Courtesy: Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 16 Texas Tech men's tennis team captured its second tournament title of the season as it defeated No. 17 Oklahoma, 4-3, in the championship match of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic on Sunday in Auburn, Ala.
The Blue Gray National Tennis Classic is held annually in Montgomery, Ala., but today's finale had to be moved indoors due to inclement weather in Montgomery. The match was held at the Yarbrough Tennis Center on the campus of Auburn University.
"It's an honor to win this prestigious tournament," said head coach Tim Siegel. "The city of Montgomery does such a great job and I'm excited to come back next year."
The win is the first top 20 win and the fourth top 30 victory for the Red Raiders this year. Tech now has won six-straight matches over ranked opponents and has beaten a total of 13 ranked teams so far this season.
"First of all, this is as great of a college tennis match I have ever been a part of before," Siegel said. "It was a high level match and both teams played hard."
The Red Raiders (16-1) continue to play strong doubles as they won the doubles point for the seventh-straight time, winning two of three matches over Oklahoma (12-2). Tech claimed a win at No. 1 as the 18th-ranked duo ofRaony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia beat Andrei Daescu and Costin Paval, 8-2, to start the match. OU was then victorious at No. 3 as Lawrence Formentera and Blake Boswell downed Tech's Vitor Manzini and David Gonzalez, 9-7. It came down to the No. 2 and 23rd-ranked team of Gonzalo Escobar and Andre Stabile. The pair was down two match points but battled out of it and won the match in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (8), over David Pultr and Ionut Beleleu.
Tech started singles by picking up a straight-set win at No. 6 as Raphael Pfistertopped George Chanturia, 6-2, 6-2. OU then got straight-set wins at No. 3 and No. 4 to tie the score at 2-2. After dropping his first set, Manzini rebounded back to claim a three-set victory over Formentera, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, to give Tech a 3-2 lead with the Red Raiders' top two players - No. 15 Carvalho and No. 63 Escobar - fighting it out in the third set.
Escobar fell to Beleleu, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, which knotted the score at 3-3 with Carvalho still on the court. Carvalho hung tough and downed No. 20 Daescu, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, to claim the win and tournament title for the Red Raiders.
"I'm proud of how we battled for the doubles point and then Raphael Pfister led the way for us in singles," stated Siegel. "Vitor (Manzini) came back to win and give us a chance. Ray (Raony Carvalho) was tremendous and he put together two great games. OU has a great team with classy players, who played extremely well. I can't say enough about our team though. To play four matches in four days and to come out every match with more energy than the day before says a lot about them. I'm so proud to be the coach of this great team."