No. 20 Red Raiders Travel To Oklahoma For Pivotal Big 12 Matches

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Rafael Garcia and the Red Raiders will look to stay atop the Big 12 standings this weekend.

April 12, 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. - No. 20 Texas Tech's season has reached a pivotal point in the season.

The Red Raiders (13-6, 2-0 Big 12) are tied for first in the Big 12 Conference men's tennis standings, but to stay atop the conference standings Texas Tech will have to get past Oklahoma State and No. 13 Oklahoma this weekend.

"This is a big weekend for us," said Red Raider head coach Tim Siegel. "Oklahoma State has been ranked for most of the season and is a good program. I tell our guys never to look past the next match, but Oklahoma is someone we are very familiar with and we look forward to the matchup."

On Friday, Texas Tech will take on Oklahoma State (7-10, 0-2) at 2 p.m. at the DeBois Tennis Complex. The Cowboys are 7-10 this season and 0-2 in conference play. OSU has lost three straight.

The Red Raiders have been led this spring by a trio of seniors - No. 45 Gonzalo Escobar and No. 98 Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia. Escobar is 12-7 this spring, while Carvalho is 12-4 and Garcia is 12-5.

Escobar and Carvalho have teamed to go 8-0 in doubles and earn a No. 22 national ranking.

Oklahoma State is paced by No. 100 Vlad Bondarenko in singles, who is 7-5 dual matches and 1-1 league play. The senior has beaten two ranked opponents - No. 29 Alexis Klegou of Texas A&M and No. 83 Japie De Klerk of Tulsa - in his past three matches.

Freshman Chris Haworth leads the team in singles victories, boasting a 12-4 record on the year, while senior Eric West is 11-3 this season.

Fans can follow the action between Texas Tech and Oklahoma State through live scoring at http://www.okstate.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm.

On Sunday, the Red Raiders will then travel to Norman, where they will have a showdown with Big 12 preseason favorite No. 13 Oklahoma (13-3, 2-0 Big 12) at the Headington Family Tennis Center at 1 p.m.

The Sooners are paced by four nationally-ranked players - No. 11 Costin Paval, No. 84 Guillermo Alcorta, No. 101 Dane Webb and No. 106 Peerakit Siributwong.

Paval and Webb are ranked eighth in doubles, while Tsvetan Mihov and Siributwong are 58th nationally.

Fans can follow the match between Texas Tech and Oklahoma through live scoring at http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-tennis/livescoring.html.

If the Red Raiders pull off a sweep in the Sooner State this weekend, they will secure a share of the Big 12 title and earn the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championships in College Station, Texas.




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