Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

No. 6 Texas rallies to defeat No. 15 OU to begin Big 12 Play

Skyler Sharp
Junior Sabina Zeynalova pumps her fist in celebration after scoring a point against Oklahoma on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Zeynalova’s singles match vs. Dana Guzman, which she won 7-5, 6-1, was the deciding match that clinched the overall win for the Longhorns.

No. 6 Texas conquered Red River Rival Oklahoma 4-3 in what turned out to be a suspenseful first Big 12 match.

Various storylines took over in today’s matchup between Texas and Oklahoma including two definitive wins on courts 3 and 5 where No. 36 senior Malaika Rapolu and senior Taisiya Pachkaleva defeated their opponents in two sets in singles. Neither allowed their opponent to secure more than three games in either of their sets. 

Only one game was carried into three sets in today’s competition when senior Charlotte Chavatipon overcame her opponent freshman Chloe Noel. After a definitive victory in the first set, Chavatipon narrowly lost the second set 4-6. It was in the third set that she truly dominated, defeating her opponent 6-1 to take the match, tying Texas with OU at 3-3. 

Texas’ victory came down to the final and longest match of the day when junior Sabina Zeynalova took on No. 38 senior Dana Guzman in a back-and-forth nailbiter. Playing from behind for most of the match, Zeynalova rallied, down 5-2, she carried the set into seven games and won. 

“I started off very unsure of what I have to do, kind of rushing sometimes, kind of not doing enough sometimes (and) just not (being) very confident,” Zeynalova said. “I think at 5-2 I was like ‘Ok, everyone’s down, every court is battling, so I might as well battle,’ and I found my game.”

With the other matches of the day having finished, Zeynalova’s whole team now rallied behind her. In the second set, Zeynalova truly took over. As the highest-ranked player currently on the team, she showed her prowess, pulling away from her opponent, winning her match and Texas the competition. 

“I think that clinching is always a very shaky thing, … (but) I trained myself for moments like these and trusted myself,” Zaynalova said. 

When the final point finally came and Texas conquered their fiercest rival, Zeynalova was swarmed with teammates, sweetening the victory. This win marks the Longhorns’ 20th victory all-time against Oklahoma. Currently, Texas is winning the series 20-2 and has now won the last six meetings between the two teams. 

“It’s always better to win than lose and then add to that, it’s always better to win against OU than lose, (so) I’m delighted that we ended up turning that match around and winning it,” said head coach Howard Joffe. “The manner of winning it, in many of the games we showed incredible character, and the way our players played reflected how they resourced.”

This win comes after a close loss to No. 2 Stanford that dropped Texas from no. 4 to no. 6 in the ITA rankings. Now that Big 12 play has started, the team will see numerous ranked opponents going forward. The team is currently slated to take on No. 61 West Virginia this Friday at the Texas Tennis Center.

More to Discover