Tennis

Cowgirl Tennis Wins Big 12 Championship

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics

STILLWATER, Okla. – For the first time in 13 years Oklahoma State’s women’s tennis team won the Big 12 Championship with a 4-0 victory against Texas Tech at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center on Sunday.

The Cowgirls (24-4) knocked off three opponents in three days to claim the tournament championship.

OSU defeated the Red Raiders twice this season by a combined score of, 8-0, after being picked to finish second in the conference behind Texas Tech.

“We’ve got some tough girls, our girls have taken everyone’s best shot and they continued to step up,” coach Chris Young said. “It means that we’re the best team in the Big 12 and we hope to represent the league really well in the postseason.”

Sunday marked the 27th time that the Cowgirls won the doubles point this season out of 28 possible chances.

Viktoriya Lushkova and Carla Tur Mari got the Cowgirls off to a hot start at the No. 2 position with a victory against Felicity Maltby and Sabrina Federici. The Red Raiders took the first game of the set, but the Cowgirl tandem took five-straight games. Lushkova and Tur Mari put the match away, 6-2.

Katarina Adamovic and Vladica Babic also found themselves down 5-3 against Sarah Dvorak and Katelyn Jackson with the Red Raiders playing for match point. The Cowgirls fought off the Texas Tech tandem for four-straight games to clinch the doubles point with a 7-5 victory.

“That’s the mark of our team is just the toughness,” Young said. “They played big points and as we started to get rolling, I think the belief started to take over, the girls did a great job today.”

The Cowgirls carried the late momentum in doubles over to singles, as each Cowgirl won their first set against the Red Raiders.

Lushkova, named the tournament’s most outstanding player, remained undefeated in the tournament with a victory against Alex Valenstein. The Cowgirl put the Red Raider away in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

“I’m happy, we’ve been waiting for this moment for three years, since I was a freshman,” Lushkova said. “We finally won it, so it’s a really nice feeling.”

Adamovic traded games back and forth early on in her singles match against Gabriela Talaba. The Cowgirl managed to pull away in the first set, 6-4, but did not allow Talaba to win a single game in the second set, 6-0.

“To win the regular season and conference tournament in the same year undefeated is amazing,” Adamovic said. “I’m so proud to be part of this team and playing with these girls is amazing, to come out and finish like this is amazing.”

Babic secured the tournament crown for the Cowgirls with the clinching point at the No. 2 position against Sarah Dvorak. Babic battled back from a 5-4 deficit in the first set to take win three-straight games. The sophomore put on a dominant performance in the second set, only losing one game for a 7-5, 6-1 victory in front of hundreds of Cowgirl fans.

“I didn’t see the last ball, I just stopped for a second, but when I saw my teammates running I was like ‘oh my God we won’,” Babic said. “There are so many emotions, we are really excited to win both the regular season and conference tournament titles. It’s a great success for us, so all the hard work paid off.”

The Cowgirls will now wait to find out their NCAA Tournament seeding on Tuesday afternoon.

#15 Oklahoma State 4, #19 Texas Tech 0

Singles competition | Singles (1,3,2)
1. #47 Katarina Adamovic (OSU) def. #100 Gabriela Talaba (TT) 6-4, 6-0
2. #45 Vladica Babic (OSU) def. #88 Sarah Dvorak (TT) 7-5, 6-1
3. #66 Viktoriya Lushkova (OSU) def. Alex Valenstein (TT) 6-2, 6-3
4. Kelsey Laurente (OSU) vs. Felicity Maltby (TT) 7-6 (7-1), 4-5, unfinished
5. Carla Tur Mari (OSU) vs. Sabrina Federici (TT) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished
6. Maria Alvarez (OSU) vs. Katelyn Jackson (TT) 7-5, 5-3, unfinished

Doubles competition | Order of finish: Doubles (2,3)
1. #42 Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente (OSU) vs. #90 Gabriela Talaba/Alex Valenstein (TT) 4-5, unfinished
2. #60 Viktoriya Lushkova/Carla Tur Mari (OSU) def. Felicity Maltby/Sabrina Federici (TT) 6-2
3. #71 Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (OSU) def. Sarah Dvorak/Katelyn Jackson (TT) 7-5