No. 26 Lady Raiders Headed To L.A. For NCAA Championships

Senior Nikki Sanders will go for her 100th career singles victory on Friday against Ole Miss.

May 7, 2014

Texas Tech Notes | Live Scoring | NCAA Championship Program | NCAA Women's Championship Draw

For 35 years, Texas Tech had come up short of advancing to the NCAA Championships. But now for the third consecutive year, the Lady Raiders have earned a spot in the national tournament.
In 2012, Texas Tech advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time, only to lose in the first round, 4-3. Last season, the Lady Raiders were one of the 16 host institutions and fell in the second round to No. 15 Duke, 4-3.

The Last Meeting
No. 23 Ole Miss3
Texas Tech4
February 4, 2012
Lubbock, Texas
No. 42 Texas Tech Upsets No. 23 Ole Miss
The No. 42 Texas Tech Lady Raiders came from behind to get the upset win over No. 23 Ole Miss, 4-3 Saturday, at the Lubbock Country Club.

Now Texas Tech (17-8) is set for its third appearance in the NCAA Championships and will face No. 35 Ole Miss (13-9) in the first round on Friday at 10 a.m. PT at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The other first round matchup features No. 3 UCLA (21-2) and Sacramento State (12-16) on Friday at 1 p.m. PT
The winners will square off on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The Lady Raiders will face a familiar foe in the first round in Ole Miss. Friday's meeting will mark the fourth-ever meeting between the two schools. But the two teams have crossed paths twice in the last two years in fall tournaments.

Texas Tech, who hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships last season, had Duke, Ole Miss and College of Charleston in its pod.

In 2012, the Lady Raiders picked up what at the time was the biggest win in program history, as No. 46 Texas Tech upset No. 23 Ole Miss in Lubbock, 4-3. That victory propelled Texas Tech to its first Big 12 regular season title.

At the Little Rock Classic this past fall, Texas Tech went 3-1 in singles play against the Rebels.
The Rebels feature one ranked player in No. 97 Julia Jones, who is 26-10 on the season and has recently jumped from No. 3 to No. 2 in the lineup. Caroline Rohde-Moe (18-17) and Mai El Kamash (26-13) have each jumped into the singles rankings this season, but are currently outside the ITA Top 125.

Ole Miss was 10-9 this season in securing the doubles point. The Rebels were ranked as high as No. 24 before losing four of its last six heading into the NCAA Championships.

Host school UCLA is making its 33rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships, appearing in every single event since women's athletics joined the fold in 1982.

The Bruins are 21-2 on the season and were ranked No. 1 last week before slipping two spots in the ITA Top 75 rankings.

UCLA finished second in the Pac-12 Conference after falling to No. 6 California, 4-3.  Its only other loss this season was to No. 5 Duke, 4-3, at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
The Bruins have faced three Big 12 schools this season -- No. 52 TCU (W, 4-1), No. 23 Texas (W, 4-2) and No. 13 Baylor (W, 4-1).

UCLA is led by a starting lineup that features five ranked players -- No. 2 Robin Anderson, No. 8 Jennifer Brady, No. 38 Kyle McPhillips, No. 13 Chanelle Van Nguyen and No. 75 Catherine Harrison. The Bruins also have two ranked doubles tandems in No. 1 Anderson and Bradym as well as No. 9 Harrison and McPhillips.

UCLA has the ability to jump out early, having gone 23-0 in the doubles point this season.
Sacramento State is making its 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships after winning the Big Sky Championship. Despite a losing record, the 12-16 Hornets earned a spot in the field following a 4-3 victory over Montana in the league finals.

Sac State is 0-12 in its previous 12 NCAA Championships, failing to get out of the first round.
The Hornets started the season 1-7, but closed out the season a respectable 11-9. Sac State went 0-8 against teams currently ranked in the ITA Top 75.

Sac State's lineup does not feature any ranked players, but the Hornets are led by Olivia Boija (16-7), who has played five of the six singles positions in the lineup this season. Teammate Sophie Lohscheidt (15-8) has seen action at all six positions, but primarily No. 3.

Two other contributors are Katharina Knoebl (11-6) and Daria Sarvchenko (13-7), who both went undefeated in Big Sky Conference play.

The Hornets won the doubles point in 18 of 28 matches this season, including three straight at the Big Sky Championships.

Senior Nikki Sanders has a knack for winning and winning. In four years at Texas Tech she has produced four straight 20-win seasons. She has played 3-4-5-6 during her career at Texas Tech. Sanders closed out he career in Lubbock with a 34-1 record at home, including winning a school record 31 straight.

Sanders has 99 career singles wins and 187 career combined wins at Texas Tech, placing the native of Ontario, Calif., No. 1 in the modern era in both categories.

Sanders, who has won two position titles at No. 2 doubles over the last two seasons with teammate Rashmi Teltumbde, was one of five Lady Raiders to be named All-Big 12. Sanders and Teltumbde earned it as members of Tech's No. 2 doubles tandem.

If Sanders picks up one more win this season, she will become the first player since 1988 to record 100 career victories. She has gone an amazing 99-29 over the last four seasons. In 1990, the NCAA reduced the number of playing dates and the number of matches a tennis player could participate in, thus reducing the opportunity to reach 100 wins.

In doubles, Sanders has gone 88-38 over the last four years. She has a career combined record of 187-67.

Senior Samantha Adams has served as the team captain for two seasons. She has been the cornerstone of the Todd Petty rebuilding project.

The New Braunfels, Texas, native is a second generation Texas Tech netter. Her father played for the Red Raiders in the 1970s.

A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Adams has done everything she has been asked since arriving. She has played all three doubles positions and five of six singles position. She came to Texas Tech as one of the most decorated recruits the program had ever signed and will leave the most decorated player in program history.

Adams has won a school-record six All-Big 12 honors, landing two in singles (2012 & 2013) and four straight in doubles (2011-2014). She is a three-time recipient of Academic All-Big 12 and ITA Scholar-Athlete honors. On Monday, she won the prestigious Jeanie McHaney Award, presented to the student-athlete that best demonstrates athletics, academia and community service. She is a two-time Big 12 position champion and was named the 2011 ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year.

Teaming with Kenna Kilgo, the duo earned two bids to the NCAA Doubles Championships (2012 & 2013). The pair are the first Lady Raiders to earn a bid since Annemarie Walson and Paula Brigance were selected in 1988 after winning the Southwest Conference's automatic bid.

Adams is currently the modern era career doubles leader with 90 career victories. She ranks second all-time in career combined victories with 175.

Texas Tech has won an amazing 76.7 percent of its matches at the No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 positions combined this season.

Kenna Kilgo has anchored the top spot, while Rashmi Teltumbde has solidified No. 2. Kilgo has won 42.9 percent of her matches at the top spot, while Teltumbde has a 50.0 percent mark at No. 2. The Lady Raiders have found their biggest success from three through six.

Lynn Kiro and Nikki Sanders have split time between No. 3 and No. 4. Their efforts have secured a 73.9 percent winning percentage at No. 3, while adding a team-best 87.5 percent at No. 4. Kiro has won 15 straight matches at the two positions.

Samantha Adams has anchored the No. 5 position, winning 78.3 percent of the time. No. 6 has been split between Samantha Czarniak Rego, Beatriz Machado Santos and Sarah Toti. The trio has won 65 percent of the time.

For the third straight year, three different Lady Raiders have recorded 20 singles wins in a season -- Lynn Kiro (28-6), Nikki Sanders (26-10) and Samantha Adams (22-11).

Last season, Elizabeth Ullathorne (26-9), Sanders (26-5), Caroline Starck (22-8) and Kenna Kilgo (21-15).

In 2012, Kilgo (28-9), Starck (27-10), Sanders (26-6) and Adams (21-15) each reached the 20-win plateau.

With 74 victories in hand, the 2014 senior class leaves Texas Tech having laid the foundation for the future of the program. Samantha Adams, Nikki Sanders and Rashmi Teltumbde have led Texas Tech to a pair of Big 12 titles and three straight NCAA appearances.

From 1984 to 1987, head coach Mickey Bowes' led Texas Tech to 67 wins, but never finished better than fifth in the Southwest Conference.

Texas Tech has a unique advantage playing at home and it has shown over the last four seasons, as Texas Tech has gone an amazing 34-3 (91.9 percent).

Sitting atop the South Plains, Texas Tech's McLeod Tennis Center is approximately 3,300 feet above see level. Add in the West Texas wind and it can make for a difficult time for out-of-towners.

Texas Tech senior Rashmi Teltumbde was the last piece to the puzzle, according to Lady Raider head coach Todd Petty.

Teltumbde, who transferred to the South Plains after spending her freshman season at the University of Virginia, was the last ingredient added that has led to Texas Tech's success. Since her arrival, The Lady Raiders have gone 57-21 (73.1 percent).

She has been a true team player, playing No. 1 through No. 4 in the singles lineup over the last three seasons. Moreover, she has been the catalyst for securing the doubles point.

Teltumbde has gone 67-21 in doubles over the last three seasons. She has won three straight position titles and was named All-Big 12 in doubles with partner Nikki Sanders.

Texas Tech has gone 62-14 (81.6) in securing the doubles point since Teltumbde arrived. In the three seasons prior to Teltumbde's arrival, Texas Tech was 37-26 (58.7 percent) in securing the doubles point.

Freshman Lynn Kiro has met and possibly exceeded every expectation thrown at the young netter.
Ranked in the Top 60 in the word upon her arrival, Kiro had won on the international stage. Now she is winning on the collegiate level.

The South African native has notched a record of 28-6 this season, equalling the modern day school record for singles wins in a season. Kenna Kilgo went 28-7 as a freshman in 2012.

Equally impressive, Kiro has won 15 straight and went a perfect 9-0 in Big 12 Conference play. Her efforts landed her All-Big 12 singles honors, marking the first time a Lady Raider freshman has won the award since Zana Zlebnik did it in 1998.

Teaming with Beatriz Machado Santos, Kiro won the No. 3 doubles position title this season with a 7-0 mark in league play. In all, Kiro has gone 21-10 in doubles this season.

She is now one victory shy of becoming the 16th player in school history and the fourth player in the modern era to reach 50 combined wins in a season.




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