March 25, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – The 18th-ranked Oklahoma women’s tennis team remains unbeaten in Big 12 play after defeating No. 49 Texas Tech, 6-1, on Friday at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
Oklahoma (12-2, 4-0 Big 12) won its eight match over a nationally-ranked opponent with the win over the Red Raiders (12-4, 2-1 Big 12).
“We were obviously two really hot teams coming into this weekend,” OU Head Coach David Mullins said. “I felt like the fact that we have played a tough schedule was definitely the difference.”
Entering Friday’s match OU and Texas Tech were two of three teams unbeaten in conference play and were No. 1 and No. 3 in the Big 12 standing respectively.
“When things got close in both singles and doubles,” Mullins added. “We played the better tennis in every tight position and that was the difference today.”
With the final score of 6-1, OU has given up just one dual point or less in six of its last seven matches.
The Sooners swept doubles to take the early 1-0 lead against Tech, with close wins at all three positions.
Tara Eckel and Marie-Pier Huet got off to a strong start, winning the first five games at the No. 3 doubles spot. Tech’s Elizabeth Ullathorne and Haley Fournier rallied to cut the OU duo’s lead to 7-6, but Eckel and Huet won the final game to clinch the 8-6 win.
OU and Texas Tech played tight matches at both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, with both matches tied at 6-6.
Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu clinched OU’s doubles point win by defeating Tech’s Samantha Adams and Kelsy Garland, 8-6, at the No. 1 position.
Freshmen Mia Lancaster and Whitney Ritchie were down, 7-6, at the No. 2 doubles spot against Tech’s Caroline Starck and Nikki Sanders but rallied to win in the tiebreaker, 8-7 (3).
Lancaster and Ritchie made their collegiate debut as a doubles pair on Feb. 27 against Ohio State. The duo is undefeated in doubles play and has won six-straight doubles matches.
Ritchie won OU’s first singles point with her 6-1, 6-2 domination of Tech’s Starck. Ritchie improved to 10-2 in singles this season with her eighth-straight victory.
Huet defeated Tech’s Garland at the No. 4 singles spot, 6-1, 7-5, to give OU the 3-0 lead.
Constantinescu clinched the win for the Sooners, claiming OU’s fourth match point by defeating Ullathorne at the No. 1 spot in the tiebreaker game, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Tech’s first dual point came at the No. 2 singles spot, Adams rallied after losing the first set, 6-1, to OU’s Radu to get the win, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Senior Maria Kalashnikova came from behind after the first set to defeat Tech’s Sanders in the super tiebreaker at the No. 6 singles position, 2-6, 7-6, 1-0 (8).
After dominating in the first set, 6-3, Lancaster lost the second set to Tech’s Fournier in the tiebreaker game to force the super tiebreaker at the No. 5 position. Lancaster held on to win in the tiebreaker, giving OU a final score of 6-1 over the Red Raiders.
With the win, Lancaster improved to 12-1 on the season in singles.
The Sooners host their second home match of the weekend Sunday as OU faces No. 9 Baylor at 1 p.m. at the Headington Family Tennis Center along with OU’s men’s tennis team who faces Texas A&M.
Admission to all home OU tennis events is free.
No. 18 Oklahoma 6, No. 49 Texas Tech 1
1. Constantinescu/Radu (OU) def. Adams/Garland (TTU), 8-6
2. Lancaster, M./Ritchie (OU) def. Starck/Sanders (TTU), 8-7 (3)
3. Eckel/Huet (OU) def. Ullathorne/Fournier (TTU), 8-6
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Ana-Maria Constantinescu (OU) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTU), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
2. Samantha Adams (TTU) def. Alice Radu (OU), 1-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Caroline Starck (TTU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) def. Kelsy Garland (TTU), 6-1, 7-5
5. Mia Lancaster (OU) def. Haley Fournier (TTU) 6-3, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (7)
6. Maria Kalashnikova (OU) def. Nikki Sanders (TTU), 2-6, 7-6, 1-0 (8)
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1*, 2, 6, 5