No. 13 Women's Tennis defeats No. 22 Texas Tech, 4-2
April 15, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – No. 13 Texas (13-5, 6-0 Big 12) picked up singles wins from Krista Damico, Elizabeth Begley, Lina Padegimaite and the clincher from Cierra Gaytan-Leach, as the Horns posted a 4-2 win over No. 22 Texas Tech (16-4, 6-1 Big 12) on Senior Day at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The victory puts Texas in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference standings with three matches remaining.
With inclement weather in the forecast, the teams agreed to play the six singles matches first. Damico, one of four Texas seniors honored prior to the match, put the Horns on the board with a dominant 6-1, 6-0 win over Tech’s Elizabeth Ullathorne at first singles. Texas assumed a 2-0 lead on the strength of Begley’s 6-2, 6-0 win over the Lady Raiders’ Nikki Sanders at sixth singles. The sophomore from Houston yielded only two games in four sets played this weekend against Baylor and Texas Tech.
Texas took a 3-0 lead when Padegimaite dealt Texas Tech’s Kenna Kilgo a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at fifth singles, but the Lady Raiders rallied with wins at the third and second singles positions to close the deficit to 3-2. Tech’s Rashmi Teltumbde defeated UT’s Noel Scott by a 7-5, 6-2 count at third singles, and the Lady Raiders’ Sam Adams edged Texas’ Aeriel Ellis at second singles, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2).
The lone match remaining on the courts featured UT’s Gaytan-Leach against Tech’s Caroline Starcks at fourth singles. Gaytan-Leach broke Starcks’ serve to take a 6-5 first-set lead and held serve in the next game to close out the set, 7-5. Gaytan-Leach held a 4-2 lead in the second set before Starcks took the next three games to assume a 5-4 lead. Gaytan-Leach and Starcks held serve in their ensuing service games before Starcks broke Gaytan-Leach to win the second set, 7-5.
Starcks took a 3-0 lead in the third set before Gaytan-Leach held serve, registered a service break and held once more to even the set at three games. The UT sophomore from southern California broke Starcks again and held serve to take a 5-3 lead. Starcks held serve at 5-4, and with rain approaching the courts from the west, Gaytan-Leach served for the match.
At 30-all, Gaytan-Leach put away a Starcks lob to set up a match point. Starcks netted a forehand on match point to give Gaytan-Leach the win and the Longhorns an insurmountable 4-2 lead moments before rain drenched the court.
The teams elected to forgo the three-match doubles session due to the persistent rain at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center and given that the match had been decided.
Texas wraps up the regular season with three road matches this week. Texas will visit College Station to take on Texas A&M on Tuesday (April 17) at 6 p.m. Central. The Horns will close out the season next weekend at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before competing in the Big 12 Championship the following week in College Station.