No. 3 Women’s Tennis defeats No. 14 Auburn, 4-1, in NCAA Round of 16

AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 3 University of Texas Women’s Tennis team (23-4) earned a 4-1 victory against No. 14 Auburn (22-6) in a NCAA Round of 16 match on Friday afternoon at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns dropped the doubles point but rallied to win four singles matches in straight sets to clinch the dual-match victory.

With the win, the Longhorns advance to face either No. 5 Virginia or No. 12 Oklahoma State in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Friday, May 20 in Champaign, Ill. Virginia hosts Oklahoma State in a NCAA Round of 16 match on Saturday, May 14 at Noon Central. The quarterfinals, semifinals (Saturday, May 21) and championship match (Sunday, May 22) of the NCAA Tournament will all be held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign.

Texas earned its 12th appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals in program history with Friday’s victory, including the second straight under head coach Howard Joffe. The Longhorns have now earned trips to the “Elite Eight” in 1984, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2021 and 2022).

Auburn took a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. The No. 67-ranked duo of sophomore Charlotte Chavatipon and Kylie Collins dropped a 6-2 decision on court 2 against Adeline Flach and Georgie Axon. Chavatipon and Collins held a 2-1 advantage, but Flach and Axon responded by winning five-straight games to close out the match. Chavatipon and Collins fell to 15-3 overall in doubles this year, including a 10-1 mark in dual-match play.

The Tigers clinched the doubles point when Madeline Meredith and Carolyn Ansari earned a 6-4 win on court 3 over the freshman pair of Sabina Zeynalova and Vivian Ovrootsky. Meredith and Ansari jumped out to a 5-2 cushion, before Zeynalova and Ovrootsky won back-to-back games to pull to within 5-4. Meredith and Ansari answered in the ensuing game with a service break on a deuce point to finish the match.

Sophomore No. 2 Peyton Stearns evened the match score at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory on court 1 against No. 34 Selin Ovunc. After dropping the opening game of the match, Stearns won six-straight games to close out the 6-1 first-set win. She won the first two games of the second set, before Ovunc won back-to-back games to draw even at 2-2. Stearns took control of the set by winning the next three games to build a 5-2 cushion. After Ovunc earned a service break to pull to within 5-3, Stearns answered with a service break of her own in the next game to finish the match and move to 25-1 overall in singles this spring, including a 22-1 mark in dual-match play. Stearns has won 14-consecutive singles matches and is 5-0 in singles during postseason play this year (Big 12 and NCAA tourneys).

Chavatipon followed with a dominant 6-2, 6-3 win on court 4 over Axon. Chavatipon jumped out to a 3-0 lead and built a 5-1 cushion in her opening set. After Axon claimed a service break on a deuce point to close to within 5-2, Chavatipon responded with a service break of her own to close out the 6-2 first-set victory. Chavatipon then raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set. The two players traded the next three games to give Chavatipon a 5-3 advantage, and Chavatipon served out the following game at-love with an ace on match point to improve to 20-10 overall in singles this season, including a 13-3 mark in dual-match action on court 4. Chavatipon is 5-0 in singles on court 4 in postseason play this year, including a 3-0 mark in the NCAA Tournament.

Freshman Allura Zamarripa gave the Longhorns a 3-1 advantage with a 6-4, 6-1 victory on court 5 against Yu Chen. Trailing 3-2 in the opening set, Zamarripa held serve on a deuce point and then earned a service break on a deuce point to take a 4-3 lead. Both players held serve in the next two games to move to 5-4, and Zamarripa held serve again to close out the 6-4 first-set win. Zamarripa won the first five games of the second set, before Chen claimed a service break to pull to within 5-1. Zamarripa responded with a service break of her own to finish the match and move to 8-2 in dual-match singles action this spring, including a 2-0 mark in the NCAA Tournament on court 5.

No. 93 Zeynalova clinched the overall dual-match win for the Longhorns with a 6-1, 7-5 win on court 3 over No. 114 Ansari. Leading 2-1 in her first set, Zeynalova held serve on a deuce point to gain a 3-1 advantage and won the next three games to close out the 6-1 first-set victory. Ansari won the opening four games of the second set, before Zeynalova answered by claiming the next four games to even the set at 4-4. Service breaks from both players in the next two games left the set tied at 5-5. Zeynalova then held serve to gain a 6-5 advantage, and she broke Ansari in the following game to finish the victory and improve to 20-1 in dual-match singles play this season. Zeynalova has now provided the clinching point in each of UT’s first three NCAA Tournament victories.

The remaining two singles matches featuring No. 49 Collins (court 2) and Ovrootsky (court 6) were stopped once Zeynalova clinched the dual-match win. Ovrootsky held a 6-1, 6-5 lead over Flach on court 6 when the match was halted.

# 3 Texas 4, # 14 Auburn 1

Doubles – Order of finish (2, 3)

  1. # 11 Peyton Stearns/Allura Zamarripa (UT) vs. # 9 Ariana Arseneault / Selin Ovunc (Aub), 4-3, unfinished
  2. Adeline Flach / Georgie Axon (Aub) def. # 67 Charlotte Chavatipon/Kylie Collins (UT), 6-2
  3. Madeline Meredith / Carolyn Ansari (Aub) def. Sabina Zeynalova/Vivian Ovrootsky (UT), 6-4

Singles – Order of finish (1, 4, 5, 3)

  1. #2 Peyton Stearns (UT) def. # 34 Selin Ovunc (Aub), 6-1, 6-3
  2. # 49 Kylie Collins (UT) vs. # 75 Ariana Arseneault (Aub), 2-6, 5-5, unfinished
  3. # 93 Sabina Zeynalova (UT) def. # 114 Carolyn Ansari (Aub), 6-1, 7-5
  4. Charlotte Chavatipon (UT) def. Georgie Axon (Aub), 6-2, 6-3
  5. Allura Zamarripa (UT) def. Yu Chen (Aub), 6-4, 6-1
  6. Vivian Ovrootsky (UT) vs. Adeline Flach (Aub), 6-1, 6-5, unfinished

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