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

POST-MATCH COMMENTS
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.”

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