Texas Tech Begins Play In NCAA Championships Saturday
May 8 , 2013
TEXAS TECH EARNS NO. 16 SEED, HOSTS FIRST TWO ROUNDS
The event will be held at the McLeod Tennis Center on the Campus of Texas Tech University. Joining Texas Tech in Lubbock are No. 15 Duke, No. 37 Ole Miss and No. 71 College of Charleston.
Duke (14-9) will take on Ole Miss (16-13) in the first match of the day on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. Texas Tech (19-6) will then host College of Charleston (20-8) no earlier than 2 p.m.
The 16 seeds for this year’s event are (1) Florida, (2) North Carolina, (3) Texas A&M, (4) Georgia, (5) USC, (6) Miami, (7) UCLA, (8) California, (9) Alabama, (10) Michigan, (11) Northwestern, (12) Stanford, (13) Clemson, (14) Virginia, (15) Nebraska and (16) Texas Tech. The winners of each of the 16 satellite tournaments advance to the Round of 16 at the University of Illinois May 17-21.
Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for youth, while children under two get in free. The first 150 Texas Tech students get in free with a Tech ID.
Charleston won the Southern Conference regular season title with a 9-1 record and then won their fifth straight SoCon tournament title.
The Cougars are making their sixth NCAA appearance (2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and fifth straight appearance.
Duke University began the season ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation, but have been hit by injuries of late.
The Blue Devils finished the season fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (5-5) and have made 24 consecutive NCAA Championships. Duke has reached eight Final Fours, highlighted by its 2009 NCAA Championship.
Duke features three ranked singles players in No. 20 Hanna Marr, No. 56 Ester Goldfeld and No. 106 Mary Clayton. Goldfeld is not expected to compete due to a broken wrist. That leaves the Blue Devils with five healthy players for the NCAA Championships.
The Lady Raiders and Blue Devils have never met on the court.
Ole Miss enters the NCAA Championships after finishing fourth in the Southeastern Conference Western Division (5-8) and eighth overall.
The Rebels are making their fifth consecutive NCAA appearance and 16 overall in the event.
Ole Miss will be making its second trip to Lubbock in two years. Last season, the No. 42 Lady Raiders upset then No. 18 Ole Miss, 4-3, indoors at the Lubbock Country Club.
In the fall, Texas Tech and Ole Miss met up again in a hidden dual at the Country Club of Little Rock Collegiate Invitational where the two teams split six singles matches, 3-3.
The series is tied 1-1 all-time, with the Rebels winning, 7-0 against Texas Tech in 2010 in Oxford.
The dynamic doubles tandem was named All-Big 12 in doubles, while Adams was selected to the All-Big 12 singles team for the second consecutive year.
Adams and Kilgo are currently 21-8 on the season and ranked No. 16 nationally. The duo has been selected to the NCAA Doubles Championships for the second consecutive season. Adams and Kilgo won their second consecutive Big 12 Conference position title at No. 1 Doubles this past season.
Adams and Kilgo are just the third tandem in program history to win All-Big 12 honors in back-to-back seasons. Irina Tereschenko and Beverly Dawson did it in 2002 and 2003, while Tara Browning and Lakann Wagley pulled off the double-double in 2005 and 2006. Adams is the only player to win the award three times.
Adams, who is currently ranked No. 80 in the nation, is 16-19 on the season from the No. 1 singles position. She has been ranked as high as No. 49 this season. She becomes just the third Lady Raider to win All-Big 12 singles honors twice, joining Tereschenko (2002, 2004) and Samantha van der Drift (2007, 2009).
The No. 1 tandem of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo are 21-8 on the season and finished Big 12 play 7-2 and shared honors with Baylor’s Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva and Kansas State’s Petra Niedermayerova and Karla Bonacic.
The No. 2 duo of Nikki Sanders and Rashmi Teltumbde had the best record of any doubles tandem in the league, finishing with a 7-1 Big 12 record to edge out Texas’ Aeriel Ellis and Elizabeth Begley. Sanders and Teltumbde have a team-best 24-8 record this season.
The No. 3 team of Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne were 7-2 at No. 3 doubles, edging out C.C. Sardinha and Maria Alvarez of Oklahoma State, who were 6-2 this season. Starck and Ullathorne were 20-7 as a tandem this year. This is the second straight year Ullathorne has won the No. 3 doubles title. She teamed with Teltumbde to win the honor last season.
In all, Texas Tech won 23 of 25 doubles points this season and won at least one doubles match in every match. The Lady Raiders also swept doubles 11 times this season.
CLOSING IN ON A CENTURY
In the early 1990s, the NCAA put limitations on the number of matches a student-athlete could compete in and has limited players from reaching 100 career wins.
Entering the NCAA Championships, Starck has a career singles record of 95-40 (.704). She ranks seventh all-time in career victories, but has the most of any player over the last 25 years at Texas Tech.
Starck is also a two-time Big 12 position champion, winning No. 4 in 2012 and No. 6 in 2013.
She was just named the 2013 Big 12 No. 5 position champion after a perfect 9-0 record in Big 12 play this season. Overall, she is 18-3 in dual matches and 25-5 for the season.
Against Baylor on Apr. 21, she won her 70th career match, becoming the fast player to reach 70 wins in her career. She reached the milestone in 89 matches, eclipsing the previous mark set by Caroline Starck last year, who reached 70 wins in 99 matches. She ranks 15th on the career wins list. But more impressively, her record is 72-19 (79.1 percent) and 24-4 (85.7 percent) in Big 12 play. Sanders has the second highest winning percentage in program history.
Sanders has been just as steady in doubles play, notching 69 career wins over three seasons and has won 71.3 percent of her doubles matches.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS 4-5-6
Ullathorne, a senior from Lancashire, England, is 26-8 and having her best season to date. She has gone 12-5 at No. 4 and 18-5 overall in dual matches.
Sanders, a junior from Ontario, Calif., is 25-5 overall and went a perfect 9-0 in Big 12 play. She is 12-2 at No. 5 and 18-3 overall in dual matches.
Starck, a senior from Williams Bay, Wis., is 21-8 and is the first player in the modern era to notch four straight 20-win seasons. She is 11-4 at No. 6 and 16-5 overall in dual matches.
FOUR FOR TWENTY AGAIN
LADY RAIDERS MAKE HISTORY
Texas Tech is just the fifth school to win the Big 12 Conference Women’s Tennis title, joining Baylor (8), Texas (8), Texas A&M (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Texas has won six outright, while Baylor has won six.
Last season, Petty guided the Lady Raiders to an 19-6 mark and he led Texas Tech to an 18-8 mark in 2011, the best record since 1987.
This season, the Lady Raiders are 18-5. The 55 wins over the past three seasons are the most over a three-year period in program history. The previous best mark was 51 wins from 1985-87.
The trio has won 67 career matches, two Big 12 Conference regular season titles and helped the Lady Raiders secure the school’s first two NCAA Championships 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.
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.
In contrast, College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.) is at sea level, Duke (Durham, N.C.) is 394 feet and Ole Miss (Oxford, Miss.) is 416 feet.
The first team honorees are seniors Sandra Dynka, Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne, juniors Samantha Adams and Rashmi Teltumbde and sophomore Kenna Kilgo. Junior Nikki Sanders was named to the second team.
This is Starck’s third straight selection to the Academic All-Big 12 first team, while Ullathorne and Adams are each making their second appearance in the first team.
The seven honorees surpasses the previous high of five set in 2009, head coach Todd Petty first year at Texas Tech. The Lady Raiders tied the Big 12 record of seven honorees set by Oklahoma in 2003, when the Sooners had seven first team selections.
Texas Tech has now had 60 Academic All-Big 12 honorees since the Big 12 Conference was founded in 1996. There have been 20 honorees under the five years Petty has been head coach.
In doubles, Adams has teamed with Kenna Kilgo to earn a No. 16 ITA Top 90 doubles ranking.
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