Texas brings Big 12 championship to Austin

Logan Harvill

The Longhorns swept their first regular season and tournament titles for the first time since 2002 after defeating No. 14 Texas Tech in the final round of the Big 12 Championships on Sunday afternoon.

The Longhorns started their tourney run with a shutout win over TCU in the quarterfinals on Friday. Earning a win in the Longhorns’ first match after a bye was a strong indicator of later success for the Texas squad, however, third year head coach Howard Joffe didn’t seem impressed with the win.

“The doubles point was quite contentious and difficult,” Joffe said. “I certainly wouldn’t give us an “A” grade for how we handled the stress. I don’t think it was our best tennis. But, that was a team that had everything to win and nothing to lose. I am very proud of the girls.”

The Longhorns then moved on to defeat No. 26 Baylor in the semifinals. Texas won the first point of the evening in an incredibly difficult doubles session that looked like Baylor’s point early on. However, a comeback from the Turati twins gave the Longhorns their second win.

Soon after, the Longhorns ended the match with three consecutive singles wins, including a dominant performance from Texas’ No. 29 sophomore Anna Turati. However, the scoreboard didn’t give an accurate portrayal of the difficulty of the match.

“If you take a look at the scoreboard, the lay person would deduce that it was a fairly routine, comfortable win. We lost only one point, one match,” Joffe said. “But anyone who watched the match knew it was very, very hard fought…I feel like Baylor hit us with their best shot and we were up for the challenge today.”

The Longhorns finished their tourney run with a dominant finals win over Texas Tech. In the doubles session, the Longhorns didn’t waste any time claiming their first point of the match, taking wins at the second and third doubles spot. Soon after, the Longhorns would end the match with three singles wins. After the match, Joffe spoke to the media about how impressed he was with the play of the team and the meaning of a title win for the program.    

“There’s just an overwhelming sense of satisfaction with winning the conference and at another level with winning the conference tournament,” said Joffe. “The idea that Texas’ tennis program can help put the ‘T’ back in Texas – it does feel like a great accomplishment.”