BERKELEY, Calif. — Tim Siegel could barely describe the heartbreak he and his 22nd-ranked Texas Tech men’s tennis team were feeling after a 4-3 loss to No. 14 California in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.
“All the losses of my 20 years can’t add up to the pain that we’re feeling here,” Siegel said. “These three seniors did so much and battled right to the end.”
A win would have put Tech in the round of 16 for the first time since 2005. Instead, the Red Raiders fell in the second round for the fourth time in five years.
Tech lost the doubles point but took a 3-2 lead after singles wins by Raony Carvalho, Raphael Pfister and Vitor Manzini.
Francisco Zambon led Riki McLachlan 4-2 in the third set at No. 5 and had four break points to serve for the match. Instead, McLachlan fended off the break chances and stormed back for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.
The match came down to Gonzalo Escobar at No. 1. The Tech senior took the first set from Ben McLachlan, then had a 4-3 lead in the second set with two break chances. Once again, though, Ben McLachlan came back for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win to clinch to the match.
“Obviously, if he wins one of those points we’re headed to Athens (Georgia),” Siegel said. “The kid just outplayed him. He’s highly ranked and you’ve got to give credit to them.”
Tech, which took second place in the Big 12, finished its season with a 16-9 record. The Red Raiders will graduate three seniors — Carvalho, Escobar and Rafael Garcia — the top three singles players on the team.
“I’m just feeling so much pain for these guys,” Siegel said. “We’ve been so close, and we’ve made the second round four of the last five years and all four we could have won. And this one was the closest.”
■ Track and field
MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Texas Tech women’s and men’s teams both finished fifth at the Big 12 Conference outdoor championships that concluded a three-day run Sunday at Kansas State.
Tech failed to win a conference title in any individual event, but four men and four women placed second.
On the men’s side, the Red Raiders got second-place finishes from Gil Roberts in the 400 meters (45.16 seconds), Shane Brathwaite in the 110 hurdles (13.46) and Jamele Mason in the 400 hurdles (49.60). Kyal Meyers tied for second in the pole vault at 17 feet, 5 inches.
Brathwaite’s time met the Olympic qualifying A standard and was sixth fastest in Big 12 championships history.
Mason was upset in the 400 hurdles by Kansas’ Michael Stigler, a freshman from Canyon who won Texas high school state titles in both hurdles events.
In the 400 meters, Texas A&M freshman Deon Lendore ran 45.13 to edge Roberts by three one-hundredths of a second.
Tech all-American Bryce Lamb got third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. His triple-jump mark was 50-91/2, well off the personal record of 54-4 he jumped in the Red Raider Open, the team’s last tuneup before conference. The junior from Chandler, Ariz., went 25-21/2 in the long jump.
The Tech men also got a bronze medal in the 1,600-meter relay, where Isaiah Gill, Brathwaite, Mason and Roberts ran a time of 3:04.13.
The Tech women got silver-medal performances from Caroline Jepleting in the 1,500 meters (4:20.17), Rose Tanui with a personal record in the 5,000 (16:03.42), Katie Grimes in the 100 hurdles (13.00) and Precious Nwokey in the heptathlon (5,600 points).
Tanui also took third in the 10,000 meters, running 34:34.32, and the Red Raider women got a bronze in the sprint relay. Erica Alexander, Taylor Evans, Tara Thomas and Terra Evans got the baton around in 43.71, breaking the R.V. Christian Track Complex record that had been 43.95.
Nwokey added a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (13.44), giving Tech 12 points in that event, and Avril McGhee got fourth in the triple jump (41-5).
Defending national champion Texas A&M won the men’s team championship with 150 points, followed by Texas (131), Oklahoma (91), Kansas State (75) and Tech (72).
Texas won the women’s title with 139 points, edging Kansas, which had 1291/2, and three-time defending national champion A&M, which had 1281/2. Then came Baylor with 72 and Tech with 71.
The Tech women were hurt by rough weekends from some of their top athletes. Pole vaulter Shade Weygandt passed on the first three heights, then no-heighted at 13-61/2. Weygandt came in ranked second in the NCAA after clearing 14-9 the meet before.
Ifeatu Okafor went into the week ranked in the top 11 nationally in both the shot put and discus, but she didn’t make the finals in the discus and settled for fifth in the shot put.
Caroline Jepleting was disqualified for a lane violation in the women’s 800, an event that she ranked fourth in the Big 12 going into the meet.
The Tech women’s 1,600-meter relay also got fifth in 3:38.21. The men got fifth-place finishes from Brathwaite in the 400 hurdles (51.42), JaCorian Duffield in the high jump (6-11) and the sprint relay team of Ben McRoy, Markus Henderson, Brathwaite and Gill (39.86).