There were cheers, chants, finger-shaped guns and ice-stained trophies.
For the third time of the six seasons under the leadership of head coach Todd Petty, the Texas Tech women’s tennis team won the Big 12 title, clinching at least a share of the distinction Sunday afternoon after defeating West Virginia, 4-0.
“To see the looks on their faces…they’ve played for this opportunity a couple times, so to get (the league title) on our home court and this environment is really special,” Petty said. “To top off a great season…it’s just the cherry on top on what we wanted to accomplish; it’s one of our goals.”
The Texas Tech dominance in the afternoon match was set in two parts: controlling both doubles and singles play. The Lady Raiders (20-3, 8-0 Big 12) swept both phases of the match.
In doubles play, No. 29 pairing of Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Frederici beating Kaja Mrogle and Christina Jordan of the Mountaineers, 6-4 and No. 73 Alba Cortina-Pou and Alex Valenstein defeated Sofia Duran and Abigail Rosiello, 6-0.
In singles, No. 10 Gabriela Talaba defeated Kaja Mrogle 6-0 6-1; Frederici powered past Duran 6-1, 6-2; and Cortina-Pou took down Rosiello 6-4 6-2.
It’s a result that has become expected – as the 13th consecutive victory for Petty’s crew – but one fostered through challenges and years of experience.
“They’ve played for a Big 12 title several times, they’ve played in the National Indoor Sweet 16 playing the No. 1 team … (play in it) two years in a row,” he said. “The more experiences and opportunities you are able to play in, the more it prepares you.
“I think they’re prepared for a run…it doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen but I think they’re more prepared for a deeper run than some of the teams in the past.”
Petty saw the Lady Raiders’ third conference title as a time for reflection and review.
“I spend a lot of time reflecting on the individuals that have come and played here,” he said. “I keep in close contact with every single player… from the first Big 12 title team and first tournament team to the second group, each is special in unique ways but I reflect on the memories of them and what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
He added: “I love seeing these juniors and seniors going out with a Big 12 title. They’ve deserved it and won a lot of matches for Texas Tech. So the looks on their faces…are memories I’ll never forget.”
While Texas Tech’s work is not done (even at home) – remaining matches include an April 15 date with TCU in Fort Worth and the home finale six days later against New Mexico – Petty was ready to relish the moment, while keeping one eye on the future.
“It’s the impact you make on these players,” Petty said. “It’s what we do this for…What’s special for me is, these girls on this team have had opportunities to go a lot of places…for them to be able to capture some of these moments together … that’s what makes it special.”