No. 1 Texas women’s tennis winning streak snapped with 4-1 loss to No. 8 Oklahoma in ITA Championship quarterfinals

Ana Sofia Meyer, Sports Reporter

Entering the ITA National Indoor Championship, No. 1 Texas women’s tennis had a lot to prove. Last year, the team took a disappointing loss to North Carolina in the finals of the tournament, but entered this year as the top seed. 

Despite the stakes, the Horns suffered a 4-1 upset to No. 8 Oklahoma in the quarterfinals, snapping their 30-match win streak. The Longhorns had not lost a match since last year’s National Indoor Championship against the Tar Heels. 

Texas looked solid in its first matchup, winning 4-1 against No. 10 USC. The Horns took the lead early with a doubles win thanks to undefeated doubles duo Peyton Stearns and Charlotte Chavatipon, who came back from a 2-2 tie to win four straight sets. 

Stearns continued to show her dominance against top-ranked singles player Eryn Cayetano of the Trojans squad. Despite dropping the two opening games of the match, Stearns came back with vigor, going on to win 12 of the next 13 games. Her win put her at 8-0 overall in singles play this season. 

Overall, the Longhorns took three out of four of the singles matches and two out of three in doubles, successfully clinching a spot in the quarterfinals against Big 12 rivals Oklahoma. 

Despite being the clear favorites in the matchup, the Horns struggled in both singles and doubles play. The freshman twin duo of Allura and Bella Zamarripa fell to the Sooners’ Anchisa Chanta and Emma Staker 6-3 after giving up the final three games of the match. 

Similar to the Zamarripas, sophomore Kylie Collins and freshman Sabina Zeynalova fell to the Sooner’s No. 9 ranked tandem, Carmen and Ivana Corley, six sets to three. Once again, the Longhorns led the Sooners 3-2 before giving up the lead with a four game consecutive loss. 

Oklahoma continued its momentum in singles play with Ivana Corley’s 6-2 win over Chavatipon. Despite having the early lead, Corley was forced into a tiebreaker after a late-match rally by Chavatipon, who lost to the Sooners in the breaker. 

Stearns trimmed Oklahoma’s lead with a dominant performance against No. 15 ranked singles player Layne Sleeth. After finding herself down 5-2 in the second set, Stearns broke Sleeth, going on to win the next three games for a 7-5 finish to the match. 

The win improved Stearns’ singles record to 9-0, making her one of the few remaining undefeated singles players in Division I Women’s Tennis. 

No. 35 Carmen Corley took the Sooners to 3-1 over the Longhorns with her 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 win over No. 26 Kylie Collins. Oklahoma claimed the dual-match win over their rivals with Emma Staker’s win over sophomore Malaika Rapolu. 

After taking down the Longhorns, Oklahoma went on to defeat Pepperdine 4-2 in the semifinals, putting them up for the title versus reigning champions of North Carolina. However, the Sooners came up short of unseating the Tar Heels in a 4-2 loss. 

The Longhorns will take the court next on Sunday, Feb. 20 versus No. 6 North Carolina State in Austin.