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Big 12 Places One Singles Player, Three Doubles Duos Into NCAA Quarterfinals
May 25, 2012
For the first time in Big 12 history, two men's doubles tandems have reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tennis Championship. The Oklahoma twosome of Costin Paval and Dane Webb and the Texas Tech pair of Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar will play for an opportunity to reach the semifinals on Saturday. Joining the two men's duos in the quarterfinal round are Big 12 Player of the Year Cristina Sanchez Quintanar of Texas A&M and the Baylor doubles team of Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic.

All of the action of the NCAA Individual Championships is taking place at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

The 10th-ranked Paval and Webb edged the 15th-ranked Pepperdine tandem of Alex Llompart and Finn Tearney to move onto the quarterfinals. The OU duo earned a 7-6 win in the first set, but dropped a 6-3 second set. Paval and Webb returned the favor in the final set, 6-3, to take the match. The pair will face Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher, ranked No. 4, in quarterfinal play.

Escobar and Carvalho, ranked No. 18, cruised past California's No. 6 duo of Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the Elite Eight. The pair earned All-America doubles honors with the win. If Carvalho and Escobar are to reach the Final Four, they must beat USC's No. 2 duo of Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz, who led USC to its fourth straight NCAA team title earlier this week.

Escobar was not as fortunate in singles play as he wrapped up his individual career at Texas Tech by taking Duke's fifth-ranked Henrique Cunha to three sets in the Round of 16. The 40th-ranked Red Raider ultimately fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Escobar closed out his time at Texas Tech with a record 99 career wins in singles. He is a two-time ITA Texas Regional champion and a three-time All-Big 12 honoree. By advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, he earned All-America singles status.

Baylor's doubles tandem of Secerbegovic and Burgic made the most of their Round of 16 match, advancing with a straight-set win. The BU pair, which beat the No. 1 seeded team in the tournament yesterday, dispatched of the nation's 14th-ranked team from Alabama, Alex Guarachi and Courtney McLane, 6-3, 6-3. The pair will now face UCLA's ninth-ranked duo of Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.

Secerbegovic, meanwhile, did not come out on top in her Round of 16 singles match against 26th-ranked Sabrina Santamaria of USC. The Trojan beat the Lady Bear 6-4, 6-4, ending her season with a 28-6 record. Her win total is the second-highest on the team, while her winning percentage of .824 ranks as the team's best.

Sanchez-Quintanar, continued her run by defeating last season's Player of the Year, Kansas State's Petra Niedermayerova, 6-4, 6-3, in the round of 16. She is only the second player in A&M history to reach the quarterfinals - Kim Labuschagne also accomplished the feat in 1987. The No. 7 seeded Sanchez-Quintanar will now face No. 1 seed Allie Will of Florida on Saturday.

For the 2011-12 season, Niedermayerova finishes with an overall record of 24-13 (.649) including a 9-12 mark against ranked opponents. The product of Brno, Czech Republic, tied her career-high for wins in a season and is tied for fourth in school history for wins in a season.

Texas junior All-American Aeriel Ellis was also eliminated, but she will leave the event with her second consecutive ITA singles All-America honor. California's sixth-seeded Jana Juricova eliminated Ellis from the round of 16 by a 7-6 (4), 6-2 count. Ellis finishes her junior season with a 20-17 overall singles record. She boasts an 81-44 career singles record as a Longhorn.

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