April 30, 2011
WACO, Texas – The third-seeded Oklahoma women’s tennis team fell to No. 2 seed Texas, 4-2, in the semifinals of the 2011 Big 12 Championships Saturday in Waco, Texas.
Oklahoma (18-5, 9-2 Big 12) made just its fourth appearance in the Big 12 Championships semifinals, narrowly missing a trip to the conference championship.
"We got off to a very slow start which is unusual for us," OU Head Coach David Mullins said. "We fought back extremely hard and played some very good singles but Texas just had a little bit more than we could handle."
OU fell behind 3-0, but rallied to bring the match within one point at 3-2 before Texas clinched the win.
The Sooners dropped matches at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions, to give Texas the doubles point and a 1-0 lead entering singles.
“I felt like we started slowly in doubles," Mullins said. "Texas played great at one and two. I wasn’t really expecting that, I thought we would do better than them in doubles."
OU’s freshman duo, Mia Lancaster and Whitney Ritchie, lost its first conference match of the year and just its second match overall. Lancaster and Ritchie fell to UT’s Krista Damico and Aeriel Ellis at the No. 2 spot, 8-2.
Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu, ranked 47th in the country in doubles, lost to Texas’ 54th-ranked Amanda Craddock and Cierra Gaytan-Leach at the No. 1 spot, 8-3.
"Going into singles I think the disappointment from doubles carried over and we started slowly on all the courts," Mullins said. "I felt like we turned things around and played well."
Constantinescu, ranked No. 124 in singles, lost to 26th-ranked Ellis of Texas at the No. 1 spot, 6-2, 6-2. With the loss, Texas moved to a 2-0 lead over the Sooners.
OU fell behind 3-0, with another singles loss. Lancaster fell to Texas’ Juliana Gajic at the No. 5 spot, 6-3, 6-2.
The Sooners won their first dual point of the day with a win at the No. 4 singles spot. Marie-Pier Huet defeated Maggie Mello of Texas, 6-3, 6-4, to cut UT’s lead to 3-1.
The Sooners then cut the lead to 3-2 with a win at the No. 4 spot as Ritchie defeated Amanda Craddock, 0-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Texas then clinched the win as Gaytan-Leach won UT’s fourth dual point with a win over OU senior Tara Eckel at the No. 6 spot, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The 2011 NCAA Division I men's and women's tennis selection announcements will be on www.NCAA.com, Tuesday, May 3. The women's show will air at 4 p.m., and the men's show will air at 4:30 p.m.
(2) Texas 4, (3) Oklahoma 2
1. No. 26 Aeriel Ellis, UT def. No. 124 Ana-Maria Constantinescu, OU 6-2,6-2
2. Krista Damico, UT vs. Alice Radu, OU DNF
3. Marie-Pier Huet, OU def. Maggie Mello, UT 6-3,6-4
4. Whitney Ritchie, OU def. Amanda Craddock, UT 0-6,6-2,6-0
5. Juliana Gajic, UT def. Mia Lancaster, OU 6-3,6-2
6. Cierra Gaytan-Leach, UT def. Tara Eckel, OU 6-4,4-6,6-3
1. No. 54 Craddock/Gaytan-Leach, UT def. No. 47 Constantinescu/Radu, OU 8-3
2. Damico/Ellis, UT def. Ritchie/Lancaster, OU 8-2
3. Gajic/Mello, UT vs. Tara Eckel/Huet, OU DNF