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Texas Tech Tennis Defeats Oklahoma State 5-1, Go for the Big 12 Title Sunday

No. 20 Texas Tech Men’s Tennis battled back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat last place Oklahoma State 5-1 in Stillwater on Friday night. The victory for Texas Tech (14-6, 3-0 Big 12) sets up a Big 12 Title match Sunday against pre-season favorite No. 13 Oklahoma (13-3, 2-0 Big 12) in Norman. A win by Texas Tech would clinch a share of the Big 12 regular season title and earn the Red Raiders the No. 1 overall seed at the Big 12 Championships in College Station later this month.

Due to the impending severe weather in Stillwater, the two teams played singles first. Oklahoma State jumped to leads at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5, but the Red Raiders held their ground and eventually pulled even and then took the lead.

Freshman Francisco Zambron started the day with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of OSU’s Alejandro Carstens at No. 6. Then Tech’s No. 45 Gonzalo Escobar battled back from a 4-1 first-set deficit to sweep Rifat Biktyakov, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 2. Tech’s Gabriel Wanderley, who was also trailing in the first set, stormed back for a 6-4, 6-3 win over OSU’s Trevor Horstmann to give Tech a 3-0 lead.

OSU picked up its first point of the match, when Chris Haworth defeated Rafael Garcia, 6-3, 6-2, leaving two matches on the court.

The final drama was on Court 1, as Tech’s No. 98 Raony Carvalho battled OSU’s No. 100 Vlad Bondarenko. Oklahoma State’s Bondarenko won the first set, 6-4, Carvalho answered with a 7-5 win in the second after trailing 3-2 early. Carvalho methodically just chipped away in the third set for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win.

Texas Tech will face Big 12 preseason favorite No. 13 Oklahoma (13-3, 2-0 Big 12) at the Headington Family Tennis Center at 1 p.m.

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