Texas stumbles in Big 12 Championship quarterfinals

Aspen Detrick

Despite a strong start, the No. 24 Longhorns fell to No. 19 Texas Tech 4-3 in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Friday.

Unfavorable weather in Oklahoma forced the tournament indoors to Greenwood Tennis Center, and singles matches were played first.

Texas senior Lana Groenvynck posted an easy win over Texas Tech’s Katelyn Jackson 6-1, 6-1 to get the Longhorn momentum moving. Tech fired back with two straight wins from Sabrina Federici and Felicity Maltby over Longhorn freshmen Daniella Roldan and Katie Poluta.

All-American senior Breaunna Addison showed signs of a comeback with her 6-2, 6-4 victory over Gabriela Talaba to improve her singles record to 18-1 for 2016. Texas junior Neda Koprcina battled Tech’s Sarah Dvorak over a close first set and came out on top 7-5. She finished it off in the second set 6-4 to take the longhorns to a 3-2 lead.

The match narrowed in on Texas sophomore Dani Wagland and Lady Raider Alex Valenstein at third singles. The outcome would either result in a Texas match win or take the teams to doubles play to break the tie.

Wagland had stolen the first set 6-1, but Valenstein showed no sign of surrendering with a 6-2 second set. Wagland had a double fault and the score rose to 2-0 Tech in the tie breaker. The sophomore won a forehand and notched her first point. The two volleyed the lead until Valenstein pulled ahead 6-3 with Wagland serving. With few Tech mistakes, Wagland was looking at a revival, but Valenstein ended it 7-5. 

With a 3-3 tie, they moved to doubles where 15th-ranked Addison and Wagland and tandem Koprcina and freshman Chelsea Crovetti both lost in 6-3 matches for a final Texas Tech win.

“I think we’ll benefit from a couple of days of rest,” head coach Howard Joffe said. “We’ll be very dangerous out in two weeks when the NCAA Championshis roll around.”

Texas will learn its fate for the NCAA tournament when the bracket is released on Tuesday at 4 p.m.