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

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October 4, 2022

No. 5 Texas defeats No. 36 Oklahoma State to advance to Big 12 Tournament Finals

Kennedy Weatherby
Senior Micah Braswell returns the ball to senior Tadeas Paroulek of Baylor University durung a singles match on April 13, 2024.

In front of a raucous home crowd, No. 5 Texas mustered a 4-1 win against host No. 36 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament semifinal on Saturday to increase its win streak to 12 and advance to the Big 12 tournament finals.

Texas claimed an early advantage with a 6-3 win by junior Pierre-Yves Bailly and senior Eshan Talluri over Alex Garcia and Francisco Pini. With the other two courts ahead, it looked like Texas would claim the doubles point.

However, the Cowboys didn’t go away so easily. Against Oklahoma State pair Alessio Basile and Leighton Allen, the undefeated Texas pair of seniors Micah Braswell and Cleeve Harper were up 4-3 and had a chance to break. But Allen hit an incredible pick-up volley to win the deuce point. The Cowboy pair would break the next game and ultimately win 6-4 to even the doubles score, leaving it to seniors Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab to win the doubles point for Texas.

They found themselves up 5-3 against Oklahoma State pair Tyler Zink and Isaac Becroft with a chance to serve for the match. Spizzirri and Woldeab went up 40-30 with two match points, but Zink and Becroft fought both off to break before holding serve to even the score at 5-5.

Eventually, the match went into a set tiebreaker, exactly how it was two weeks ago when the two played previously. Oklahoma State went up 6-5 with Woldeab on serve, where Zink hit an unbelievable backhand return down the line, passing Spizzirri at the net to win the doubles point for the Cowboys.

The Longhorns, however, responded in singles.

No. 39 freshman Gilles-Arnaud Bailly won his first set 6-0 over No. 96 Garcia and ended the match with a 6-1 victory, evening the score. Sophomore Jonah Braswell won with the same score to put Texas ahead 2-1. His brother, No. 3 Micah Braswell, took the first set 6-3 over No. 85 Becroft despite squandering several set-point opportunities.

Oklahoma State, however, claimed some first sets, as well. No. 23 Zink stunned No. 1 Spizzirri 6-2 to continue his incredible play in this match, and Pini won 6-4 over Harper. Erik Schiessl, after fighting off many set points against Pierre-Yves Bailly, came back to go up 6-5 on serve and was poised to go ahead.

However, Bailly broke to force a set tiebreak and rattled off four points at the end to win 7-4 and claim the fourth first set for Texas.

From here, Texas seemed to grab momentum momentarily, with Spizzirri bouncing back to win the second set 6-2 and Harper battled to win 6-4, each forcing third sets.

Oklahoma State refused to go away, as Becroft never looked back from an early second set break to win 6-4 and force another third set. But it didn’t matter, as Spizzirri played like a true No. 1 player to win the third set 6-1 and Bailly cruised to a 6-1 second set victory to win the match for Texas.

The Longhorns defeated the Cowboys for the third time this season and will play a rematch of last year’s Big 12 tournament finals against TCU, where they’ll look to avenge last year’s loss in their final Big 12 match.

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