Gaytan-Leach tabbed Big 12 Women's Tennis Player of the Week
April 16, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 Conference selected Texas sophomore Cierra Gaytan-Leach as the league’s women’s tennis player of the week Monday afternoon after the Californian clinched the 13th-ranked Longhorns’ weekend victories over No. 12 Baylor and No. 22 Texas Tech.
In Saturday’s match against Baylor, with the team score knotted at three points apiece, Gaytan-Leach ended the three-match winning streak of Baylor’s Ema Burgic and won by a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 count to give Texas a 4-3 win over the Bears.
On Sunday against Texas Tech – UT’s then-undefeated counterpart atop the conference standings – Gaytan-Leach put away the Texas victory by rallying for a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win over the Lady Raiders’ Caroline Starck to give Texas an insurmountable 4-2 lead, which proved to be the winning margin after the doubles session was subsequently canceled due to rain.
Notably, Gaytan-Leach rallied from a 3-0 third-set deficit and won six of the final seven games in the set to preserve her second match-clinching victory in as many days. Gaytan-Leach’s victory snapped Starck’s eight-match winning streak, which dated back to March 1.
Gaytan-Leach has won her last five conference matches and is on a four-match winning streak. This marks her first career Big 12 weekly honor and the second for a Longhorn this season. Senior Krista Damico earned the same honor on March 19.
Gaytan-Leach and the Longhorns resume play Tuesday evening when they meet Texas A&M in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. First serve is set for 6 p.m. Central at A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station.