Women's Tennis upends top-seeded Texas Tech, 4-1, advances to Big 12 finals
April 28, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Fourth-seeded Texas (16-7) dropped the doubles point but rallied behind sin gles wins from Lina Padegimaite, Aeriel Ellis, Elizabeth Begley and Krista Damico to post a 4-1 win over top-seeded Texas Tech (19-5) Saturday in the semifinals of the 2012 Big 12 Championship.
The Longhorns advance to the finals at the Big 12 Championship for the 15th time in the event's 16-year history and for the eighth consecutive season. Texas will meet host Texas A&M in Sunday's final. The third-seeded Aggies edged second-seeded Baylor, 4-3 in the other semifinal. First serve is set for noon central at A&M's Mitchell Tennis Center.
Texas Tech opened the match with victories at the first and third doubles slots to assume a 1-0 lead. At first doubles, Tech's 28th-ranked tandem of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo broke Texas's Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott twice and assumed a 4-0 lead. The Horns broke back in the following game, but Tech went on to claim an 8-3 victory.
At third doubles, a pair of early service breaks from Tech's Rashmi Teltumbde and Elizabeth Ullathorne
put the Lady Raiders into a 4-1 lead over the Horns' Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis. Trailing 7-3, UT's
Begley and Ellis saved multiple match points and broke the Lady Raiders to pull within 7-4. But, Texas
Tech broke UT's serve in the following game to nail down an 8-4 win and clinch the doubles point.
Texas' Krista Damico and Cierra Gaytan-Leach held a 7-6 match lead and a 30-love lead in the final game
over Tech's Nikki Sanders and Caroline Starck at second doubles, but the match was called when Tech
won its second match to clinch the doubles point.
Texas, however, yielded nothing further in singles play. At fourth singles, Padegimaite broke for a 4-3 lead against Tech's Starck and held serve the rest of the way to take the set, 6-4. Padegimaite, who has yet to lose to a conference foe this season, broke Starck early in the second set en route to a 6-2 second- set win that gave her the win and evened the match at one.
Texas' Ellis broke the serve of Tech's Ullathorne early on at first singles and cruised to a 6-2 opening-set win. Ellis collected an early break in the second set and held serve through the remainder of the match to claim the second set, 6-4 and give Texas a 2-1 lead it would not surrender.
UT's Begley, who joined Padegimaite to go undefeated in conference play, broke Tech's Sanders to take a 5-3 lead in their first set at sixth singles. Sanders broke Begley's serve to close within 5-4, but Begley returned the favor and broke Sanders once more to take the set, 6-4. Begley broke Sanders to take a 3- 1 second-set lead, and Begley held serve the remainder of the match to win, 6-3 and stake Texas to a 3-1 lead.
Ultimately, the deciding point came courtesy of UT's lone senior, Damico, at No. 2 singles. Trailing 4-2 in the first set, Damico held serve and broke the serve of Tech's 104th-ranked Adams to even the set at four games all. Adams broke Damico to claim a 5-4 lead, but Damico broke Adams, held serve and broke Adams once more to outlast Adams in the first set, 7-5.
Damico followed a similar path to grab the second set that gave Texas the victory. Adams broke for a 4- 3 lead, but Damico broke Adams and held serve for a 5-4 lead. Moments after Begley finished off her victory, Damico broke Adams' serve one more time to take the set, 6-4 and deliver the 4-1 win to the Longhorns. The remaining matches at the third and fifth singles slots were suspended.
On the key to winning Sunday's Big 12 title match
On the four singles winners
Texas senior Krista Damico
On helping Texas reach the Big 12 Championship final for an eighth consecutive season
2012 Big 12 Championship - Semifinals