No. 22 Tech Clashes with No. 43 Rice in NCAA First Round
NCAA First and Second Rounds
No. 22 Texas Tech (16-9) heads to Waco, Texas, for the NCAA Championships First and Second Rounds. The Red Raiders are the No. 2 seed in the Waco region. Tech takes on No. 3 seed and 43rd-ranked Rice (17-9) on Fri., May 13, at 10 a.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center. Live stats will be available at TexasTech.com and BaylorBears.com.
No. 5 Baylor (19-4) plays No. 70 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (14-9) in the second match on Friday at 1 p.m. The Bears are the No. 1 seed and the No. 5 seed overall in the championship, while the Islanders are the No. 4 seed in the regional. The winners of the two matches will face each other at 3 p.m. on Sat., May 14, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16, which will be held May 19-24, at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., hosted by Stanford University.
NCAA Championships History
Texas Tech is making its fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA Championships. It is the sixth time in the last seven years Tech has advanced to the NCAA Championships and the 11th time in the program’s history – all under head coach Tim Siegel.
The Red Raiders have one Sweet 16 berth in school history as the 2005 squad defeated Army and Wake Forest at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock to advance to the quarterfinals where Tech fell, 4-2, to Mississippi, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
Tech is 5-9 in the NCAA Championships, but has advanced past the first round four of the last five trips.
The Red Raiders
No. 22 Texas Tech enters the championships with a 16-9 overall record, having won two of the last three matches and nine of the last 13. Tech finished in a three-way tie for third in the Big 12 with a 3-3 record. The Red Raiders have two players ranked in singles and two doubles teams are ranked as well. Junior Raony Carvalho is ranked 23rd, while junior Gonzalo Escobar is No. 26 – two of the top five ranked players in the Big 12. Tech’s top duo of Carvalho and junior Rafael Garcia are No. 20 in the country and Escobar and sophomore Vitor Manzini are ranked 50th. This spring in singles Carvalho and Escobar are a combined 35-11 in duals.
Scouting the Owls
Rice earned its ninth-consective bid into the NCAA Championships as one of 33 at-large berths. The Owls are 17-9 and finished second in Conference USA with a 4-1 record. It is the second-straight year Rice will play in Waco for the NCAA first and second rounds. Tech and Rice are meeting for the 29th time in the series after numerous battles in the Southwest Conference. The Owls hold the series advantage at 20-8.
Sophomore Harry Fowler is the lone ranked player for the Owls at No. 84 in the country in singles.
Rice is under the direction of Ron Smarr who is in his 15th season at the helm of the Owls with a record of 241-135. Assistant coach Efe Ustundage was an assistant coach for Texas Tech under Tim Siegel from 2002-04.
Scouting the Bears
Baylor is the No. 5 overall seed in the 2011 NCAA Championships with a 19-4 record. The Bears captured the Big 12 regular-season title with a perfect 6-0 record but lost in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship to Oklahoma. Baylor is making its 14th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships and is hosting first and second rounds for the ninth time, including the eighth time in the last nine years. The Bears have been to four of the last seven NCAA Final Fours – winning the national title in 2004 and second in 2005.
If Tech and Baylor meet in the second round, it will be the 43rd match between the two schools with the Bears having the edge in the series at 22-20.
Five of Baylor’s players are ranked nationally in singles – senior John Peers 19th, senior Sergio Ramirez 68th, junior Kike Grangeiro 97th, freshman Dennis Lengsfeld 98th and sophomore Roberto Maytin 102nd, while two doubles teams are ranked as well – No. 5 Peers and Maytin and No. 52 Ramirez and senior Jordan Rux.
Matt Knoll is in his 15th year as head coach at Baylor with a record of 355-87.
Scouting the Islanders
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships with its last time coming in 2009. The Islanders post a 14-9 overall record and won the Southland Conference crown with a 5-0 record.
If the Red Raiders and Islanders play each other in the second round, it will be for the ninth time in the series with Tech holding a 6-2 advantage.
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi is coached by Steve Moore, a former assistant coach for Tim Siegel at Texas Tech from 1995-98. Moore is in his second stint as head coach of the Islanders for a total of eight years with a record of 98-61.
Carvalho, Escobar and Garcia Earn NCAA Championships Bid
For the second-straight year, the Red Raiders have three players who will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships May 25-30, in Stanford, Calif. Junior Raony Carvalho, the 23rd-ranked singles players in the country, and 26th-ranked junior Gonzalo Escobar were two of 64 players selected to the singles draw, while Carvalho and junior Rafael Garcia, who are also ranked 20th nationally, were one of 32 doubles tandems chosen. It also marks the third-consecutive year that Carvalho will compete in both the singles and doubles championships.
All-Big 12 Honors
For the second-straight year, Texas Tech had the same three players earn All-Big 12 honors. Juniors Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar were named All-Big 12 singles, while Carvalho and junior Rafael Garica were selected All-Big 12 doubles. It is also the third-consecutive year for Carvalho to land on both the All-Big 12 singles and doubles teams. Garcia was also an All-Big 12 singles selection in 2010.
Four Land on Academic All-Big 12 First Team
Tim Siegel’s Red Raiders have not only been successful on the court during his tenure, but also in the classroom, and this year has been no exception. Tech had four players named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team – juniors Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia and sophomores Vitor Manzini and Raphael Pfister. Carvalho was also a first team honoree in 2010.
Red Raiders vs. Ranked Teams
Texas Tech has faced 22 ranked teams this year, owning a 14-9 record against those teams. Of those eight losses, the lowest-ranked team was Auburn, who is now ranked 23rd, and three of the losses were by the score of 4-3.