DALLAS, Texas – The match came down to the final singles court, but the Texas Tech Women's Tennis team picked up the season opener victory, 4-3, over SMU on Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Raiders (1-0) have won the season opener in nine of the last 10 seasons.
"We were lucky to get the win. I thought SMU played a great match," Head Coach Todd Petty. "However, having a match like this so early in the season is so valuable to learn from, especially from many of the situations we were put in today."
SMU earned the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. Senior Felicity Maltby and Nell Miller, the 38th-ranked doubles pair in the country, captured a 6-3 win on court one.
The Mustangs took a 3-0 lead after taking wins on courts five and three. Newcomer Francesca Sella gave the Lady Raiders their first point of the match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Karina Traxler (SMU) on court No. 4. Freshman Nell Miller followed with a three-set win (6-4, 1-6, 6-3) over Vivienne Kulicke (SMU).
With two matches left, the veterans Maltby and Lana Rush had to force a third set to have a chance to win the match. Rush earned a 6-3 set-two win before tying the match 3-all with a 7-5 set three.
No. 52 Maltby fell behind in the first set, 7-5, before rebounding 6-4 in the second and forcing a decisive third set. Maltby cruised to a 6-3 victory over Liza Buss in the final set to clinch the win for the Lady Raiders.
The Lady Raiders will have a week break before hosting their first home match of the season. Texas Tech welcomes Wyoming on Saturday, Jan. 23, for a noon first serve.