No. 4 Texas upsets No. 2 Oklahoma in rematch for Big 12 Championship Title

Ana Sofia Meyer, Sports Reporter

No. 4 Texas women’s tennis notched a 4-2 win against conference rival No. 2 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship on Sunday. The win marks Texas’s 12th Big 12 Championship win and the program’s second consecutive title. 

This season, the Longhorns have faced the Sooners three times, losing in the previous two meetings. Their first meeting was in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships, where Texas had its year-long, 30-match win streak broken by a stunning 4-1 defeat. 

The next meeting was in Norman during Big 12 conference play, where the Horns suffered another heart-breaking loss due to struggles in singles play.

However, coming off big wins against No. 34 Iowa State and No. 11 Oklahoma State, Texas didn’t falter at the challenge in their third meeting at the Big 12 Championships.  

Court 3 was the first doubles match to finish, with freshmen Sabina Zeynalova and Vivian Ovrootsky falling to Anchisa Chanta and Dana Guzman, 6-3. 

Over on court 1, No. 15 duo of sophomore Peyton Stearns and freshman Allura Zamarripa defeated No. 6 ranked pair Ivana and Carmen Corley 6-3, successfully beating them for the second time. 

Continuing the drama, the doubles point went to a tense tiebreaker after the Sooners evened the match, 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to be tied by Layne Sleeth and Alexandra Pisareva on a couple of forced errors. 

Just when it looked like the Sooners might take the point, sophomore Charlotte Chavatipon held her serves while sophomore Kylie Collins pushed through Pisareva’s front line with powerful backhand volleys, winning the tiebreak 7-5 to put the doubles point away for the Longhorns. 

“Our (court) 3 doubles has been our Achilles heel, and it didn’t disappoint, it started out terribly,” head coach Howard Joffe said to ESPN. “At (court) 1 and 2 we had commanding leads, but I knew one of those matches would even out, which it of course did. I thought Charlotte played incredibly well, and then Kylie came in and made a couple of good plays right at the end. That got us over the line with the doubles for sure.”

With the doubles point notched, No. 2 Stearns launched herself into singles, defeating No. 10 Layne Sleeth in straight sets on court 1: 6-0, 6-0. Later, Stearns was named Most Outstanding Performer at the Big 12 Championship with a perfect 3-0 record at court 1 singles. 

Looking to mount a comeback, the Sooners trimmed the lead to 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory for No. 69 Chanta against No. 79 Zeynalova. The loss was Zeynalova’s first of the season, dropping her singles record to 17–1. 

On court 4, No. 118 Chavatipon dominated Dana Guzman in a 6-4, 6-1 victory for Texas. Alexandra Pisareva defeated Allura Zamarripa in similar fashion on court 5, evening the score to 3-2 and putting Oklahoma in position to snag the title. 

The team-dual was decided with a 6-4, 6-2 win by No. 58 Collins over No. 50 Carmen Corley, who had beaten Collins twice before in previous meetings. After fighting off a determined Corley in the first set, Collins’ defense and athleticism shone in the second set as she held serve to reclaim the title. 

Starting May 6, Texas will look to repeat last season’s success in the NCAA Team Championships.