Texas women’s tennis overcomes deficit in Big 12 Championship semifinals win over Sooners

Sam Starr

After a relatively easy 4-0 sweep of Kansas on Friday, the Texas women’s tennis team found themselves in a dogfight with No. 23 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship semifinals on Saturday.

The Longhorns struggled to get things moving on the doubles courts, and the Sooners immediately took advantage.

The dominant freshmen duo of Lulu Sun and Kylie Collins got off to a slow start on court No. 1 against the Sooners’ sophomore-junior pair of sisters Carmen and Ivana Corley. The No. 17-ranked Texas doubles team briefly trailed their opponent at 5-3 in the first set, but remained hopeful they could overcome the deficit.

The Sooners’ No. 25-ranked Corley duo proved to be more skilled than the Texas pair expected, and ultimately took a 6-4 win in the first set.

After a convincing victory from freshman doubles team Peyton Stearns and Charlotte Chavatipon on doubles court No. 3, the pressure was on the veteran senior duo Anna Turati and Fernanda Labraña to win the doubles point for Texas.

Trailing the majority of the match, the No. 86-ranked Texas senior doubles team proved unable to secure the win and fell to the Sooners in a 6-4 loss in the first set.

Having lost the doubles point for the day, Texas faced a difficult yet familiar situation.

With victories on singles courts No. 3, 5 and 4, the Longhorns managed to make it to the brink of victory, needing one more win to punch their ticket to the Big 12 Championship.

Malaika Rapolu delivered. The freshman lived up to the hype Saturday with an explosive 6-2 win in the second set. Up 4-2 on the day, the Longhorns had the win secured.

After an intense victory, Texas is set to face Baylor in the championship round of the Big 12 tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m.