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#26 Texas Tech fell to #36 Ole Miss, 4-3, at the 2014 NCAA Championships at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
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Texas Tech vs. College of Charleston
Behind dominating doubles play, the Lady Raiders defeated the Wildcats 4-3 to advance to face Texas on Saturday.
No. 17 Texas Tech took the courts at Oklahoma on Thursday evening before opening up the Big 12 Championships on Friday.
The one thing synonymous with the resurgence of Lady Raider Tennis is head coach Toddy Petty. Since his arrival at Texas Tech University, the Lady Raiders have not only become a team to contend with in the Big 12 Conference, but a contender on the national level as well.
Entering the spring of 2014, the sixth-year head coach has led Texas Tech to back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2012 and 2013, as well as consecutive trips to the NCAA Championships, something no other Lady Raider coach had ever done in tennis.
Petty, who garnered Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012, has turned Texas Tech's McLeod Tennis Center into a home-court advantage. Prior to his arrival, the Lady Raiders went 39-39 (50.0 percent) at the McLeod. Since Petty became head coach, Texas Tech is 40-11 (78.4 percent). Even more impressive, Petty's squads have gone 28-3 (90.3 percent) at the McLeod over the last three seasons.
In five seasons, Petty has quickly climbed the Texas Tech coaching victories list to No. 2 all-time. The San Angelo, Texas, native is 78-47 (62.4 percent) in five seasons. Both marks are second only to Harrison "Mickey" Bowes, who went 156-89 (63.7 percent) in 10 seasons from 1979-89.
During his time here, Petty has produced 20 Academic All-Big 12 selections, eight Big 12 position champions, four All-Big 12 Doubles recipients and four All-Big 12 Singles honorees, as well as 20 ITA Scholar-Athletes and five straight ITA All-Academic Teams. For two straight seasons, He has produced the highest APR program at Texas Tech and was honored by the NCAA for his efforts in the classroom. Petty won 2012 ITA Texas Region Coach of the Year honors, while Samantha Adams was honored by the ITA as the 2011 Texas Region Rookie of the Year and 2012 ITA Texas Region Player To Watch.
The doubles tandem of Adams and Kenna Kilgo, both Petty recruits, are the most decorated squad in Texas Tech history. The duo has appeared in two straight NCAA Doubles Championships.
After serving as the interim head coach for the 2008-09 season, Petty was elevated to the position permanently in April, 2009. In his first season, he led the Lady Raiders to a 10-14 season, including a 4-7 mark in the Big 12 Conference, earning a seventh place finish in the league. The Lady Raiders finished ranked No. 73 in the final ITA Top 75 Poll. Texas Tech earned its first-ever Top 25 win, as the Lady Raiders stunned No. 21 TCU, 4-3.
In 2010, Petty's Lady Raiders improved to 11-12 and finished sixth in the Big 12. But the turning point for the program came in 2011, when Texas Tech finished the season 18-8 overall and 7-4 in the Big 12. It was the most wins for the school since 1987, when the Lady Raiders won 20 matches. The seven conference wins tied a school record for league victories, as Texas Tech began its home-court dominance after recording a 10-1 record at the McLeod Tennis Center.
The Lady Raiders finished a school-record No. 48 in the ITA Top 75 final poll and just missed a trip to the NCAA Championships. The newly named Big 12 Coach of the Year led the team to its best record in 23 years. The team went 4-8 against rank opponents, including a 4-3 upset of No. 23 Texas, snapping a 38-match losing streak to the Longhorns.
With three seasons under his belt, Petty's Lady Raiders took the next step, as Texas Tech began the season with its highest ranking ever - No. 46. The Lady Raiders began the season 7-1 and jumped up to No. 32 nationally after upsetting No. 23 Ole Miss. Then came the biggest upset in program history, as Tech upended No. 12 Baylor, 4-3, vaulting the Lady Raiders to No. 17 in the poll. Texas Tech finished the season as Big 12 Champions after an 8-1 league mark, earning a trip to the 2012 NCAA Championships in Coral Gable, Fla. But for the second time that season, The Lady Raiders (19-6) were not able to get by No. 37 Utah, falling 4-3 in the first round.
With a Big 12 trophy in tow, Texas Tech was picked third in 2013, but managed to silence the doubters, as Petty's squad began the preseason ranked No. 21, eclipsing the No. 46 Tech started the season with one year earlier. The Lady Raiders barreled through a daunting non-conference schedule with a 9-4 mark, including going 6-4 against ranked teams. Texas Tech then rattled off nine straight wins, including a 5-0 mark against ITA Top 50 squads.
Texas Tech reached as No. 15 nationally in the polls, earning its second straight 8-1 league mark and another Big 12 title. Their efforts solidified the Lady Raiders' first-ever hosting of the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships. Tech picked up its first-ever NCAA win with a 4-0 victory over College of Charleston, before falling to No. 15 Duke, 4-3 in the Round of 32. Texas Tech finished the season ranked in the ITA a school-record 18th.
In each of his previous five seasons, Petty's squads have gotten better in terms of wins and rankings.
Petty has produced the No. 19 recruiting class in 2010 and the No. 16 recruiting class in 2013, according to tennisrecruiting.net. Since becoming head coach, he has signed five five-star recruits and one blue chip signee.
Petty came to Lubbock after serving as head coach at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. While at Rider, he mentored several student-athletes to state qualifying berths, including three in 2003 who qualified for the Texas Class-4A state tournament, and one who won the 4-A state singles championship in 2006. In addition, his teams finished in the top five in the state of Texas from 2004-2006, with the 2006 team placing third.
During his collegiate career, Petty played his first two years at UTSA, where he was named All-Southland Conference in both 1999 and 2000. He then transferred to Midwestern State University and was named to the 2002 Lone Star Conference All-Academic team and was selected an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American.
Petty began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Midwestern State, where he was involved in recruiting, coaching, and traveling with the men's and women's tennis programs. In 2003 and 2004, the men's tennis team qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Petty graduated cum laude from Midwestern State with a degree in political science. He and his wife, Angie, have a son, Colt.