No. 22 Red Raiders Close Out Regular Season Against Longhorns

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Gonzalo Escobar, the school's all-time winningest player, will play in his final home match on Saturday.

April 20, 2012

LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 22 Texas Tech has a lot to play for when the Red Raiders host No. 17 Texas on Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.

The Red Raiders are guaranteed at least a share of second place in the Big 12 Conference this season, no matter the outcome of Saturday’s match, but a win over the Longhorns would secure second place outright and the No. 2 seed at the Big 12 Championships next week.

Texas Tech has secured its second-ever second place finish in the Big 12, joining the 2005 squad that tied for second.

“The Big 12 is a tough conference,” said Red Raider head coach Tim Siegel. “Every match is a fight and seemingly every team is ranked. You have to put your best foot forward every time you go out on the court.

“Saturday against Texas is no different. We have to come prepared to play and realize that a lot is on the line. I feel like our guys know that and are prepared.”

If Texas Tech defeats Texas, it will mark the first time in the Big 12 era that the Red Raiders will have defeated Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor in the same season.

Saturday will also mark the end of an era for the Red Raiders, as Texas Tech says goodbye to three seniors – Raony Carvalho, Gonzalo Escobar and Rafael Garcia.

Raony Carvalho is the most decorated men’s tennis player in the history, He has been named the ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year, as well as ITA All-American. He is the second winningest player in school history and will set the school record for most NCAA individual appearances when he graduates.

Gonzalo Escobar is the all-time winningest player in Texas Tech tennis history. He holds the single-season and career records for singles wins and doubles wins. Escobar is two wins from tying his own school record for victories in a season at 29. He is the first Red Raider to win the ITA Regional Championship twice.

Rafael Garcia has spent the last three years in Lubbock, honing his skills. Garcia has advanced to the NCAA individual championships in each of the last two seasons, while earning All-Big 12 honors and Academic All-Big 12 honors. He is also the Big 12 No. 3 singles champion.

After Saturday, the Red Raiders will look to extend their season at the Big 12 Championships, thus securing their sixth straight NCAA Championships bid.




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