No. 6 Texas tops Oklahoma, 5-2
NORMAN, Okla. – For the fourth time this season, No. 6 Texas (14-6, 7-1 Big 12) rallied to win a match after dropping the doubles point, as the Longhorns posted a 5-2 win over No. 46 Oklahoma (10-11, 4-4 Big 12) Saturday afternoon at OU’s Headington Family Tennis Center. Notably, all four of those wins came away from the Horns’ home courts in Austin.
Texas’ Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis recorded an 8-5 win over the Sooners’ Nicole Long and Peta Maree Lancaster at third doubles. The Sooners, however, won at the first and second doubles positions to claim the doubles point and assume a 1-0 lead.
Cierra Gaytan-Leach put the Horns on the board in singles play, as she defeated OU’s Abbi Melrose by a 6-0, 6-4 count at fourth singles to notch her sixth consecutive win and improve to 7-1 in conference play. Begley gave the Horns the lead for good when she overpowered the Sooners’ Whitney Wofford, 6-3, 6-2 at sixth singles. The win gave Begley her 30th overall singles victory of the season, making her the first Longhorn to accumulate 30 wins in a season since Aeriel Ellis racked up 32 wins during the 2009-10 campaign. Begley has won nine consecutive matches and is a perfect 8-0 in league play with one match remaining.
Ellis staked Texas to a 3-1 lead on the strength of a 6-2, 6-4 win over Marie-Pier Huet at second singles. The clinching point came from Lina Padegimaite, who, like Begley, improved to 8-0 in Big 12 play with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Long at fifth singles. Padegimaite has won her last 10 matches.
OU’s Ritchie pulled the Sooners within 4-2 behind a 7-6, 6-3 win over UT’s Krista Damico at first singles. Texas’ Noel Scott closed out the Longhorns’ victory with a 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-6) win over Mia Lancaster at third singles and gave the Horns their fifth point of the afternoon. Scott took the match’s final six points to rally from a 6-4 deficit in the third-set super-tiebreaker on her way to victory.
Texas wraps up the regular season on Sunday at Oklahoma State. A win would assure Texas of at least a share of the Big 12 Conference regular season title. First serve is set for noon Central at OSU’s DeBois Tennis Complex. Live scoring will be available here.
Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain
On the win
Aeriel Ellis worked hard this week and was great today in doubles and singles. Cierra Gaytan-Leach, Lina Padegimaite and Elizabeth Begley were all-business at Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles. They were great. Noel (Scott) got over the hump today and played the kind of tennis she is capable of playing. It was a hard-fought win, for sure. She played really in the first set and got unlucky in the tiebreak, but she came roaring back. She was determined, had a great game plan and she stuck to it. She had two huge passing shots in the tiebreak to win the match. Noel has been working so hard, and she deserves to win. It’s great to see her turn the corner.
On Elizabeth Begley picking up her 30th win of the season
Elizabeth is playing like the player we recruited. She came in with some very good international experience, and she has worked super hard after a tough freshman year. She has determination and a great mental toughness. Her shot-making is tremendous. Elizabeth has added shots to her repertoire between last year and this year. She has a great “lefty” serve, and she’s feeling it. She has the big “lefty” forehand and is just torqueing balls left and right. She finishes points at the net and just keeps adding dimensions to her game.
No. 6 Texas 5, No. 46 Oklahoma 2
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1 Marie-Pier Huet/Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Krista Damico/Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) – 8-5
2 Mia Lancaster/Abbi Melrose (OU) def. Lina Padegimaite/Noel Scott (UT) – 8-6
3 Elizabeth Begley/Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Nicole Long/Peta Maree Lancaster (OU) – 8-5
Singles – Order of Finish: 4, 6, 2, 5, 1, 3
1 Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Krista Damico (UT) – 7-6, 6-3
2 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) – 6-2, 6-4
3 Noel Scott (UT) def. Mia Lancaster (OU) – 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-6)
4 Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. Abbi Melrose (OU) – 6-0, 6-4
5 Lina Padegimaite (UT) def. Nicole Long (OU) – 6-3, 6-1
6 Elizabeth Begley (UT) def. Whitney Wofford (OU) – 6-3, 6-2
## UT ##