Tulsa edges No. 13 Texas, 4-3 in NCAA Championships

Horns rally from 3-1 deficit but comeback bid falls short in season-ending loss to Tulsa.

NORMAN, Okla. – Thirteenth-seeded Texas (19-9) picked up singles wins from Kellen Damico, Daniel Whitehead and Jean Andersen, but No. 36 Tulsa (21-7) edged the Longhorns by a 4-3 count Saturday afternoon in the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships. The Golden Hurricane, who toppled host 20th-ranked Oklahoma in Friday’s opening round, advance to the NCAA round of 16 where it will meet fourth-seeded Ohio State. The loss snaps the Horns’ streak of five consecutive appearances in the NCAA round of 16.

Tulsa claimed the doubles point by winning two of three doubles matches. The Golden Hurricane initially struck at first doubles, where Ashley Watling and Clifford Marsland posted an 8-3 win over UT’s Ed Corrie and Vasko Mladenov. The Longhorns struck back at third doubles, where Andersen and Whitehead knocked off Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson by an 8-4 margin.

The deciding match at second doubles pitted UT’s Ben Chen and Damico against Tulsa’s Marcelo Arevalo and Japie DeKlerk. At 7-games all, the Tulsa duo broke the Texas tandem and took the final two games to win the match, 9-7 and clinch the doubles point for the Golden Hurricane.

Texas’ Damico put the Horns on the board and evened the match with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Tulsa’s De Klerk at second singles. Tulsa reclaimed the lead at fourth singles, where Marsland posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over UT’s Chen. The Golden Hurricane pushed its lead to 3-1 at first singles, where Arevalo topped UT’s Corrie, 6-4, 6-2.

Texas, however, would not go away. UT’s Whitehead took the first set off of Tulsa’s Jackson at sixth singles, 6-2. Jackson took the next set, 6-4, but Whitehead cruised through the final set, 6-1 to pull Texas within 3-2. At third singles, UT’s Andersen dropped the first set to Tulsa’s Watling in a tiebreaker, 9-7. Andersen broke Watling’s serve early in the second set and held on to take the set, 6-4 to prolong the match. Andersen and Watling were knotted at three in the final set before Andersen took the final three games to win the match and even the team score at three points apiece.

The deciding match at fifth singles featuring Texas’ Mladenov against Tulsa’s Ive went to a tiebreaker in the opening set, where Ive prevailed, 7-5. A tight second set progressed into a tie at five games apiece before Mladenov claimed the ensuing two games to win the set, 7-5. Ive broke Mladenov early in the third set, and with a 4-3 lead, he took the remaining two games to win the match and secure the victory for Tulsa.

Texas’ Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico will begin play in the 64-player singles draw at the NCAA Championships on May 25 at Stanford University. Corrie and Jean Andersen will open play in the 32-team doubles draw on May 26 at Stanford.

NCAA Championships – Round of 32
No. 36 Tulsa 4, No. 13 Texas 3
Headington Family Tennis Center – Norman, Okla.
Doubles – Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
1 #24 Watling/Marsland (Tulsa) def. Corrie/Mladenov (Texas) 8-3
2 Arevalo/De Klerk (Tulsa) def. Chen/Damico (Texas) – 9-7
3 Andersen/Whitehead (Texas) def. Ive/Jackson (Tulsa) – 8-4

Singles – Order of Finish: 2, 4, 1, 6, 3, 5
1 #27 Marcelo Arevalo (Tulsa) def. #35 Ed Corrie (Texas) – 6-4, 6-2
2 #48 Kellen Damico (Texas) def. #62 Japie De Klerk (Tulsa) – 6-3, 6-1
3 Jean Andersen (Texas) def. #88 Ashley Watling (Tulsa) – 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3
4 #99 Clifford Marsland (Tulsa) def. Ben Chen (Texas) – 6-2, 6-4
5 Grant Ive (Tulsa) def. Vasko Mladenov (Texas) – 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3
6 Daniel Whitehead (Texas) def. Tristan Jackson (Tulsa) – 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

POST-MATCH COMMENTS
Texas head coach Michael Center
“It’s a disappointing finish to a season where we just couldn’t seem to gain any momentum. We kept making the same mistakes this year. We fought hard today, but we just didn’t make the plays when we needed to make them. That was kind of our story the second half of this season. Our seniors, Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico, had great careers. This was an unfortunate way to finish the season. Tulsa fought hard and played really well this weekend. In the end, they deserved to win the match.”

No. 23 Texas falls to No. 7 Miami, 4-1 in NCAA Championships

Senior Amanda Craddock delivers a straight-set singles win in the Longhorns’ season-ending defeat.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Texas senior Amanda Craddock scored a straight-set victory, but seventh-seeded Miami (20-6) emerged with a 4-1 victory over the 23rd-ranked Longhorns Saturday in the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships. The Longhorns’ season comes to a close at 17-8.

The Hurricanes assumed a 1-0 lead after winning two of three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. Miami’s Brittany Dubins and Danielle Mills broke the serve of UT’s Juliana Gajic and Mello early on in their match at third doubles and went on to post an 8-3 victory.

At first doubles, UT’s Craddock and freshman Cierra Gaytan-Leach were even at four games apiece with Miami’s Bianca Eichkorn and Anna Bartenstein, but the Miami duo took the remaining four games to win the match, 8-4 and clinch the doubles point. UT’s Krista Damico and Aeriel Ellis held a 7-3 lead over Miami’s Gabriela Mejia and Melissa Boliver at second doubles, but the match was called when the Hurricanes clinched the doubles point.

Miami extended its lead to 2-0 at third singles, where Mejia posted a 6-1, 6-0 win over UT’s Mello. The match at first singles pitted UT’s 21st-ranked Ellis against Miami’s sixth-ranked Eichkorn, who held on for a 7-5 first-set win. Eichkorn took the next set, 6-1 to push the Hurricanes’ lead to 3-0.

Craddock put the Longhorns on the board at fourth singles with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Miami’s 125th-ranked Kayla Rizzolo. But, Miami would clinch the team victory with a win at fifth singles, where Mills handed UT’s Gajic a 6-3, 6-2 defeat. The remaining matches at second and sixth singles were suspended.

Texas’ Aeriel Ellis will begin competition in the 64-player singles draw at the NCAA Championships on May 25.

NCAA Championships – Coral Gables Regional
Round of 32
Neil Schiff Tennis Center
No. 7 Miami 4, No. 23 Texas 1
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1
1. #5 Bianca Eichkorn/Anna Bartenstein (UM) def. #44 Amanda Craddock/Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT), 8-4
2. Krista Damico/Aeriel Ellis (UT) vs. Gabriela Mejia/Melissa Bolivar (UM), UT led 7-3, susp.
3. Brittany Dubins/Danielle Mills (UM) def. Juliana Gajic/Maggie Mello (UT), 8-3

Singles – Order of Finish: 3, 1, 4, 5
1. #6 Bianca Eichkorn (UM) def. #21 Aeriel Ellis (UT), 7-5, 6-1
2. #36 Anna Bartenstein (UM) vs. Krista Damico (UT), 6-3, 5-5, susp,
3. Gabriela Mejia (UM) def. Maggie Mello (UT), 6-1, 6-0
4. Amanda Craddock (UT) def. #125 Kayla Rizzolo (UM), 6-4, 6-1
5. Danielle Mills (UM) def. Juliana Gajic (UT), 6-3, 6-2
6. Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) vs. Melissa Bolivar (UM), 7-5, 2-6, 1-0, susp.

Would Oklahoma been better off NOT hosting?

OK, so Oklahoma loses to Tulsa in the first round of the NCAA Championships despite being given the home court advantage this weekend. It got me thinking… would the Sooners have been better off not hosting this weekend?

I know that sound crazy, but just hear me out. The idea stems from a conversation I had with a senior school official this week about schools and hosting.

Some time within the last 10 or so years, the California schools were some of the best softball teams in the country. The NCAA had the 400-mile rule and these teams would all be bunched together in regionals. Well, they decided the best option would be if nobody hosted. A group of schools in California all agreed to not submit paperwork to host, citing a variety of reasons.

Well, the NCAA had no choice but to send them out to ‘weaker’ regionals across the country where these schools felt they could dominate. My understanding is this went on for a few years before the NCAA got wise and fixed it.

So, what if OU had not submitted a bid to host?

You can be pretty sure they would’ve been sent to Austin. But instead of Tulsa, a team on that’s been hot as of late, they would’ve faced Rice and Tulsa would’ve been sent to Waco. The Owls are solid, but are definitely not as strong as Tulsa (lost 4-0 at the C-USA Championships).

Oklahoma likely would’ve run through Rice in the early match Friday and be primed to face Texas on Saturday.

Just something for our friends up north to think about for the next eight months.

Aggies Blank Alcorn State in NCAA First Round

COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M senior Alexey Grigorov (GRIG-er-off) made quick work of his singles match blanking his Alcorn State opponent, Alejandro Dominguez, 6-0, 6-0, to help propel the No. 9 seed Texas A&M men’s tennis team to an NCAA first-round 4-0 win over Alcorn State before a crowd of 322 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M.

The win establishes a new Texas A&M school record for victories in a season as A&M improved to 28-5 in 2011. The Aggies also advance to the NCAA second round to face an SEC foe, the LSU Tigers, in a match scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. LSU edged Indiana, 4-3, earlier in the day. The winner advances to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championship site of Stanford, California, May 19. Alcorn State falls to 9-9 on the year.

The win over Alcorn State also marked the 35th straight Aggie home match victory at the Mitchell Tennis Center, another school record in men’s tennis. The best all-time home winning streak by an Aggie sports team was the 39-game streak put together by the Texas A&M baseball team in 1988 and 1989.

“I think our guys did what they had to do today to get us through this match,” Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. “We played solid in doubles and got ahead, then were able to close it out.” The match took roughly two hours to play.

A&M’s top doubles team of senior All-Americans Austin Krajicek (CRY-check) and Jeff Dadamo (duh-DOM-oh) was the first doubles match finished with a perfect 8-0 victory. The win marked the 25th of the season for the Aggie duo, establishing a new Texas A&M record for doubles victories in dual matches. The previous mark of 24 wins was held by Ryan Newport (2001), Mark Weaver (1994) and Bernardo Martinez (1994). Krajicek, from Brandon, Florida, and Dadamo, from Tampa, Florida, are 25-4 on the season and are currently ranked No. 4 in the latest ITA doubles rankings.

The Aggies would clinch the doubles point with a victory at No. 3 doubles as freshman Junior Ore (Gaithersburg, Maryland) teamed with junior Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) for the first time this season and the pair registered an 8-3 win.

Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) advanced the team score to 2-0 as he did not drop a game in his No. 3 singles match to run his singles record to 18-8 in dual action this spring. Last season, Grigorov posted a 21-5 record in dual matches.

Dadamo was next off of the court in singles at the No. 2 line as he posted a 6-1, 6-4 win to put the Aggies one point away from advancing. It was Dadamo’s team-leading 23rd dual match win, he is 23-3 on the season and is three victories shy of tying the school record held by Grant Connell in 1984 with a 26-7 record. Dadamo has not dropped a set in the past five matches.

The clinching point for the match came at No. 4 singles where Klegou recorded his 20th dual victory of the season, becoming the 32nd Aggie to hit that mark. Klegou is 20-2 on the year and brings a 14-match winning streak into the LSU contest. His last loss came to Daniel Stahl of Notre Dame on Mar. 4 of this season.

“I am really proud for the seniors to get the season record,” Denton said. “These seniors have meant so much to our program, both on the court and off.”

The win marked the 98th of Denton’s career at Texas A&M. It also marked the 13th consecutive season for the Aggies to post a first-round NCAA win since this format was instituted in 1999.

The Aggies will face No. 34 LSU for the right to advance to the Round of 16. The Aggies hold a slim, 12-11 advantage in the all-time series with the Tigers and have won three straight against LSU including a 6-1 win in College Station on Feb. 27 earlier this year. But the Tigers were without their current No. 3 singles player, Stefan Szacinski.

“I know we are going to have a battle on our hands tomorrow so it was good to kind of get off the courts quick today to keep our legs and our minds fresh for a tough one with LSU,” Denton said. “I’m going to tell the guys to forget about the match we played against them earlier in the year. We won, 6-1, but the matches were really close. Sometimes the guys think it’s going to be an easy run and then it’s not. I know this LSU team is very experienced, they are going to play well against us tomorrow so it is going to be a fight. We are going to have to come prepared to play well like we did at the Big 12’s.”

The Aggies swept through the Big 12 Championships by beating Oklahoma State, Texas and Oklahoma without dropping a point Apr. 29-May 1.

First serve on Saturday against LSU will not start no earlier than 3 p.m. as the men’s match will follow the second NCAA first-round women’s match between Texas A&M and SMU which is scheduled to start at 12 noon. The first women’s match of the day is between Florida State and Southern and is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

Friday, May 13, 2011
NCAA First Round Action
College Station, Texas
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
Texas A&M 4, Alcorn State 0
TEAM RECORDS: No. 9 seed Texas A&M (28-5), Alcorn State (9-9)
SINGLES
1. #17 Austin Krajicek, A&M vs. Anton Krutkin, ASU– DNF
2. #31 Jeff Dadamo, A&M def. Alexandr Lidzar, ASU– 6-1, 6-4
3. Alexey Grigorov, A&M def. Alejandro Dominguez, ASU– 6-0, 6-0
4. #94 Alexis Klegou, A&M def. Yanick Shearron-Hawkins, ASU– 6-0, 6-2
5. Junior Ore, A&M vs. Weinfried Weinbeer, ASU– DNF
6. Niall Angus, A&M vs. Pushpendra Rajpurohit, ASU– DNF

DOUBLES
1. Krajicek/Dadamo, A&M def. Krutkin/Lidzar, ASU– 8-0
2. #86 Bautista/Hoover, A&M vs. Rajpurohit/Weinbeer, ASU– DNF
3. Ore/Klegou, A&M def. Shearron-Hawkins/Dominguez, ASU– 8-3

FINISH ORDER: Doubles 1,3
Singles 3, 2, 4
Match Notes: Texas A&M record 28th win in a season, school best.
Advances to second round to face LSU at 3 pm on Saturday, May 14.

Baylor Men Cruise Into NCAA Second Round past TAMU-CC

Bears get 4-1 over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in first-round championship action.

WACO – The fifth-ranked and fifth-seeded Baylor men’s tennis team remained perfect when hosting NCAA Championship action with a 4-1 victory over No. 70 Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday at the Baylor Tennis Center.

With the win, Baylor improves to 20-4 overall and 16-3 at the Baylor Tennis Center this season. The Bears have now won 10 straight versus the Islanders to take a 10-6 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.

“It feels great to advance,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “Tomorrow we get to play in the round of 32 and we are going to be excited to play another match. It was a great day for us. Texas A&M Corpus Christi came in with a lot of confidence and really fought us and I think that will help us tomorrow.”

Baylor will now face Texas Tech in the second round of NCAA Championship play at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Baylor Tennis Center. The 22nd-ranked Red Raiders beat No. 43 Rice, 4-3, on Friday. Baylor beat Texas Tech on the road on March 27, 4-3. The Bears have never lost in the second-round of NCAA play with an 11-0 record in the round.

“We have a lot of work to do tomorrow,” Knoll said. “We are going to have to certainly play better than we did today, but we will.”

After a doubles point loss in its last match out, Baylor responded by capturing the first point of today’s contest with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles.

Fifth-ranked Roberto Maytin and John Peers opened the match with an 8-4 win over Laurent Montoisy and Gergo Weidinger at the top of the lineup. The win was the eighth straight for the BU duo, who is now 18-2 in dual-match play.

Before the match, Knoll removed senior Sergio Ramirez from both his singles and doubles lineups. The change bumped freshman Robert Verzaal into the doubles lineup with senior Jordan Rux at the No. 3 spot.

The first-time partners bonded quickly to dispatch of Andrew Maingot and Matt Westmoreland, 8-3. The match was tied at two games apiece, before Rux and Verzaal won six of the next seven games to clinch the match for BU.

“Verzaal was great today,” Knoll said. “It was great for him to get out and get a chance to play in the NCAAs. He has practiced extremely well the last couple of weeks. The future is bright for him.”

BU’s No. 2 duo of Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro was leading 7-5 in its match when BU claimed the point.

In singles, Grangeiro pushed the Bears to a 2-0 lead as he downed Westmoreland 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 4 spot. The 97th-ranked BU sophomore is has won four straight to up his dual-match record to 18-4.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi got its only point of the day as Weidinger got past the 98th-ranked Dennis Lengsfeld, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 5 position.

The Bears would then respond by claiming the next two matches off. First, Jordan Rux won his seventh consecutive match with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against James Langford at the No. 2 spot.

To clinch the match, Bley returned to the singles lineup for the first time since April 9 and earned a 6-0, 6-2 win over Nathan Robinson at the No. 6 spot. Bley is now 9-5 in dual-match play.

“Julian is not your typical No. 7 guy,” Knoll said. “He is a seasoned guy that we have a ton of confidence in. We know he can go out and perform like he did today.”

When Baylor got the necessary fourth point to claim the victory, the matches of John Peers and Roberto Maytin were still in progress.

MATCH NOTES: Baylor has now won the doubles point in 22 of its 24 matches. In NCAA play, Baylor is now 39-12 all-time. The Bears improved to 12-2 all-time in NCAA first-round action. In NCAA matches in Waco, Baylor is now 17-0.

#5 Baylor 4, #70 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
May 13, 2011 at Waco, Texas
(Baylor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #19 John Peers (BU) vs. Laurent Montoisy (AMCC) 3-6, 6-1, 1-1, unfinished
2. Jordan Rux (BU) def. James Langford (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
3. #102 Roberto Maytin (BU) vs. Aurelien Tave (AMCC) 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
4. #97 Kike Grangeiro (BU) def. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 6-2, 6-2
5. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) def. #98 Dennis Lengsfeld (BU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Julian Bley (BU) def. Nathan Robinson (AMCC) 6-0, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #5 Roberto Maytin/John Peers (BU) def. Laurent Montoisy/Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 8-4
2. Julian Bley/Kike Grangeiro (BU) vs. James Langford/Aurelien Tave (AMCC) 7-5, unfinished
3. Robert Verzaal/Jordan Rux (BU) def. Andrew Maingot/Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 8-3

Match Notes:
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 14-10; National ranking #70
Baylor 20-4; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (4,5,2,6)
NCAA Championship First Round Match
Baylor is the No. 5 national seed in the tournament.

Texas men open NCAA Championships with 4-0 win over UMKC

Horns advance to Saturday’s NCAA round-of-32 match against either Tulsa or host Oklahoma.

NORMAN, Okla. – Thirteenth-seeded Texas (19-8) nailed down the doubles point and quickly claimed four singles matches to secure a 5-0 win over UMKC in the opening round of the NCAA Championships Friday afternoon at The University of Oklahoma’s Headington Family Tennis Center.

Texas, the No. 1 seed in the four-team Norman region, advances to the NCAA round of 32 on Saturday and will take on the winner of this afternoon’s match pitting Tulsa against host Oklahoma (in progress as of 3:30 p.m. Central). Saturday’s NCAA round-of-32 match gets underway at 2 p.m. Central with live scoring available at SoonerSports.com. Texas will aim for its sixth consecutive round-of-16 appearance at the NCAA Championships.

The Longhorns made short work of the Kangaroos in doubles play with victories at the third and first positions to clinch the doubles point. UT opened with a win at third doubles, where Jean Andersen and Daniel Whitehead posted an 8-2 win over David Heckler and Serge Ristivojevic. Texas clinched the doubles point at first doubles, where Ed Corrie and Vasko Mladenov dealt UMKC’s Nino Hasandedic and Grant Fleming an 8-3 defeat. The remaining match at second doubles was suspended.

Texas wasted little time in picking up the minimum three singles victories to clinch the team victory. UT redshirt freshman David Holiner staked the Longhorns to a 2-0 lead at sixth singles by posting a 6-0, 6-1 win over UMKC’s Heckler. Corrie added on to the Texas margin at first singles, where he posted a 7-5, 6-1 win over Hasandedic.

Texas senior Kellen Damico clinched the Longhorns’ victory at second singles, though freshman Sudanwa Sitaram clinched his match a moment later before the remaining matches were suspended. Damico finished off UMKC’s Fleming by a 6-4, 6-3 count at second singles, and Sitaram completed a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Cameron Schoenhofer at fifth singles.

NCAA Championships – Round of 64 (Opening Round)
Texas 5, UMKC 0
Headington Family Tennis Center – Norman, Okla.
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1
1 Corrie/Mladenov (UT) def. Hasandedic/Fleming (UMKC) – 8-3
2 Chen/Damico (UT) vs. Schoenhofer/Guerin (UMKC) – 6-5, susp.
3 Andersen/Whitehead (UT) def. Heckler/Ristivojevic (UMKC) – 8-2

Singles – Order of Finish: 6, 1, 2, 5
1 #35 Ed Corrie (UT) def. Nino Hasandedic (UMKC) – 7-5, 6-1
2 #48 Kellen Damico (UT) def. Grant Fleming (UMKC) – 6-4, 6-3
3 Ben Chen (UT) vs. Serge Ristivojevic (UMKC) – 6-2, 3-2, susp.
4 Vasko Mladenov (UT) vs. Gustavo Guerin (UMKC) – 6-2, 4-4, susp.
5 Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Cameron Schoenhofer (UMKC) – 7-5, 6-1
6 David Holiner (UT) def. David Heckler (UMKC) – 6-0, 6-1

Owls fall, 4-3 to Texas Tech in NCAA Men’s Tennis

Rice Takes Tech to the Limit

Ron Smarr’s Rice Owls battled back from a sluggish start to take 22nd ranked Texas Tech to the wire before falling to the Red Raiders 4-3 in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Regional at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco on Friday.

“We dug ourselves a hole with how we played doubles,” Smarr said. “We very easily could have come home with a 4-0 loss. But we really turned it around in singles and I was very proud of the way they reacted to the challenge in front of them. We went from having no energy in doubles to taking the match right to them,” he added.

The 43rd ranked Owls were staggered after dropping the doubles point in all three matches and faced the daunting task of winning four of six singles matches against a Tech lineup that featured a pair of players ranked in the top 30. Tech doubled the margin to 2-0 when 23rd ranked Raony Carvalho downed Rice’s Harry Fowler, 6-0, 6-2, but the Owls stormed back to push the Raiders to the brink of elimination.

Sam Garforth-Bles put the Owls on the board with a straight set win at No. 4 and senior Oscar Podlewski capped a standout senior season by running his record to 16-6 while losing just two games in a straight set win at No. 3 to tie the match at 2-2.

Junior Christian Saravia made it three straight wins for the Owls in singles with a straight set win at No. 5 to put the Owls up 3-2.

Tech’s 26th ranked Gonzalo Escobar drew Tech even with a straight set win at No. 2, leaving the matchup at No. 6 singles to determine which team would advance to the round of 32 on Saturday.

Rice freshman Philipp Seifert, who had learned earlier in the week that he would take the place of Michael Nuesslein in singles because of a recurring ankle injury and was playing a singles match for the second time since March 30, took Tech’s Raphael Pfister to three sets before falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to bring the Owls season to a close at 17-10.

“This was one of the most challenging years we’ve had because of injuries,” Smarr said. “Michael Nuesslein’s ankle never really was healthy, and we also lost Isamu Tachibana. Those were two big parts of the team that won the conference last year. But this team showed a lot of heart and Efe (Rice assistant coach Efe Ustundag) did a great job of keeping them together. They really battled back to earn that ninth straight NCAA bid.

“Oscar really was playing great tennis down the stretch for us,” Smarr said. “It was the result of a lot of hard work on his part and he earned every bit of the success he found this year. He’s a great young man and this team is really going to miss him next year,” Smarr added. “Now we have to get back to work and start preparing for the 2012 season.”

#22 Texas Tech 4, #43 Rice 3
NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships First Round
Baylor Tennis Center – Waco, Texas
May 13, 2011

Singles
Pos. Score
#1 #23 Raony Carvalho (Tech) def. #84 Harry Fowler (Rice) 6-0, 6-2
#2 #26 Gonzalo Escobar (Tech) def. Peter Frank (Rice) 6-1, 6-1
#3 Oscar Podlewski (Rice) def. Rafael Garcia (Tech) 6-3, 6-2
#4 Sam Garforth-Bles (Rice) def. Vitor Manzini (Tech) 6-1, 6-1
#5 Christian Saravia (Rice) def. Gabriel Wanderley (Tech) 6-2, 6-2
#6 Raphael Pfister (Tech) def. Philipp Seifert (Rice) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 3, 5, 2, 6

Doubles
Pos. Score
#1 #20 Carvalho/Garcia (Tech) def. Fowler/Podlewski (Rice) 8-1
#2 #50 Escobar/Manzini (Tech) def. Saravia/Nuesslein (Rice) 8-4
#3 Jeff Bryan/Pfister (Tech) def. Frank/Garforth-Bles (Rice) 9-7

Order of Finish: 1, 2/3

No. 23 Texas blanks South Florida in opening round of NCAA Championships

Horns advance to Saturday’s second round and will take on either Florida International or host Miami in the second round.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 23 Texas (17-7) took the doubles point and quickly picked up three singles victories in a 4-0 victory over South Florida (11-12) in the opening round of the NCAA Championships Friday at The University of Miami’s Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

The Longhorns advance to the NCAA round of 32 and will take on host Miami, the top seed in the Coral Gables Regional and the No. 5 national seed. Miami (19-6) defeated Florida International in the second match of the day. The Texas-Miami match is set for a noon Central start on Saturday. Live scoring will be available at HurricaneSports.com. The winner will compete in the NCAA round of 16 on Friday, May 20 in Palo Alto, Calif.

Texas ran off victories at the third and first doubles slots to pick up the doubles point. UT’s Juliana Gajic and Maggie Mello led off with an 8-2 win over the Bulls’ Alessandra Bonte Ale and Kate Parker at the third slot. The Horns clinched the doubles point at the first slot, where UT’s 44th-ranked tandem of Amanda Craddock and Cierra Gaytan-Leach picked up an 8-6 win over South Florida’s 71st-ranked tandem of Janette Bejlkova and Loreto Martinez. The remaining match at second doubles was suspended given that the doubles point had been clinched.

UT’s Gaytan-Leach pushed the Texas lead to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over USF’s Parker at sixth singles. The Texas lead ballooned to 3-0 at fifth singles, where Gajic dealt USF’s Bonte Ale a 6-1, 6-0 loss. The Longhorns clinched the team victory at fourth singles, where Craddock finished off a 6-3, 6-0 win over USF’s Martinez.

NCAA Championships – Round of 64 (Opening Round)
Texas 4, South Florida 0
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1
1 #44 Amanda Craddock/Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. #71 Janette Bejlkova/Loreto Martinez (USF) – 8-6
2 Krista Damico/Aeriel Ellis (UT) vs. Ecaterina Vasenina/Irene Rehberger (USF) – 5-4, susp.
3 Juliana Gajic/Maggie Mello (UT) def. Alessandra Bonte Ale/Kate Parker (USF) – 8-2

Singles – Order of Finish: 6, 5, 4
1 #21 Aeriel Ellis (UT) vs. #35 Irene Rehberger (USF) – 4-6, 3-2, susp.
2 Krista Damico (UT) vs. #93 Ecaterina Vasenina (USF) – 2-6, 2-1, susp.
3 Maggie Mello (UT) vs. #61 Janette Bejlkova (USF) – 6-3, 2-5, susp.
4 Amanda Craddock (UT) def. Loreto Martinez (USF) – 6-3, 6-0
5 Juliana Gajic (UT) def. Allesandra Bonte Ale (USF) – 6-1, 6-0
6 Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. Kate Parker (USF) – 6-2, 6-2

POST-MATCH COMMENTS
Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain
“We played solid in doubles. We had our game plan. We had played them before so it was nice to have a known opponent and you know what you are going up against. USF has a really good team with a great coach who is doing a great job with them. I think it was a little bit to our advantage because we knew what we were coming into. We played well today and competed well. That’s all you can ask.

All three [in the bottom half of the line-up] have been really solid for us all year. They are doing a great job. Up top, it’s always tough because everybody always has such good players up there. It comes down to depth at the bottom of the line-up and that has been big for us.”

Quick Links to NCAA Women’s Regionals

Sorry for the delay on this, but better late than never….

Palo Alto: Stanford, Pepperdine, Long Beach State and Illinois-Chicago
http://www.gostanford.com/sports/w-tennis/11-ncaa-tournament-central.html

Evanston: Northwestern, Notre Dame, Fresno State and IPFW
http://nusports.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/nw-w-tennis-livestats.html

Athens: Georgia, Alabama, Utah and Marist
http://www.georgiadogs.com/ncaa/tennis11/

Berkeley: California, Southern California, St. Mary’s CA: and Boston University
http://www.calbears.com/sports/w-tennis/cal11ncaa.html

Chapel Hill: North Carolina, Washington, Maryland and East Tennessee State
http://tarheelblue.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/2011-unc-regional.html

Knoxville: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Winthrop and College of Charleston
http://www.utladyvols.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/2011-ncaaw-tournament.html

Waco: Baylor, Oklahoma, Cal Poly and Texas-Arlington
http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/w-tennis/11_ncaa.html

College Station: Florida State, Texas A&M, SMU and Southern University
http://www.aggieathletics.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/2011-ncaa-tournament.html

Charlottesville: Virginia, North Carolina State, VCU and Army
http://www.virginiasports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=17800&ATCLID=205149554

Los Angeles: UCLA, San Diego, UNLV and Quinnipiac
http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/tennis/xlive.htm

Atlanta: Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Ole Miss and Jacksonville State
http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/ncaa-tennis-2011.html

Durham: Duke, Yale, William & Mary and Richmond
http://www.goduke.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml?SPSID=22607&SPID=1840&DB_OEM_ID=4200

Ann Arbor: Michigan, Tulsa, Nebraska and Akron
http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/tnw-regional-2011.html

Coral Gables: Miami FL:, Texas, South Florida and FIU
http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/051111aac.html

Fayetteville: Clemson, Arkansas, Sacramento State and Wichita State
http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=11746&SPID=690&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=6100&ATCLID=205147838

Gainesville: Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and South Carolina State
http://www.gatorzone.com/story.php?id=20578

Hilltoppers fall to No. 2 Valdosta State, 5-0 in NCAA Quarterfinals

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The No.15-ranked St. Edward’s University dropped a 5-0 decision to #2 Valdosta State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament Thursday morning at Sanlando Park.

St. Edward’s (13-10) was behind the eight ball from the start when they dropped all three doubles matches. The Hilltoppers’ Pedro Bronstrup (Freshman, Porto Alegre, Brazil) and Ryan Wiggins (Junior, Frisco, Texas) dropped their match to Phillip Pakebusch and Luis Loeffler, 8-3, at the number two position. Ned Boone (Junior, London, England) and Mick Walter (Senior, College Station, Texas) dropped their match at the number one position to Daniel Duren and Christian Hansen, 8-5. Alexandre Bueno (Freshman, Sao Paulo, Brazil) and James Rogers (Bahagowan, Australia) were barely nosed out at the number three position by Bernhard Wallner and Konstain Kutschenko, 8-6.

In singles play, Walter was defeated by Dueren, 6-2, 6-3, at the number two positon. Loeffler gained the final point for the Blazers as he defeated Bronstrup, 6-4, 6-2, at the number four position.

The Hilltoppers end their season with a 13-10 record. They advanced to the NCAA National Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years. They have also made it to the Elite Eight in two-straight years and third time in the past six years. Congratulations are in order for St. Edward’s for such a fantastic season.

#2 Valdosta State 5, #15 St. Edwards 0
05/12/11 at Altamonte Springs, Fla. (Sanlando Park)
Singles competition
1. Ned Boone (SEUMT) vs. Philip Pakebusch (VSU) 3-6, 2-5, unfinished
2. Daniel Dueren (VSU) def. Mick Walter (SEUMT) 6-2, 6-3
3. Ryan Wiggins (SEUMT) vs. Christian Hansen (VSU) 2-6, 2-5, unfinished
4. Luis Loeffler (VSU) def. Pedro Bronstrup (SEUMT) 6-4, 6-2
5. James Rogers (SEUMT) vs. Konst. Kutschenko (VSU) 5-7, 1-2, unfinished
6. Alexandre Bueno (SEUMT) vs. Otto Lenhart (VSU) 1-6, 3-4, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Daniel Dueren/Christian Hansen (VSU) def. Ned Boone/Mick Walter (SEUMT) 8-5
2. Philip Pakebusch/Luis Loeffler (VSU) def. Pedro Bronstrup/Ryan Wiggins (SEUMT) 8-3
3. Bernhard Wallner/Konst. Kutschenko (VSU) def. Alexandre Bueno/James Rogers (SEUMT) 8-6

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,4)