With the victory, Texas Tech (15-10) has now recorded at least one victory in five of the last six seasons where the NCAA Tournament has been contested.
Multiple Lady Raiders recorded perfect 2-0 performances, including redshirt freshman Kailey Evans who closed out her first postseason victory by virtue of her 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory on court five.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Tech got off to a fast start on Friday morning to take the ever-important doubles point.
Metka Komac and Olivia Peet got the party started for Texas Tech, cruising to a 6-4 victory on court three.
Down an early break, Evans and doubles partner Avelina Sayfetdinovawon five of the final six games, including a pair of late breaks to seal the doubles point.
With the point on the board, Tech turned its attention to singles action, where another strong start occurred.
In total, four of the six opening sets went the way of the 34th-ranked Lady Raiders. The most impressive of the opening set victories came from Sayfetdinova, who erased an early 5-2 deficit to win the final five games of the set. With a set under her belt, the Russian
quickly disposed of Wiktoria Rutowska 6-0 in the second set to put the Lady Raiders up 2-0. Sayfetdinova won the final 11 games of her singles match.
Within a matter of moments, Tech’s lead grew to 3-0, as Komac rode the momentum from winning the final two games of her opening set to a 6-2 victory in set two. Komac’s win was her third consecutive, and her 20th of the season.
After LMU (18-4) answered with its lone point of the day when Ulyana Shirokova downed freshman Cristina Tiglea in straight sets on court six, Tech turned to court five and Evans, who shook off dropping the second set to win a decisive third-set, 6-2.
HEAD COACH TODD PETTY:
“I’m glad Kailey was the one to close it out for us today, because she needed that. Having been in that position several times this year and not getting it done was hard. But this is what we’ve talked about all year . We’ve told the girls that our experiences were going to pay off at the right time. For her to go out and hit four big first serves to close that out was a big moment and confidence boost for her and this team. believe that any of our six players can win a clutch deciding point for us. We had two other matches in the third, and I think both Marg and Liv would have won their matches today if they needed to. Liv splitting in that second set to keep that extra point off the board was huge. It really kept the momentum for us. Overall, we just played the big moments extremely well and played fearlessly. We played the Texas Tech brand of tennis.”
ON FLIPPING THE PAGE TO CAL:
“We’re going to enjoy this for now. I think everyone always says enjoy it for now. We’ll refocus tonight, but for now we need to let the momentum from today carry over into tomorrow. If you flip the page too quickly I think you can lose it and it can hurt you. We’re in the second round and upset the No. 25 team in the country. Cal is a great team and we have a lot of respect for them and their program, but I think we can go out and compete really well tomorrow against them.”
Texas Tech returns to action on Saturday when they face No. 11 Cal. The Bears swept Northern Arizona today 4-0. First serve from the Hellman Tennis Center is set for 2 pm (CT)/Noon (PT). If victorious, Tech would advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time since 2017.