exas Tech Tops No. 28 Oklahoma, 6-1
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 21 Texas Tech extended its home winning streak to 13 straight matches with a 6-1 win over No. 28 Oklahoma on Sunday in the Lady Raider’s Big 12 Conference opener at the McLeod Tennis Center.
“I felt like this was a good way to open conference play,” said Texas Tech head coach Todd Petty. “We came out really focused in doubles. I think what it shows is that hard work pays off.”
Texas Tech won its 13th doubles point in 14 tries this season, as the Lady Raiders swept the Sooners at all three positions.
It started at No. 3, where the senior duo of Elizabeth Ullathorne and Caroline Starck cruised to an 8-2 win over Mia Lancaster and Abi Melrose. The No. 61 tandem of Nikki Sanders and Rashmi Teltumbde were not far behind, as the upended the OU team of Emma Devine and Whitney Wofford, 8-5, to earn the point.
But there was still one match on the court and it was a battle. The No. 14 combo of Herman Brhane and Whitney Ritchie had built a 7-4 lead on the No. 34 tandem of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo, the defending No. 1 Big 12 position champions. Tech’s duo won the next game, broke serve and won again. All of a sudden, it was 7-7 and a tiebreaker enued. Adams and Kilgo had the momentum at this point and won the tiebreaker, 7-3, and the match, 8-7, to sweep doubles.
Ullathorne made easy work of Melrose, 6-4, 6-2, while Sanders used a second-set tiebreaker over Devine to pull out a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) win and give Tech a quick 3-0 lead.
Oklahoma’s Lancaster upset No. 118 Kilgo, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 3, to cut into Tech’s lead, 3-1, but Teltumbde answered with a straight set, 6-3, 6-4 win over Ritchie at No. 2, to secure the Texas Tech win. It was the first time Ritchie had lost to Texas Tech. She was 3-0 against the Lady Raiders entering Sunday’s match.
Starck recorded career win No. 87 with a three-set victory over Wofford, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5 to extend the Lady Raider lead to 5-1. Her 87 wins are the most by any Lady Raider over the last 25 years. She ranks eighth on the career wins list and needs eight wins to move into a tie for seventh with former Lady Raider Lisa Roberts (1983-87, 95 wins).
Adams grinded out an upset win to close out the match, as she knocked off No. 106 Herman Brhane, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
The No. 21 Lady Raiders return to action on Friday, as the host Big 12 newcomer West Virginia at 6 p.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.
#21 Texas Tech 6, #28 Oklahoma 1
Lubbock, Texas (McLeod, Tennis Center)
1. Samantha Adams (TT) def. #106 Herman Brhane (OU) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Rashmi Teltumbde (TT) def. Whitney Ritchie (OU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Mia Lancaster (OU) def. #118 Kenna Kilgo (TT) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TT) def. Abbi Melrose (OU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Caroline Starck (TT) def. Whitney Wofford (OU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Nikki Sanders (TT) def. Emma Devine (OU) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
1. #34 Samantha Adams / Kenna Kilgo (TT) def. #14 Herman Brhane/Whitney Ritchie (OU) 8-7 (7-3)
2. #61 Nikki Sanders / Rashmi Teltumbde (TT) def. Emma Devine/Whitney Wofford (OU) 8-5
3. Elizabeth Ullathorne / Caroline Starck (TT) def. Mia Lancaster/Abbi Melrose (OU) 8-2
Oklahoma 8-5, 2-2 Big 12; National ranking #28
Texas Tech 10-4, 1-0 Big 12; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,6,3,2,5,1)