COLLEGE STATION, Texas – It wasn’t as smooth as a week ago, but Lady Raider head coach Toddy Petty will take it just the same, as No. 21 Texas Tech (19-4) tipped No. 49 Missouri (11-12), 4-1, to advance to the semifinals of the 2012 Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championships at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Friday.
“Credit Missouri, we didn’t play our best tennis, but that was a lot because of Missouri, not because of us,” said Petty. “My hat’s off to them. They competed really hard. I was proud to get through that and am looking forward to tomorrow. It was good everybody got pushed today. I think that is going to help us as the tournament progresses. It is going to take more of a team effort tomorrow.”
Texas Tech, who is the No. 1 seed, now advances to the semifinals to face either No. 13 Texas or No. 37 Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center on the Campus of Texas A&M.
The Lady Raiders recorded their 19th win of the season, marking the first time since 1987 that a Texas Tech women’s team has won 19 matches in a season. In 1987, Texas Tech won a school-record 20 matches.
Prior to this season, Texas Tech had appeared in nine quarterfinal matches, but had never advanced to the semifinals.
The day started with a quick doubles win by Elizabeth Ullathorne and Rashmi Teltumbde, as the duo recorded their 20th win as a tandem and their 16th at No. 3 doubles. The pair dispatched Missouri’s Ashleigh Chiaf and Alex Clark, 8-2.
There was a battle at No. 1 doubles, as No. 28 Kenna Kilgo and Samantha Adams squared off with No. 83 Jamie Mera and Nina Pantic. Tied at 5-5, Kilgo and Adams pulled away for the 8-6 win to secure the doubles point for Texas Tech.
Caroline Starck and Nikki Sanders match against Maria Christensen and Annemijn Koenen was left unfinished with the two squads knotted at 6-6.
Missouri quickly picked up a point at No. 1 singles, as Pantic picked up a straight-set win over Ullathorne, 6-1, 6-1.
Texas Tech then answered with back-to-back wins from Starck and Kilgo.
Starck dispatched Clark, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 4 singles to record her 27th win of the season and the 74th victory of her career. She moved into a tie for third all-time at Texas Tech with Janet Durham (2004-08).
Kilgo then tripped Mera, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 5 singles to improve to 28-8 on the season. Kilgo’s 28 wins is the most by a Lady Raiders since Cathy Carlson notched 31 in 1988.
Nikki Sanders closed out the win with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Koenen at No. 6 singles. Sanders improved to 25-5 on the season and 46-13 for her career. Her 78 percent winning percentage is the best in the history of the Lady Raider program.
Due to time constraints, Adams’ match at No. 2 and Teltumbde’s match at No. 3 were left unfinished.
“We are going to have to show up in the top three positions earlier (on Saturday),” said Petty. “That doesn’t mean we have to win them, but we are going to have to be in the match. I felt like we put a lot of pressure on our No. 4, 5 and 6 today, because we gave them so many leads at No. 1, 2 and 3. I don’t think we can do that tomorrow.”
Texas Tech is 56-9 in dual matches at the No. 4, 5, 6 position this spring. The 86.2 winning percentage at those three positions combined is the best in the Big 12 conference this season.
#21 Texas Tech 4, #49 Missouri 1
Big 12 Championships -- Women's Quarterfinals
1. #28 Samantha Adams/Kenna Kilgo (TT) def. #83 Jamie Mera/Nina Pantic (MU) 8-6
2. Nikki Sanders/Caroline Starck (TT) vs. Maria Christensen/Annemijn Koenen (MU) 6-6, unfinished
3. Rashmi Teltumbde/Elizabeth Ullathorne (TT) def. Ashleigh Chiaf/Alex Clark (MU) 8-2
1. Nina Pantic (MU) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TT) 6-1, 6-1
2. #104 Samantha Adams (TT) vs. Rachel Stuhlmann (MU) 4-6, 5-2, unfinished
3. Rashmi Teltumbde (TT) vs. Maria Christensen (MU) 7-6 (7-5), 0-2, unfinished
4. Caroline Starck (TT) def. Alex Clark (MU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Kenna Kilgo (TT) def. Jamie Mera (MU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Nikki Sanders (TT) def. Annemijn Koenen (MU) 6-3, 6-3
Missouri 11-12; National ranking #49
Texas Tech 19-4; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,4,5,6)
Seeds -- (1) Texas Tech, (8) Missouri