April 28, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – The 22nd-ranked Oklahoma women’s tennis team opens postseason play Friday as the third-seeded Sooners take on No. 6 seed Texas Tech in the 2011 Big 12 Championships quarterfinals in Waco, Texas, at 9 a.m.
Oklahoma (16-5, 9-2 Big 12) earned a bye in the first round of the tournament with its top four finish in the conference.
The Sooners ended the regular season with their best overall record under current head coach David Mullins and tied their program-best Big 12 record at 9-2.
“We have spent the last four weeks really preparing for this tournament,” Mullins said. “I know we will see a great effort from everyone tomorrow.”
OU won the last matchup between the two teams, 6-1, on March 25 in Norman. The match was Tech’s first Big 12 loss of the season.
“Although we beat Texas Tech 6-1 last time out, it was a really tough match and we had to play our best at every spot,” Mullins said.
OU’s No. 3-seed tied from the program’s highest seed in the Big 12 tournament. OU was also the third-seed in 2004, when the Sooners also went 9-2 in conference play.
Texas Tech won its first round match against 11th-seeded Iowa State Thursday morning, 4-0, to advance to Friday’s match with the Sooners.
Both teams have excelled in doubles play for the majority of the season. All three of both OU and Texas Tech’s doubles pairs finished in the top three in the conference at each position.
OU’s Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu shared the 2011 Big 12 No. 1 doubles position championships with Tech’s Kelsy Garland and Samantha Adams.
Mia Lancaster and Whitney Ritchie also won a position championship for the Sooners at No. 2 doubles after going undefeated in conference play and 13-1 overall this season.
OU also won at least a share of two Big 12 championships in singles. Maria Kalashnikova won the No. 6 singles title with a conference record of 10-1, while Marie-Pier Huet won a share of the No. 4 singles championship with her 9-2 Big 12 record.
Four Sooners were named to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 first team, the league announced Tuesday. Seniors Constantinescu, Kalashnikova and Tara Eckel all earned the honor for the third straight season while junior Huet made the team for the second consecutive year.
Live scoring and a live blog during the 2011 Big 12 Championships can be found at Big12Sports.com.