Texas falls just short of conference title

Alex Endress

Texas had a rough showing against No. 7 Baylor in the Big 12 finals Sunday, beginning the match by winning the first doubles match but the 25th-ranked Longhorns never found their stride after that and lost 4-1 to the Bears.

The 54th-ranked tandem of senior Amanda Craddock and freshman Cierra Gaytan-Leach kicked off the doubles side with a bout against Baylor’s 59th-ranked Nina Secerbegovic and Karolina Filipiak. Craddock and Gaytan-Leach were tied 5-5 with the Bears at one point but pulled away for the 8-5 victory.

But Baylor secured the doubles point with two wins after that.

The Bears rushed to a 2-0 lead over Texas, as Secerbegovic beat Maggie Mello 6-0, 6-3 at third singles.
Next up, No. 26 Aeriel Ellis faced 11th-ranked Sona Novakova at first singles. Ellis prevailed 6-2, 6-2 against her top-15 opponent putting Texas on the board at 2-1.

It was all Baylor after that.

“We fought hard, as we expect to each time out,” said Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain. “We didn’t play our best tennis, and we knew we needed to. We’re still waiting for everybody to play their best tennis on the same day. We’re looking for that in the postseason from this point on.”

Texas came through Kansas State and No. 22 Oklahoma to reach the finals. It was the Longhorns’ seventh consecutive appearance in the Big 12 finals.