LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 36 Oklahoma women’s tennis team fell on the road to No. 6 Texas Tech in a heartbreaker on Sunday.
"I'm very proud of how hard we competed today," said head coach Audra Cohen. "We had chances to squeak out the win and unfortunately we came up just short on a couple of courts."
"After a disappointing TCU match we had a tough team meeting about what we need to do to get better as a program. Today we focused on those things and took a huge step in the right direction."
Oklahoma (10-6, 0-4 Big 12) gave up the doubles point to open the match. At the No. 1 line, Malene Stripp and Julie Byrne were defeated by TTU's No. 36 Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federici, 6-4. Stripp and Byrne closed the gap to 3-2 before trading games with Dvorak and Federici. The pair of Red Raiders (18-3, 6-0 Big 12) ultimately came out on top.
The Red Raiders secured a 1-0 lead as OU's tandem of Ann Selim and Simran Sethi fell to TTU's Alex Valenstein and Alba Cortina-Pou, 6-1, on court three.
When play was halted, Lily Miyazaki and Christie Brigante led No. 73 Felicity Maltby and Gabriela Talaba, 4-3, on court two.
In singles, Byrne defeated Valenstein, 6-2, 7-5, from the No. 3 line to tie the match at 1-1 for the Sooners. The freshman took the first frame handily after taking an early lead. Valenstein took over in the second set to go up 5-2 before Byrne surged back to claim the straight-set victory.
With the win, Byrne moves to 10-2 on the season to become the second Sooner with double-digit singles victories.
In a battle of top-25 players, No. 24 Miyazaki fell to No. 17 Talaba, 6-3, 6-4, on court one. At the No. 2 line, Mimi Fotopoulos fell to No. 56 Felicity Maltby 6-4, 6-3, to give Texas Tech a 3-1 lead.
Stripp’s 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dvorak kept the Sooners alive in the match. The junior dropped the opening frame, before battling back to win the second and force a deciding set.
The Red Raiders clinched the match as TTU's Federici defeated OU's Selim, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 5 slot.
When play was halted, Brigante was up in the third set on court six.
The Sooners return to Norman next weekend for their final home matches of the season. Oklahoma hosts Kansas Friday at 5 p.m. CT and Kansas State at noon on Sunday for Senior Day. Seniors Mimi Fotopoulos and Ann Pepper will be honored prior to the start of the match.
For updates, follow @OU_WTennis on Twitter.
1. #17 Gabriela Talaba (TTU) def. #24 Lily Miyazaki (OU) 6-3, 6-4
2. #56 Felicity Maltby (TTU) def. Mimi Fotopoulos (OU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Julie Byrne (OU) def. Alex Valenstein (TTU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Malene Stripp (OU) def. Sarah Dvorak (TTU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Sabrina Federici (TTU) def. Ann Selim (OU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Christiana Brigante (OU) vs. Katelyn Jackson (TTU) 6-3, 1-6, 3-2
1. #36 Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici (TTU) def. Julie Byrne/Malene Stripp (OU) 6-4
2. Lily Miyazaki/Christiana Brigante (OU) vs. #73 Felicity Maltby/Gabriela Talaba (TTU), unfinished
3. Alex Valenstein/Alba Cortina-Pou (TTU) def. Ann Selim/Simran Sethi (OU) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (3,1,2,4,5)