Quarterfinals and coaches’ interviews in the books at Big 12

Friday is in the books and it has been a busy one. I stayed through the first six matches, but had to leave as the Texas Tech and Nebraska women were about to start. Things went pretty well considering we thought there would be some rain. I think the delay was only about 15 minutes max, so that’s not bad. The forecast shows more on the horizon tomorrow possibly.

I was doing videos and have a bunch posted on the YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/txcollege10s. Included are Texas Tech women’s coach Todd Petty (from Thursday), Texas Tech men’s coach Tim Siegel, Texas A&M’s men’s coach Steve Denton, Texas A&M women’s coach Bobby Kleinecke, Baylor women’s coach Joey Scrivano, Baylor men’s coach Matt Knoll, Texas women’s coach Patty Fendick-McCain and Oklahoma men’s coach John Roddick–for good measure.

I would post a round-up, but I think all that needs to be said is in the releases. Due to a busy family schedule, I may not make any of the matches tomorrow, but could possibly hit the women’s matches after a little t-ball coaching.

Texas women rally past Oklahoma State, 4-1

No. 18 Texas (16-4) dropped the doubles point but put up a dominant showing in singles play to post a 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State (13-10) Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big 12 Championship at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Texas, the tournament’s second seed, is set to compete in Saturday’s semifinals at 3 p.m. Central against the winner of tonight’s match between third-seeded Nebraska and sixth-seeded Texas Tech. In the other semifinal, top-seeded Baylor will meet fourth-seeded Texas A&M, also at 3 p.m.

Texas opened with a victory at third doubles but could not hold off the seventh-seeded Cowgirls at the remaining two spots, as Oklahoma State claimed the doubles point with a pair of victories. UT senior Sarah Lancaster teamed up with junior Caroline Larsson to post an 8-4 win over OSU’s Malika Rose and Leyla Simmons at third doubles. UT had its chances at the remaining two slots, though the Cowgirls prevailed at both positions.

The Longhorns, however, seized control of the match and won all six first sets. Senior Vanja Corovic got off of the court first at third singles, where she dealt Alisa Buslaieva a 6-0, 6-2 defeat to even the tally at one. Junior Maggie Mello gave Texas the lead for good at fifth singles with a 6-3, 6-0 win over OSU’s Rose.

UT’s Larsson stretched out the Texas lead to 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over OSU’s Alex Cristello at sixth singles. Texas’ Lancaster notched the clinching point at fourth singles with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Sarah Meghoufel.

Texas’ Aeriel Ellis held match point over OSU’s Nataliya Shatkovskaya at first singles, though with the match’s outcome sealed upon Lancaster’s victory, the two remaining matches were called. UT’s Krista Damico held a one-set lead over OSU’s Sasha Belova at second singles.

2010 Big 12 Championships – Quarterfinals
#2 Texas 4, #7 Oklahoma State 1
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1 Shatkovskaya/Buslaieva (OSU) def. Corovic/Ellis (UT) – 9-7
2 Belova/Meghoufel (OSU) def. Craddock/Damico (UT) – 8-6
3 Lancaster/Larsson (UT) def. Rose/Simmons (OSU) – 8-4

Singles – Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 4
1 Aeriel Ellis (UT) vs. Nataliya Shatkovskaya (OSU) – UT led 7-5, 5-1, susp.
2 Krista Damico (UT) vs. Sasha Belova (OSU) – UT led 7-5, 2-1, susp.
3 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. Alisa Buslaieva (OSU) – 6-0, 6-2
4 Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Sarah Meghoufel (OSU) – 6-0, 6-3
5 Maggie Mello (UT) def. Malika Rose (OSU) – 6-3, 6-0
6 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Alex Cristello (OSU) – 6-3, 6-1

Records: Texas 16-4; Oklahoma State 13-10
Match Notes: Texas advances to Saturday’s semifinals (3 p.m. Central) where it will meet either #3 Nebraska or #6 Texas Tech
Time of Match: 3:01

Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCainOn losing the doubles point
“I think it threw us out of our element. We had a really bad start at No. 2, but we clawed our way back. Things don’t always go your way, but in a way, it was a great wake-up call.”

On rallying in singles play
“This is a group of fighters that won’t get concerned by losing one point. They did a great job in singles all the way down the stretch. They fought hard and played well. I feel good about those four wins, and I felt we were going to get the other two matches. I feel bad for Aeriel (Ellis), given that she was at match point when the match was called. Aeriel was playing a tough match at No. 2, and same with Krista Damico at No. 2. Vanja went out and played great tennis. Maggie Mello has been doing it all season long. She has been focused and disciplined.”

Oklahoma State head coach Chris Young
On the match
“I thought that it was definitely a tough match. I think that we came out and played our best doubles of the season. We really took it to them and competed well, and I think that in singles we made Texas work for it, and that is what we wanted. We wanted our girls to compete really well, and that is what they did. They left everything they had, and I am really proud of them.”

Baylor men breezes past Nebraska in Big 12 quarterfinal

Baylor’s seventh-ranked men’s tennis team blanked No. 40 Nebraska, 4-0, in quarterfinal action of the Big 12 Championships at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Texas on Friday afternoon.

With the win, Baylor, the tourney’s No. 3 seed, advances to Saturday’s tournament semifinals where they will face second-seeded and 10th-ranked Texas A&M at noon. BU is now 21-5 on the season while the Huskers fall to 13-12.

“We were lucky to win doubles. I still don’t know how we won it. Then in singles we lost a couple of first sets, so they are a pesky group, they have good tennis players. They are talented and they fought. I am proud of the guys for getting out of the door with a 4-0 win,” said head coach Matt Knoll.

As it did when the two teams met in Waco on April 11, the doubles point came down to a tiebreaker. After the two teams split matches on courts two and three, the point was secured in a tiebreaker at No. 1. Baylor’s Maros Horny and Sergio Ramirez, playing at No. 3, notched their fifth straight doubles win with an 8-2 triumph over the Huskers’ Benedikt Lindheim and Andre Stenger. The victory allowed Ramirez to remain perfect in doubles at 11-0. Next, Nebraska’s Christopher Aumueller and Francois Van Impe downed Jordan Rux and Attila Bucko at No. 2, 8-2. After trailing 6-2 at the top spot, BU’s 27th-ranked tandem of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin found their groove and earned wins in five of the next seven games over 35th-ranked Calin Paar and David Bendheim and had evened the score at 7-7 when Rux and Bucko’s match ended. At that point, with Maytin serving, the Bears were down 30-40 but rallied to win three straight points to go up 8-7. However, Nebraska would hold serve to force a tiebreaker. The Baylor tandem raced out to a 4-0 lead but the Huskers countered with three points of their own. From then on the two teams traded points back and forth, but Bears claimed victory when Maytin jammed the Huskers with his serve, winning the tiebreaker and the set, 9-8 (7-5). In Waco, the result of No. 1 doubles was just the opposite, with Paar and Bendheim winning 9-8 (7-4).

Dominik Muller extended his win streak to six matches with his 6-2, 6-2 victory over Stenger at No. 5 singles to give BU a 2-0 lead. With the victory, Mueller became BU’s all-time dual match victory leader, passing former Bear standout Benjamin Becker, with 93 wins. Next off the court was 14th-ranked Denes Lukacs with his 6-2, 6-4 win over the 80th-rated Aumueller. For the second time today, Maytin was the clincher for the Bears, he also teamed with with Lukacs to clinch in doubles. Playing at No. 4 singles, Maytin squeaked by in the first set 7-6 after winning the tiebreaker 7-5. He then breezed to the win with a 6-2 second-set victory.

“We are just happy to advance. When you are playing tournament tennis you just want to make it to the next round and we are just happy to make it to the next round and we know everybody we are going to play is very good. We know Texas A&M has good players at every position. We are going to have ready to play if we are going to have a chance to win,” said Knoll.

#7 Baylor 4, #40 Nebraska 0
Apr 30, 2010 at Austin, Texas
(Penick-Allison Tennis Center)
Singles competition
Order of finish: 5, 1, 4
1. #14 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #80 Christopher Aumueller (NU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #34 Jordan Rux (BU) vs. #70 Calin Paar (NU) 6-7 (8-10), 2-4, unfinished
3. Attila Bucko (BU) vs. David Bendheim (NU) 2-6, 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
4. Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Francois Van Impe (NU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
5. Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Andre Stenger (NU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Julian Bley (BU) vs. Benedikt Lindheim (NU) 3-6, 6-3, unfinished

Doubles competition
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1. #27 Denes Lukacs/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. #35 David Bendheim/Calin Paar (NU) 9-8 (7-5)
2. C. Aumueller/Francois Van Impe (NU) def. Attila Bucko/Jordan Rux (BU) 8-2
3. Maros Horny/Sergio Ramirez (BU) def. Benedikt Lindheim/Andre Stenger (NU) 8-2

Match Notes:
Nebraska 13-12
Baylor 21-5
Big 12 Championship Quarterfinals

Aggie men blank Oklahoma State

The 10th-ranked and second-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team pulled off the season trifecta of No. 49-ranked and seventh-seeded Oklahoma State with a 4-0 shutout in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big 12 Tennis Championship held Friday afternoon at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

The Aggies (22-5) defeated the Cowboys (8-13) for the third-straight time this season by claiming the doubles point early and three straight-set performances in singles play from sophomore Colin Hoover (Victoria, Texas), sophomore Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) and junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.). It took a little under two and a half hours to complete the match, after a slight delay from the original noon start time due to light drizzle.

A&M will face seventh-ranked and third-seeded Baylor (21-5) tomorrow in the semifinals at noon (CT), while top-seeded and third-ranked Texas (23-2) squares off against No. 15-ranked and fourth-seeded Texas Tech (21-4). The Aggies have now advanced to the semifinals in each of the last three years under head coach Steve Denton and assistant coach Bob McKinley.

Hoover and freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) combined for an 8-2 victory over Maximilian Kuhn and Ilija Martinoski to improve their record to 4-0 on the season at No. 3 doubles, while the No. 43-ranked tandem of junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) and senior co-captain Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) raised their record to 7-1 with an 8-5 win over Anton Bobytskyi and Eric West at No. 2 to give A&M the early 1-0 advantage.

“We got off to a good start in doubles which spring-boarded our effort in singles,” Denton said. “I felt like we responded well in our first match of the tournament. We were back to our old selves and did not give up any free points. We did a good job of staying on top of them today. It’s important to not have a lot of long matches when you potentially could play three matches in three days, so you need to be able to rest your guys as much as possible. I thought we were able to accomplish that today by taking care of OSU in straight sets.”

Colin Hoover, who clinched several key matches last season for the Aggies, has provided a spark after replacing freshman Niall Angus (London, England) in the lineup in the last two matches. He quickly dispatched Oklahoma State’s Maximilian Kuhn, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6 singles followed by Frenchman Alexis Klegou, who gave up only three games to Eric West, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 4. Jeff Dadamo, ranked No. 44 nationally in the latest Campbell/ITA rankings, sealed the first-round victory with a 6-4, 6-1 tally over No. 112-ranked Anton Bobytskyi at the No. 2 line.

The Aggies last beat Baylor, ranked No. 9 nationally in both team’s last meeting, by a count of 6-1 during the regular season on April 7 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. It marked A&M’s first victory over the seven-time defending Big 12 Tournament champion Bears since 2006.

“We know we will have to raise our level of play tomorrow to have a chance at making the finals,” Denton said. “Baylor has been playing well and is a dangerous team, so we know it’s going to be a really close match.”

All-session passes to the 2010 Big 12 Championship are available for purchase at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center priced at $10 for adults and $5 for youth, while day passes are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.

Live scoring for all Big 12 Championship matches will be available at www.TexasSports.com.

Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship Quarterfinals
April 30, 2010
Penick-Allison Tennis Center
at Austin, Texas
No. 1 – (7) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) vs. (5) Oleksandr Nedovyesov (OSU), 6-2, 3-5, DNF.
No. 2 – (44) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. (112) Anton Bobytskyi (OSU), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 3 – Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M) vs. Aleksey Bessonov (OSU), 4-6, 5-2, DNF.
No. 4 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) def. Eric West (OSU), 6-0, 6-3.
No. 5 – Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M) vs. Ilija Martinsoki (OSU), 3-6, 4-4, DNF.
No. 6 – Colin Hoover (Texas A&M) def. Maximilian Kuhn (OSU), 6-4, 6-1.

No. 1 – (5) Krajicek-Dadamo (Texas A&M) vs. (16) Bessonov-Nedovyesov (OSU), 6-4, DNF.
No. 2 – (43) Grigorov-Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M) def. Bobytskyi-West (OSU), 8-5.
No. 3 – Bautista-Hoover (Texas A&M) def. Kuhn-Martinoski (OSU), 8-2.

Singles: 6, 4, 2*
Doubles: 3, 2

TCU women upset hometown UNLV, advances to MWC final

The No. 64 TCU women’s tennis team will get a chance to defend its Mountain West Conference tournament crown after toppling second-seeded host UNLV Friday in the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships semifinals at the Frank and Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex. The Horned Frogs will battle No. 4 seed San Diego State in the MWC Championship match at 4 p.m. CT Saturday.

The evening began with TCU storming to a 1-0 advantage, claiming the doubles point with wins at the top two courts. The Frogs’ tandem of Idunn Hertzberg and Nina Munch-Soegaard got the ball rolling, cruising to an 8-3 win from the middle slot over the Rebels’ team of Alisa Razina and Anna Maskaljun.

The Purple and White sealed the doubles tally from the top court as Kayla Duncan and Katariina Tuohimaa, ranked No. 47 nationally, picked up a ranked win over UNLV’s 58th-ranked duo of Kristina Nedeltcheva and Jana Albers, 8-3. In the Frogs’ 4-3 loss to the Rebels on April 10, TCU failed to win the pivotal doubles point, falling from the first two courts.

The Rebels did not want to go quietly, playing in front of their home crowd. Maskaljun got the winning started, taking down TCU sophomore Shalini Sahoo from the fifth flight, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 50 Nedeltcheva continued the momentum for the Rebels from the top court, giving her team a 2-1 lead in the match with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against No. 56 Munch-Soegaard. UNLV took a 3-1 advantage in the match after Adrienn Hidvegi defeated Hertzberg at the No. 4 slot in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Again with the backs against the wall, TCU began to make its move. Sophomore Gaby Mastromarino, the hero from the Frogs’ quarterfinals win over Wyoming, picked up her seventh-straight win by taking down the Rebels’ Rumyani Terzieva from the No. 6 position, 6-1, 7-5. Riding her hot streak, the Tequesta, Fla., native hasn’t lost in singles since April 2.

Duncan would knot the team score at 3-3 from the No. 3 court, picking up a 6-0, 7-5 straight-set victory against Nives Pavlovic. The win marks the third in the last four matches for the all-MWC singles selection, who moves to 11-13 for the spring.

Coming in the clutch once again, Tuohimaa used her experience and knowledge to push the Frogs into the MWC Championship match, dropping Jana Albers in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. The Helsinki, Finland moved her spring record to 17-8 and picked up her ninth victory against a MWC opponent. In her three years as a Frog, Tuohimaa holds a 7-0 singles record during MWC Championship play.

“We all believed that we could win,” Tuohimaa said after clinching the win. “The doubles point was big and I feel like the pressure was off of us. It was a fun atmosphere with the big crowd and I feel like being the underdog was a big advantage for us, because they had more pressure on them.”

TCU improved to 9-16 overall on the spring and moved into the MWC Championship finals for the third-consecutive year. The victory improved the TCU’s record to 5-6 in the all-time series against the Rebels.

Fans can follow the live action of the tournament finale from the MWC Championship Central page.

No. 64 TCU 4, No. 33 UNLV 3
April 30, 2010
MWC Championships Semifinals — Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank and Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex

1. No. 47 Kayla Duncan/Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) def. No. 58 Kristina Nedeltcheva/Jana Albers (UNLV), 8-3
2. Idunn Hertzberg/Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU) def. Alisa Razina/Anna Maskaljun (UNLV), 8-3
3. Maria Babanova/Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) vs. Nives Pavlovic/Adrienn Hidvegi (UNLV), 6-5, unfinished

1. No. 50 Kristina Nedeltcheva (UNLV) def. No. 56 Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU), 7-5, 6-3
2. *Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) def. Jana Albers (UNLV), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
3. No. 113 Kayla Duncan (TCU) def. Nives Pavlovic (UNLV), 6-0, 7-5
4. Adrienn Hidvegi (UNLV) def. Idunn Hertzberg (TCU), 6-4, 6-4
5. Anna Maskaljun (UNLV) def. Shalini Sahoo (TCU), 6-3, 6-3
6. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) def. Rumyana Terzieva (UNLV), 6-1, 7-5

Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1*); Singles (5, 1, 4, 6, 3, 2*)
*—clinched team victory

Texas A&M women advance past Oklahoma, 4-2

No. 4 seed Texas A&M opened the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championship with a 4-2 victory over No. 5 seed Oklahoma in quarterfinal action today at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the University of Texas campus.

The Aggies (14-8) won the doubles point and posted straight-set wins at the top three singles positions to clinch the victory and advance to the semifinals, where A&M will take on No. 1 ranked, top-seeded and four-time defending tournament champion Baylor Saturday at 3 p.m.

Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) and Sheri Olivier (Topeka, Kan.) got the Aggies off to a quick start in doubles, jumping out to a 4-1 lead against Kristina Radan and Marie-Pier Huet at the No. 3 line. Up 4-2, the Aggie duo went on another four-game run to finish off the Sooner pair, 8-2.

In a battle of ranked teams, A&M’s 35th-ranked tandem of Elzé Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and Nazari Urbina (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) dropped the first two games against No. 38 Ana-Marie Constantinescu and Teona Tsertsvadze at the No. 1 line but then reeled off seven consecutive games. Oklahoma got within 7-5 before A&M finished off the match, 8-5, to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.

Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) had come back from a 5-2 deficit and got within 5-4 against Tara Eckel and Maria Kalashnikova at No. 2 doubles when the match was stopped.

“I was very pleased with the doubles,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “We wanted to come out aggressive, and I felt like we did that, especially at No. 1 and 3. Oklahoma played very well the first two games at No. 1, and then after that we really stepped it up, and I was proud of them for that.

“No. 3 doubles, we were more aggressive from the start, and that was the difference in the match. At No. 2, we started out a little bit down and then really kind of climbed back in there. This time of the year, that is what you need to do when (the doubles matches are) stopping after someone wins two; you’ve got to keep fighting even if you are down. I was very pleased with the doubles.”

Oklahoma (18-6) had taken a 2-1 lead at the start of singles after Radan defeated Lauren Santacroce (Spring, Texas), 6-1, 6-0, at No. 5 singles, and Eckel downed Liles, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 6, but A&M came roaring back with the straight-set victories at Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Potgieter cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win against Huet at No. 2 to post her 90th career singles victory and move her within two wins of tying for fifth place in the A&M all-time records.

With the team score tied at 2-2, Urbina, a freshman who typically plays the No. 2 line for the Aggies but was playing No. 1 for only the second time in her career, notched a 6-3, 6-4 win against Constantinescu to return the lead to A&M, 3-2. It was Urbina’s eighth consecutive win and her 31st singles win overall, tying her for fourth in the A&M career records for most victories in a season.

“We made that switch at 1 and 2, and I felt like this was the time for Nazari to step up, and she has been. That’s a great win that she had,” Kleinecke said. “At No. 2, Elzé did what she needed to do to win the match. She is a very unselfish player, and player No. 2 was completely fine with her.”

Frank secured the winning point for the Aggies with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Tsertsvadze at No. 3. Frank reeled off four consecutive games to cap the first set and was holding a 4-3 second-set lead when she won two straight games to close out the match.

“Morgan was a little tired in the match and she had that ankle sprain in the doubles, but she was fairly in control (of the match), and it was just a matter of taking care of it,” Kleinecke said. “I thought Nos. 1, 2 and 3 did an excellent job.”

Olivier was trailing Kalashnikova, 7-6 (3), 4-1, at No. 4 singles when the Frank posted the winning point.

“Oklahoma fought hard just like we knew they would,” Kleinecke said. “They are a good team and they’ve had a great season, and we are happy with this win.”

It was the Aggies’ 15 consecutive win against the Sooners, who have not defeated A&M since 1999. A&M now leads the all-time series, 20-4, including 5-0 in Big 12 Championship matches.

A&M advances to the semifinals for the 11th consecutive year and the 13th time overall. The Aggies are 1-3 against the Lady Bears in the 14-year history of the Big 12 tournament, including 0-2 when meeting in the semifinals. The last time the two teams met in the tournament was 2005 in Austin. Baylor, the No. 1 seed, topped A&M, 4-1 in the semifinals.

Earlier this season, A&M fell to Baylor, 6-1, in Waco, Texas. Urbina picked up the only point for the Aggies with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 18th-ranked Nina Secerbegovic at the No. 2 line. It marked the highest ranked win by an A&M player in a dual match this season.

“We’ll see what happens. Baylor is an excellent team,” Kleinecke said. “They have excellent players all up and down their lineup. They can take people out and still not lose anything. We are kind of banged up a little bit, but we are going to come out here and we are going to give them a heck of a fight.”

The winner of the semifinal tilt will advance to the championship match, to be played Sunday at 1 p.m.

Live scoring of the match will be available at AggieAthletics.com

No. 37 Texas A&M 4, No. 39 Oklahoma 2
Big 12 Championships, Quarterfinals
April 30, 2010
Penick-Allison Tennis Center Austin, Texas
Attendance: n/a

1. (#47) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. (#97) Ana-Maria Constantinescu (OU), 6-3, 6-4
2. (#60) Elzé Potgieter (TAMU) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU), 6-2, 6-1
3. (#101) Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. Teona Tsertsvadze (OU), 6-2, 6-3
4. Sheri Olivier (TAMU) vs. Maria Kalashnikova (OU), 6-7 (3), 1-4, unfinished
5. Kristina Radan (OU) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU), 6-1, 6-0
6. Tara Eckel (OU) def. Christi Liles (TAMU), 6-1, 6-1

Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. (#35) Potgieter/Urbina (TAMU) def. (#38) Constantinescu/Tsertsvadze (OU), 8-5
2. Stephanie Davidson/Frank (TAMU) vs. Eckel/Kalashnikova (OU), 4-5, unfinished
3. Liles/Olivier (TAMU) def. Huet/Radan (OU), 8-2

Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 1
Singles: 5, 6, 2, 1, 3*
*Clinched match

Team records
Texas A&M: 14-8
Oklahoma: 18-6

Early notes from Big 12 Friday

Just a quick update on the first group of matches here in Austin at the Big 12 Championships.

The early women’s match featured Baylor v. Colorado. As we all expected, this match was a cakewalk for the Bears, who steamrolled the Buffaloes, 4-0. It wasn’t close in any way shape or form. The Bears cruised to the doubles point, then captured line 1, 2 and 4 an hour later, losing only a combined three games along the way.

Here’s my post-match interview with Baylor head coach, Joey Scrivano.

The men’s match was much more interesting.

Texas Tech won a solid doubles point and promptly took a quick lead when Raony Carvalho played an incredible match, winning 61 62 over Beleleu. He looked amazing and was drilling that forehand, but the flat punishing backhand was also working.

OU evened the match with a pair of wins at 4 and 6 to make things somewhat interesting.

At the time, the remaining courts looked to be in control of the Red Raiders. Gonzalo Escobar was up a set and a break over Daescu at line 2, Rafael Garcia was up a set and a break over Costin Paval at 3 and Vitor Manzini was a set and a break over George Chanturia at line 5.

Well, first Daescu rallied, saving two match points, to get into a second set tiebreaker. At 5, Manzini was serving at 64 53 30-all. Then the rain started coming. It wasn’t much of a rain, rather a sprinkle, so play was disrupted for only about 10 minutes.

When play resumed, Manzini won the next two point to give Tech a 3-2 lead before the other courts could even get started.

OU’s Daescu cruised in the tiebreaker to force a third and appearing to gain the momentum. Escobar kept him cool and a very tight set ensued.

At line 3, Paval broke back then broke again when Garcia put an easy, mid-court put-away into the fence, send that match to a third set as well. Now the Red Raiders were officially nervous, having blown a 3-0 lead against Washington on these very same courts last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

But Escobar got a late break and held on to clinch the match at line 2, 6-4.

By post-match interview with Tim Siegel.

Frogmen upset No. 35 BYU, 4-2

Sophomore Paul Chappell picked the perfect time to nail down his first singles win of the season, clinching a 4-2 win for the TCU’s men’s tennis team over top-seeded BYU Friday at the Frank and Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex. The fourth-seeded Horned Frogs will square off against No. 2 San Diego State in the 2010 MWC Championships finale at Noon CT Saturday.

TCU improved to 11-12 overall on the spring and moves into the MWC Championship finals for the third-straight year. The Frogs claimed conference titles in both 2006 and 2008, while last year’s squad reached the final match before being eliminated by New Mexico.

“It’s amazing how are kids have stepped up this week,” TCU head coach Dave Borelli said. “A week and a half ago, we found out that Slah (Mbarek) was out for the year, Chris (Price) had a pretty good pulled groin and we had to take Zach (Nichols) to the emergency room. All I have told the kids is to play loose. We’ve just had so many bad breaks this season. We know how we can play, we just have to keep our heads up and do the best we can. We are capable of playing well.”

The morning began with the Frogs claiming the doubles point with wins at the top and bottom courts for the second day in a row. The Frogs’ team of Zach Nichols and Chappell got the Frogs started in doubles with an 8-5 victory from the No. 3 slot over the Cougars’ Ricardo Campos and Evan Urbina.

TCU’s top pairing of Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price, which is rated No. 37 nationally, picked up their eighth-consecutive victory and clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win at the top court against BYU’s Thomas Shubert and Cassidy Mears.

BYU bounced back to begin singles action, earning a win to tie the match at 1-1. Spencer Smith made light work of TCU’s Soren Goritzka from the No. 5 position, 6-4, 6-3.

Brighiu pushed the Frogs back ahead of the Cougars, upending Shubert from the top court in convincing fashion, 7-6 (4), 6-1. The victory was the second in as many days for the 2010 All-MWC selection, moving his spring record to 9-11 for the spring.

Freshman Marius-Adrian Cirstea gave TCU a 3-1 lead in the team score, battling through three sets to take down BYU’s Georgy Batrakov by the scores of 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. The win was the first in three sets for Cirstea since March 18.

The Cougars kept fighting with three matches left on the court. Nichols had a tough task from the No. 2 position, falling to Urbina in back-to-back tiebreakers, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

As momentum began to mount for BYU, Chappell started to close in on Daniel Hwang from the No. 6 position. The sophomore from Indianapolis took the first set from Hwang, but found himself down 4-3 in the second frame. Knowing that the match could come down to his court, Chappell broke Hwang’s serve to swing the score in his favor at 5-4. Looking to send his team into the MWC Championship finale, Chappell needed four match points to put away Hwang, earning his first victory of the season, 6-4, 6-4.

“We are just playing for one more day in the sun and to build for next season. Now we have a shot at the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Championships and we are really approaching it with no pressure,” Borelli added. “Paul Chappell and Marius Cirstea really stepped up today. We have a real tough chore tomorrow because I think San Diego State is a very, very good team. It will be a big challenge for us.”

Fans can follow the live action of the tournament finale from the MWC Championship Central page.

No. 72 TCU 4, No. 35 BYU 2
April 30, 2010
MWC Championships Semifinals — Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank and Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex

1. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Thomas Shubert (BYU), 7-6 (4), 6-1
2. Evan Urbina (BYU) def. Zach Nichols (TCU), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)
3. Marius Cerstea (TCU) def. Georgy Batrakov (BYU), 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
4. Christopher Price (TCU) vs. Cassidy Mears (BYU), 6-4, 5-7, 1-2, unfinished
5. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Soren Goritzka (TCU), 6-4, 6-3
6. *Paul Chappell (TCU) def. Daniel Hwang (BYU), 6-4, 6-4

1. #37 Emanuel Brighiu/Christopher Price (TCU) def. Cassidy Mears/Thomas Shubert (BYU), 8-4
2. Cameron Nash/Soren Goritzka (TCU) vs. George Batrakov/Daniel Hwang (BYU), 6-5, unfinished
3. Paul Chappell/Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Ricardo Campos/Evan Urbina (BYU), 8-5

Order of finish: Doubles (3, 1*); Singles (5, 1, 3, 2, 6*)
*—clinched team victory

Tech men win thriller over OU

In an exciting quarterfinal match at the Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship, the No. 15 Texas Tech men’s tennis team beat No. 20 Oklahoma, 4-2, to advance to the semifinals for just the third time since the inception of Big 12 Conference.

For the 18th time this season and the fifth time in six matches, No. 4 seed Tech (21-4) captured the doubles points as it won at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Gonzalo Escobar and Andre Stabile cruised to an 8-2 win over David Pultr and Ionut Beleleu at No. 2. The No. 3 duo of Vitor Manzini and David Gonzalez then got an 8-6 victory at No. 3 against Blake Boswell and Lawrence Formentera.

The Red Raiders won the doubles point all three times they played the Sooners (16-7) this year.

“Our No. 2 and 3 doubles teams played extremely well to get us off to a good a start,” said head coach Tim Siegel.

In singles action, Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead as 17th-ranked Raony Carvalho dominated No. 66 Beleleu, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 1. OU, the fifth seed, responded quickly taking the next two matches at No. 4 and 6, respectively, to tie the match at 2-2.

Red Raiders took a 3-2 lead in a straight-set win by Manzini at No. 5 as he beat George Chanturia, 6-4, 6-3. With the two matches remaining, No. 2 and 3, Tech got exactly what it needed from 48th-ranked Escobar. Playing at No. 2, Escobar won the first set, 6-1, but then fell in a second-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (3). In the third, the set was on serve until Escobar broke 27th-ranked Andrei Daescu to go up 4-3. He went up 5-3 before Daescu held serve at 5-4 and then Escobar served out the match to claim the victory for the Red Raiders.

“In singles, our No. 1 and 2 carried us throughout the first half of the season and they did it again today for us,” Siegel stated. “Ray (Raony Carvalho) played at an extremely high level and Vitor Manzini was as tough as he has been all year. I can’t say enough about Gonzalo (Escobar) having two match points at 6-5 in the second set and then having to start the third set. It just says so much about his determination and heart. Last year, we were here (Penick-Allison Tennis Center) for the NCAA Championships and had a couple team dual match points and a part of me thought ‘here we are at the same place, could it happen again?’. I’m very happy with how we played as a team. This is one of the best team wins in my years at Tech. This will keep us in the top 16, which will help us for the NCAA Championships. Now we look forward to playing a great Texas team on Saturday.”

Tech faces No. 1 seed and third-ranked Texas in the semifinals on Sat., May 1, at 12 p.m. at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. It is the first time since 2004 that the Red Raiders have advanced to the semifinals.

#15 Texas Tech 4, #20 Oklahoma 2
Big 12 Championship – Quarterfinals
Penick-Allison Tennis Center
Austin, Texas
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 3)
1. #17 Carvalho/Garcia (TTU) vs. #19 Daescu/Paval (OU), 5-7, unfinished
2. Escobar/Stabile (TTU) def. Pultr/Beleleu (OU), 8-2
3. Manzini/David Gonzalez (TTU) def. Blake Boswell/Formentera (OU), 8-6

Singles (order of finish: 1, 4, 6, 5, 2)
1. #17 Raony Carvalho (TTU) def. #66 Ionut Beleleu (OU), 6-1, 6-2
2. #48 Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) def. #27 Andrei Daescu (OU), 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-4
3. Rafael Garcia (TTU) vs. #74 Costin Paval (OU), 7-6 (3), 5-7, unfinished
4. David Pultr (OU) def. Andre Stabile (TTU), 6-3, 6-4
5. Vitor Manzini (TTU) def. George Chanturia (OU), 6-4, 6-3
6. Lawrence Formentera (OU) def. Raphael Pfister (TTU), 6-4, 6-1

Baylor women open Big 12 with blanking of Colorado

Baylor’s top-ranked women’s tennis team continued its league dominance, posting its 53rd straight win over a Big 12 school with its 4-0 victory over 72nd-ranked Colorado in the Big 12 Championships on Friday morning. The tournament is being held at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Texas.

It took the Lady Bears, who are aiming for their fifth straight Big 12 Championship title, just two hours to post the win, finishing the match minutes before tournament play was halted briefly due to a light rain in the area.

“It was an early start time (9 a.m.), that was a challenge for us, the earliest match we’ve played this year. That’s something that we had to prepare for and obviously the players did a good job, they were ready to play,” said head coach Joey Scrivano.

The Lady Bears gained the doubles point with victories on courts one and three. Taylor Ormond and Carla Lindlar, playing at No. 3 made quick work of Colorado’s Ania Anuszkeiwicz and Erin Sanders, walking off the court first with an 8-1 win. Soon after that, at the No. 1 doubles spot, BU’s Lenka Broosova and Csilla Borsanyi downed Monica Milewski and Melisa Esposito, 8-3, to cinch the doubles point. With the win, the 11th-ranked Broosova/Borsanyi tandem extended its doubles record to 21-3 in dual match play.

Singles play lasted just over an hour before the Lady Bears claimed victory. The 98th-ranked Borsanyi was first off the courts with her 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Michala Jensen at No. 4. About 20 seconds later, 19th-ranked Nina Secerbegovic , playing at No. 2, posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over Esposito. Broosova, ranked fifth nationally and playing at No. 1 for the Lady Bears, clinched the victory with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Milewski, ranked No. 59.

“At this point in the season, our whole team is playing well. I was especially glad to see Csilla (Borsanyi) win so convincingly. She had a tough match with that young lady (Michala Jensen) last time they played and for her to not lose a game, that says a lot about how she’s playing right now,” said Scrivano.

Baylor is now 25-2 on the season while Colorado drops to 11-13. Baylor advances to Saturday’s 3 p.m. semifinals and will play the winner of the Texas A&M/Oklahoma match.

Baylor 4, Colorado 0
Apr 30, 2010
Austin, Texas
(Penick-Allison Tennis Center)
Baylor Colorado
1 #5 Lenka Broosova, Baylor d. Monica Milewski, Colorado 61 61
2 #19 Nina Secerbegovic, Baylor d. Melisa Esposito, 60 61
3 Abbie Probert, Colorado v. #68 Taylor Ormond, Baylor dnf
4 #98 Csilla Borsanyi, Baylor d. Michala Jensen, Colorado 60 60
5 Ania Anuszkiewicz, Colorado v. Karolina Filipiak, Baylor dnf
6 Erin Sanders, Colorado v. Carla Lindlar, Baylor dnf

1 #11 Lenka Broosova/Csilla Borsanyi, Baylor d. Monica Milewski/Melisa Esposito, Colorado 8-3
2 Nina Secerbegovic/Karolina Filipiak, Baylor led Abbie Probert/Michala Jensen, Colorado 7-1
3 Taylor Ormond/Carla Lindlar, Baylor d. Ania Anuszkiewicz/Erin Sanders, Colorado 8-1