Neither the men’s or the women’s tennis team for Texas Tech has ever won the Big 12 Championships.
Tech is ready to check that off its bucket list as the Big 12 Tennis Championships kicks off on Wednesday at TCU’s Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
After failing to three-peat with the conference regular season title, the Lady Raiders have a little extra motivation to take care of business this weekend.
Finished tied for third in the conference, the Tech women received the No. 4 seed in the tournament, giving them a bye in the first round before facing fifth-seeded Oklahoma at noon on Friday. The Lady Raiders defeated Oklahoma earlier this season, 5-2, by winning the doubles point and four singles.
“(Oklahoma) played without its No. 2 player the first time around,” Tech women’s tennis coach Todd Petty said. “We have to bring something extra to get over the hump. We match up well with them and will be in every game. There’s not a match they’re the 100 percent favorite in. We have a shot in every position and it’s our job to take care of it.”
On the men’s side, the Red Raiders dropped eight spots in the ITA Top 75 rankings after back-to-back losses to TCU (3-4) and Texas (1-5).
Usually, the top 42 teams make it to the NCAA Tournament but only 2.8 points separate Tech from the No. 43 team.
With the Red Raiders opening up Big 12 tournament play against No. 28 Oklahoma State at 9 a.m. Friday, a win would secure a post-season bid.
A loss would leave Tech on the bubble and dependent on how other teams fared in their conference tournaments.
“We’re playing a little bit with our backs against the wall,” Tech men’s coach Tim Siegel said. “It’s very important that we take care of business to assure ourselves of getting in.”
The Red Raiders defeated Oklahoma State earlier this season 5-2. Tech is strong in singles play but has struggled recently in doubles, only winning a total of three matches from April 5-18.
“We know that’s been our Achilles heel,” Siegel said. “Our goal is to win the doubles point against Oklahoma State. When that happens, we don’t lose many matches after that.”
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