Lady Raider Netters Open Play Against The Sooners

Texas Tech senior Nikki Sanders is the winningest player in program history.

April 23, 2014


LUBBOCK, Texas - What a difference a year, two years or even five years makes.

Who would have imagined that six years ago when Todd Petty was named interim head coach of the Lady Raider Tennis program that the team would have had the kind of success it has had? Todd Petty imagined it. He even has a short list of things he would like to accomplish at Texas Tech.

He has won two Big 12 Conference regular season titles (2012 and 2013), advanced to the NCAA Championships (2012 and 2013) and sent a tandem to the NCAA Individual Championships.

Texas Tech begins play in the 2014 Big 12 Tennis Championships on Friday at noon at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth. The Lady Raiders will take on Oklahoma, a team that Texas Tech defeated in Norman, 5-2, earlier this year.

When Samantha Adams, Nikki Sanders and Rashmi Teltumbde take the court Friday, the will be competing the Big 12 Championships for the last time. This senior class of three is the winningest group of seniors in Texas Tech history with 73 team victories over the last four seasons.

"One of the things missing on our bucket list is a Big 12 Tournament title," said Petty. "We have done a lot of things, but I wouldn't mind winning the tournament."

The trio were a part of the first-ever Top 25 recruiting class for the Lady Raiders. A class Tennis Recruiting.net ranked 19th nationally.

"These three young ladies have given us the foundation for our future," said Petty. "When you think about where we were when I got here to where we are now, it has a lot to do with the work ethic and drive of these three."

Sanders is 24-10 this season and is now three singles victories from becoming the first modern era Lady Raider to reach 100 wins. The modern era constitutes 1990 to the present, when the NCAA put limitations on the number of matches a student-athlete could compete in during a season. Sanders has 97 wins this season.

Samantha Adams is the most decorated Lady Raider in program history, winning award after award. She came to Texas Tech as a five-star recruit. She was a young lady walking the footsteps of her father, who was a member of the Red Raider tennis team in the 1970s.

Teltumbde was the final piece to the championship program, as Todd Petty added the Virginia transfer to the fold. She is the winningest doubles player in terms of winning percentage in program history. She has been a double position champion for three consecutive years, which no other Lady Raider has ever done.

The Lady Raiders have had success from a multitude of players. Five different women have been ranked in the ITA Top 75 this season - Adams, Sanders, Teltumbde, Kenna Kilgo and Lynn Kiro.

Kilgo has anchored the No. 1 spot like she's played her whole life in that position. Last season Kilgo solidified the No. 5 position for Texas Tech. Kilgo is a solid 17-15 this season, including facing 12 ranked opponents.

Kiro has lived up her billing as one the top junior players in the world. The South African is one victory away from tying the freshman and modern era record for singles wins with 28. Kiro is 27-6 this season and is currently riding the second-longest winning streak in school history at 14 straight matches.

Beatriz Machado Santos has jumped into the last spot in the rotation with her solid play of late. She is 10-5 on the season and 4-1 at No. 6.

The mantra of Petty since his arrival has been doubles. Texas Tech closed out the season by winning seven straight doubles points. The Lady Raiders have won 17 of 22 doubles points this season.

Coincidentally, when Texas Tech lost five of six matches midseason, the Lady Raiders have lost four doubles points.

Adams and Kilgo are 22-9 this season and ranked No. 64 in doubles. Over the last three seasons, this tandem is 70-27 over the last three seasons.

Teltumbde and Sanders have anchored No. 2 doubles. The pair are 20-8 overall and led the Big 12 in wins at the No. 2 position this season.

The freshmen tandem of Kiro and Machado Santos have taken hold of the No. 3 spot. The duo are 7-0 since being paired in March.

The Lady Raiders closed out the season 16-7 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12. With a win on Friday, Texas Tech would potentially face No. 1 seed Baylor in the semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m.




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