Second-seeded Longhorns advance to take on third-seeded Oklahoma in Saturday’s semifinals.
WACO – Second-seeded Texas (15-6) took the doubles points and added singles wins from junior Krista Damico, freshman Cierra Gaytan-Leach and sophomore Aeriel Ellis in a 4-0 win over Kansas State (16-7) Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championships at the Baylor Tennis Center.
Texas advances to Saturday’s semifinals where it will meet third-seeded Oklahoma, who was a 4-1 winner over sixth-seeded Texas Tech earlier on Friday. Texas has advanced to the semifinals at all 15 Big 12 Championships contested. Texas and Oklahoma are slated for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday in Waco.
The Horns opened the match with victories at first and third doubles to clinch the doubles point. Texas’ Amanda Craddock and Gaytan-Leach broke Kansas State’s Petra Niedermayerova and Nina Sertic at first doubles to assume a 4-2 lead and remained in control the rest of the way on their way to an 8-5 win over the Wildcats’ duo. The match at third doubles pitted Texas’ Juliana Gajic and Maggie Mello against Ana Gomez and Carmen Borau. Both sides found it difficult to hold serve, but, with a 6-4 lead, UT’s Gajic and Mello held for a 7-4 lead and broke Kansas State once more to win their match, 8-4 and nail down the doubles point. The remaining match at second doubles featuring UT’s Ellis and Damico was suspended.
At second singles, UT’s Damico broke K-State’s Gomez to assume a 4-2 lead in the first set and went on to take the set, 6-3. Damico surrendered nothing further in set two and cruised to a 6-0 win to stake Texas to a 6-0 lead.
UT’s Gaytan-Leach broke Kansas State’s Borau early on at sixth singles and cruised to a 6-2 opening set win. Gaytan-Leach was broken in her first service game in set two but broke back and took a 3-1 lead. Gaytan-Leach took the set, 6-3 to give Texas a 3-0 lead. Likewise, Texas’ Ellis broke Kansas State’s 49th-ranked Niedermayerova early in the opening set at first singles and took a 6-2 win.
Niedermayerova broke Ellis in the first game of the second set, but Ellis powered past Niedermayerova from there to win the set, 6-3 and clinch the victory for the Longhorns. The remaining matches were suspended.
Texas 4, Kansas State 0
Big 12 Championship – Quarterfinals
Doubles – Order of Finish: 1, 3
1 #54 Craddock/Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. Petra Niedermayerova/Nina Sertic (KSU) – 8-5
2 Damico/Ellis (UT) vs. K. Bonacic/P. Chuda (KSU) – 6-5, susp.
3 Gajic/Mello (UT) def. A. Gomez/C. Borau (KSU) – 8-4
Singles – Order of Finish: 2, 6, 1
1 #26 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. #49 Petra Niedermayerova (KSU) – 6-2, 6-3
2 Krista Damico (UT) def. Ana Gomez (KSU) – 6-3, 6-0
3 Maggie Mello (UT) vs. Karla Bonacic (KSU) – 6-3, 1-6, 0-2, susp.
4 Amanda Craddock (UT) vs. Nina Sertic (KSU) – 7-5, 1-0, susp.
5 Juliana Gajic (UT) vs. Petra Chuda (KSU) – 6-3, 5-2, susp.
6 Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. Carmen Borau (KSU) – 6-2, 6-3
Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain
“These were really tough conditions. I think the winds were up to 30 or 35 mph and changing directions. It was definitely a factor, but I am really proud of the girls. We just take it one day at a time. We’ve got OU tomorrow. They’re tough and have been playing great all year. I know Oklahoma will give us a tough one. We’re just going to get back, get rested, get hydrated and get ready to go tomorrow.”
Kansas State head coach Steve Bietau
“The doubles were not a thing of beauty for either team. I can’t speak for Patty but we didn’t do very well there. We gave some good fights and strong efforts in singles but in the end, Texas is just too good. We had some really serious tests here. The conditions are pretty tough with the wind and we had a strong opponent. It is a great opportunity for our players to figure out and that is how we treated this match, trying to find out how to cope with each situation.”