Szumanski Scores Big Upset Over No. 4 Texas
April 12, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech tennis fans were treated to the biggest upset over a ranked opponent in program history today as the No. 20 men's tennis team handed No. 4 Texas their first Big 12 loss of the season.
"Congratulations to Texas Tech. They did a nice job and won the key points today as they are a very good team," commented Texas' Head Coach Michael Center. "They took advantage of every opportunity and definitely got the job done."
The battle began in doubles as the senior duo of Ilya Babinciuc and Lenoir Ramos added to their flawless Big 12 record, advancing to 4-0 by defeating Texas' Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala, 8-4. On court two the Longhorn No. 7-ranked duo of Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico proved too much for Tech's No. 37 pair of Michael Breler and Sinisa Markovic, evening the doubles score at one all. The final point was clinched in dramatic fashion by Tech's No. 4-ranked Christian Rojmar and Bojan Szumanski as they defeated the No. 41-ranked team of Luis Diaz Barriga and Miguel Reyes Varela, 8-5. This was Tech's 11th doubles win this season as they snapped Texas' 12-match win streak, which lost their only doubles point earlier this season to Georgia at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Tech continued to take it to the Longhorns as both Breler and Markovic recovered from their doubles loss with the first two singles wins. Markovic dominated UT's No. 22 nationally ranked Kellen Damico 6-2, 6-0, improving his season record to 17-3, 4-0 in conference play. Breler also continued his undefeated Big 12 streak at No. 6 by defeating Milan Mihailovic in straight sets, advancing to 4-0 in conference, 17-1 in dual matches. Texas finally got on the board with wins at No. 4 and 5, as No. 109 Diaz Barriga beat Babinciuc, 6-4, 6-2, and Reyes Varela defeated Rojmar, 6-4, 6-4, respectively.
Courts one and three were the final two matches of the day as both had moved into a third set. No. 43-ranked Szumanski had the biggest win of his career as he used his home court advantage to upset No. 16 sophomore Kutrovsky 6-2 in the third set, clinching the fourth and final point for the Red Raiders for the third time this season.
"It was an amazing feeling," said senior Szumanski after clinching two match points for Tech. "Winning the doubles point was a huge momentum boost for the team because we haven't lost four singles matches at home this season. I was really glad I could get this win for my team."
Szumanski sits 13-6 in dual matches, 2-2 in the Big 12, playing in the No. 1 position for Tech. He enters his final home match as a Red Raider as Tech's all-time winningest singles and doubles player, boasting an impressive 87 career singles wins and 58 career doubles victories. Already this season Babinciuc has put himself in the record books for his solid performance in singles. He is currently second in single-season singles victories with 24, needing only two more to put himself in a six-way tie for No. 1.
"I could have written a better script today for Bojan, who has struggled in the past with finishing off matches. But to clinch this match over Texas, he proved how strong of a leader he is and he had a tremendous win to prove it," said Head Coach Tim Siegel. "These guys have done it time and again, because today I saw a team that was ranked 20 come out here and believe they could beat a team that was ranked four. I cannot say enough about this team, but we still have a long ways to go."
The Red Raiders will cap off their 2008 home schedule tomorrow at 1 p.m. as they host Nebraska. Sunday's match is "Feed the Fan" as Schlotsky's will have free sandwiches for the first 150 fans. For more information and live updates, visit www.texastech.com.
#20 Texas Tech - 4
Doubles: 3, 2, 1*
Singles: 2, 4, 6, 5, 1*, 3