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Oklahoma Men, Texas Women Take Home Big 12 Tennis Championship Titles
April 29, 2012

On the final day of play at the 2012 Big 12 Tennis Championships, the Oklahoma men and Texas women each won conference titles at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The top-seeded Sooners outlasted Baylor, 4-3, in a marathon match to claim their first Big 12 Championship crown, while the No. 4 seed Longhorns got past Texas A&M, 4-2, to tally the program's eighth Big 12 postseason trophy.

Texas' Elizabeth Begley was named the women's Most Outstanding Performer, after going 3-0 without dropping a set in singles action during the four-day event. On the men's side, OU's Dane Webb garnered the accolade by taking both of his singles matches at the No. 5 spot over the last two days.

[4] Texas 4, [3] Texas A&M 2 | Results/Quotes

To claim its first championship title since 2005, 13th-ranked Texas (17-7) collected the doubles point and three singles wins to earn a 4-2 victory over third-seeded and 19th-ranked Texas A&M (18-5). In doubles play, Krista Damico and Cierra Gaytan-Leach snapped the 16-match winning streak of Janelle Cuthbertson and Nazari Urbina with an 8-3 win at the No. 2 spot. The Aggie tandem of Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce knotted the doubles at one match apiece as they downed Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis at the No. 3 position, 8-3. However, an 8-4 upset by No. 55 Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott over the 38th-ranked A&M duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun Wen gave UT the early 1-0 lead.

In singles play, the Longhorns would push their lead to 3-0 with straight set wins by Begley and Padegimaite at No. 6 and 4, respectively. The Aggies responded with wins of their own at courts 1 and 3 as the eighth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar downed the No. 38-ranked Ellis, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 91 Sun dispatched of Scott 6-1, 6-0. To claim the win UT's No. 5 singles player Gaytan-Leach recovered from an opening set loss against Cuthbertson to post a 3-6, 6-4,-6-2 victory.

It was the first championship crown for seventh-year Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain, who has led the Longhorns to the finals of the Big 12 Championship in each of her seven seasons in Austin. Texas becomes just the second fourth-seeded team to win the Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma State was the last No. 4 seed to win the event in 2003.

[1] Oklahoma 4, [3] Baylor 3 | Results/Quotes

In perhaps the longest match in Big 12 Conference Championship history, the Oklahoma Sooners (18-3) claimed their first postseason crown by downing third-seeded Baylor (17-11), 4-3, in a match that lasted five hours and 29 minutes.

In a change from their regular season contest, which OU won 4-3, Baylor took the doubles point to score the early 1-0 advantage. The 11th-ranked Sooner tandem of Costin Paval and Dane Webb made quick work of No. 74 Diego Galeano and Mate Zsiga, 8-3, at the No. 1 spot. From there the Bears would claim doubles position No. 3 with an 8-4 victory by Julian Bley and Marko Krickovic. In the deciding match of the point, Baylor's No. 59 duo of Kike Grangeiro and Roberto Maytin registered an 8-5 upset over 57th-ranked Tsvetan Mihov and Peerakit Siributwong, 8-5, at the No. 2 spot. The loss in doubles was only the second all year by Oklahoma, but the Sooners would respond to win their 12th straight match.

The teams would split the first four singles matches, before the Sooners tied the match at three points as Mihov knocked off Krickovic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, at the No. 3 spot. The focus of the crowd then shifted to the last remaining match on - No. 6 singles. The contest featured a battle of two seniors in Baylor's Julian Bley and Oklahoma's David Pultr. The Sooner, who had not played singles in Saturday's semifinal match, led Bley 5-4 in the second set when the action on court 3 wrapped. Pultr went on to take that second set 7-6(4), after he had lost the first 7-6(6). In the deciding third set, Pultr jumped out to a 5-3 lead, but Bley held serve and next broke the Sooner's serve to square the set at five games. The seniors then both held serve to send the set into a tiebreaker. Bley would get out to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker, before Pultr reeled off six straight points for a 7-4 win that gave Oklahoma the crown.

Earlier this year, Oklahoma claimed its first tennis conference title since 1992 by winning the regular season trophy and now the Sooners can claim a postseason crown as well.

Next year's Big 12 Tennis Championships will be at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman, Okla. April 25-28, 2013.

Big 12 teams will now wait for the NCAA Championship brackets to be released on Tuesday. The women's selection show begins at 4 p.m. with the men's following at 4:30 p.m.

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