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

Texas women’s tennis defeats Oklahoma, heads to final round of Big 12 tournament

Skyler Sharp
Junior Sabina Zeynalova hits the ball during singles play against Oklahoma on March 3, 2024.

Texas women’s tennis triumphed over Red River rival Oklahoma 4-2 Friday night in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The Longhorns defeated the Sooners for the second time this season and will advance to the final round of the tournament, in search of their fourth consecutive Big 12 championship title. 

Oklahoma came away with the doubles point in an unusual loss for Texas. Senior Taisiya Pachkaleva and junior Sabina Zeynalova fell to sophomore Julia Garcia and freshman Zdena Safarova 6-1. Senior Charlotte Chavatipon and redshirt sophomore Vivian Ovrootsky lost in a tighter 6-4 match to junior Alina Shcherbinina and freshman Chloé Noël. 

The last time the Longhorns dropped this point came against the same Sooners team back in early March. 

But Texas took control back from Oklahoma and went on to take down the Sooners in singles play. 

Ovrootsky put the Longhorns on the board with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Noël, the Longhorns cheering loudly as Noël delivered a short return on Ovrootsky’s serve. Ovrootsky missed the entire season last year due to injury but returned strong this year, going 24-11 in singles before Big 12 Tournament play. 

Pachkaleva added another point to Texas’ tally as she defeated senior Florencia Urrutia 6-2, 6-4. 

Up 3-1, Texas needed only one more point to punch a ticket to the final round of the tournament. 

Longhorn freshman Shachf Lieberman flattened Sooner junior Emma Staker 6-0 in the first set, but Staker held Lieberman 6-2 in the second. Ultimately, Lieberman fell to Staker 6-3 in the final set and gave Oklahoma its second point of the day.

Senior Malaika Rapolu and Chavatipon remained on the courts, each battling to give Texas a chance at another Big 12 title. Garcia forced Rapolu into a tiebreaker in the first set, with Rapolu eventually taking it 7-6. The opponents went back and forth in the second set, but Rapolu came out on top 6-4, ending the match and sending the Longhorns to the final round of the Big 12 tournament. 

Texas will face Oklahoma State on Saturday at 6 p.m., the only Big 12 team that remains undefeated in conference play. The Longhorns sustained their singular loss in the Big 12 at the hands of the Cowgirls back in late March, after falling 4-3. The rematch will be a test of Texas’ grit and determination, as they work to deliver a loss to Oklahoma State on their home courts.

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