Men's Tennis advances to Big 12 semifinals with 4-2 win over Texas Tech
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- No. 11 Texas (17-7) withstood a tough Texas Tech team and a four-and-one-half hour rain delay to score a 4-2 Big 12 quarterfinal victory over the 35th-ranked Red Raiders (12-11) Friday evening at the Plaza Tennis Center. Third-seeded Texas advances to the Big 12 Championship semifinals Saturday, when they'll take on second-seeded and 12th-ranked Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. Central.
Texas Tech opened the match with decisive victories at the second and first doubles positions to clinch the doubles point. The Red Raiders scored the first victory at the second slot as Michael Breler and Sinisa Markovic knocked off UT sophomore Miguel Reyes Varela (Cocoyoc, Mexico) and freshman Jon Wiegand (San Antonio, Texas), 8-5. Texas Tech clinched the doubles point at the first slot when Christian Rojmar and Bojan Szumanski dealt Texas freshmen Dimitar Kutrovsky (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Josh Zavala (Amarillo, Texas) an 8-4 defeat.
The teams had completed their first sets at all six singles positions before rains arrived at the Plaza Tennis Center just over two hours into the match. UT's Zavala took it a step further, finishing his match before the rains came, as he posted a 6-4, 6-4 win at fourth singles over Tech's Michael Breler to even the match at one point apiece.
The Red Raiders' Milos Kustudija held two match points at sixth singles over UT's Wiegand when the rains arrived. Over four hours later, Kustudija completed the victory, winning by a 6-4, 6-2 count to give Texas Tech the lead once more.
Texas junior Milan Mihailovic (Nis, Serbia) took the first set, 6-1 at third singles and was tied at three apiece with Texas Tech's Markovic when the rain stopped the match. Markovic took the lead at 4-3 when the match resumed, but Mihailovic battled back and forced a tiebreaker. Mihailovic trailed 4-1 in the tiebreaker before finishing off Markovic by taking the next six points to even the match at two points apiece.
Junior Luis Diaz Barriga (Cordoba, Mexico) dropped his first set at second singles to Tech's Dimitrio Martinez but took a 5-3 lead in the second when the inclement weather arrived. Diaz Barriga quickly finished off the set when the match resumed and jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the final set. Martinez drew within 5-4, but Diaz Barriga would allow nothing more, taking the next game to win his 18th consecutive match -- dating back to Feb. 16 -- and stake Texas to a 3-2 lead.
UT's Kutrovsky engaged in an outstanding match with the Red Raiders' 37th-ranked Szumanski that decided the match in favor of the Longhorns. Neither Kutrovsky nor Szumanski could effectively hold their serve in set one, which progressed into a tiebreaker. Kutrovsky dominated the tiebreaker, 7-2, to take a one-set lead just before the rain arrived.
The second set also advanced to a tiebreaker, where Szumanski held one set point with a 6-5 lead in the tiebreaker. Kutrovsky regrouped and took the next two points to set up a match point, which he converted with help from Szumanski, who sent a forehand beyond the baseline to give Kutrovsky the upset win and Texas its Big 12 quarterfinal victory.
No. 11 Texas 4, No. 35 Texas Tech 2
Singles - Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3, 1, 2