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Texas Tech Tandem Makes NCAA Doubles Championship Final
May 27, 2012
For a second straight year, the Big 12 Conference will have a twosome in the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, after Texas Tech's Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar tallied a 6-4, 6-2 victory on Sunday in the semifinal round at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

The 18th-ranked Red Raiders recorded their fourth upset of the championship by downing Mississippi's 17th-ranked Chris Thiemann and Marcelo Thiemann in straight sets. Carvalho and Escobar join Texas A&M's Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek as the only Big 12 duos to reach the NCAA championship match. The Aggie pair went on to win last season's crown.

Carvalho and Escobar opened with a quick 4-1 lead after picking up a break on the Thiemann twins. Texas Tech then fought off a late surge by Ole Miss to capture the first set, 6-4. In the second set, the partners again got out to a 4-1 advantage with a pair of breaks in the second. Minutes later they cruised to the 6-4, 6-2 win for the opportunity to play for a national championship.

This season the duo is 14-1 and began playing together on March 10. They are 9-1 against ranked opponents and 3-1 against doubles tandems ranked in the Top 10.

Carvalho and Escobar will play for the NCAA Men's Doubles Championship on Monday against the No. 1 team in the nation - Ohio State's Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola. The match will begin following the conclusion of the singles title match, which starts at 11 a.m.

Oklahoma's Costin Paval and Dane Webb almost made it an all Big 12 final as the tandem was knocked out by Buchanan and Rola in three sets in the other semifinal.

The OU duo, ranked No. 10, took the first set 6-4, but the Buckeye tandem stormed back to take the final two sets, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the finals.

Webb and Paval finished their first year as doubles partners with an 18-4 record, were named to the All-Big 12 team and became the Sooners' fourth and fifth All-Americans all-time after automatically qualifying by reaching the quarterfinals.

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