Josh Zavala and freshman Kellen Damico, as the Horns advanced to the finals of the 2008 Big 12 Championships with a 4-0 win over fifth-seeded host Texas A&M (12-11) Saturday at the Aggies’ Mitchell Tennis Center.
Texas scores its third victory of the season over Texas A&M and has defeated the Aggies at home, road and neutral sites in 2008. UT advances to the finals of the Big 12 Championships for a third consecutive season and will meet second-seeded Baylor in the finals, also for the third straight time. The Longhorns and Bears will meet for the tournament title on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central.
Texas opened the match with a solid effort in the doubles session to take the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Dimitar Kutrovsky and Zavala teamed up for an 8-2 win over Matt Bain and Chris Chirico at third doubles, and the Horns nailed down the point at the second slot when Diaz Barriga and junior Miguel Reyes Varela dealt Mike Beatty and Wil Spencer an 8-5 defeat.
Diaz Barriga made short work of Chirico at fourth singles, winning by a 6-1, 6-2 count to give Texas a 2-0 lead. Zavala staked Texas to a 3-0 lead when he finished off A&M’s Kayvon Karimi by a 6-4, 6-3 count at sixth singles, and Damico tallied his second victory of the season over the Aggies’ Wil Spencer, winning by a 6-1, 6-3 count at second singles to close out the Texas win.
Texas coach Michael Center
“It was a nice win for us today. It’s tough to play a good team like Texas A&M three times in one season, let alone twice in one week. I was really pleased, particularly with our doubles today. To get off to a 4-0 start was a great effort by our guys.”
Texas A&M coach Steve Denton
“I thought the key to the match would be the doubles. We had a shot there at No. 2 doubles to get back into the match. We won that same kind of match last week in Austin. They (Texas) picked their level up, so give them credit for playing well. We were playing uphill the whole time. In the locker room, we talked about how important it was to win the first sets in a lot of these matches. It just didn’t happen today.”
Big 12 Championships – Men’s Semifinals
No. 6 Texas 4, No. 27 Texas A&M 0
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 2
1 Corrie/Damico (UT) vs. Krajicek/Pollock (TAMU) – 7-6, susp.
2 Diaz Barriga/Reyes Varela (UT) def. Beatty/Spencer (TAMU) – 8-5
3 Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) def. Bain/Chirico (TAMU) – 8-2
Singles – Order of Finish: 4, 6, 2
1 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) vs. Conor Pollock (TAMU) – 6-4, 4-6, 0-1, susp.
2 Kellen Damico (UT) def. Wil Spencer (TAMU) – 6-1, 6-3
3 Ed Corrie (UT) vs. Austin Krajicek (TAMU) – 4-6, 3-4, susp.
4 Luis Diaz Barriga (UT) def. Chris Chirico (TAMU) – 6-1, 6-2
5 Milan Mihailovic (UT) vs. Matt Bain (TAMU) – 6-4, 0-3, susp.
6 Josh Zavala (UT) def. Kayvon Karimi (TAMU) – 6-4, 6-3