No. 16 Women's Tennis Draws No. 1 California in NCAA Sweet 16 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

No. 16 Women's Tennis Draws No. 1 California in NCAA Sweet 16

Source: TTU Athletics Source: TTU Athletics

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

TULSA, Okla. -- The No. 16 Texas Tech women's tennis team will meet the nation's top team for the second consecutive season in the NCAA Sweet 16 when the Lady Raiders take on No. 1 California on Thursday afternoon at the Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus.

Thursday's first serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT with the winner advancing to the NCAA Elite 8 against No. 8 Pepperdine or Texas on Saturday. The match will be streamed online and live stats are available at www.TulsaHurricane.com/2016NCAATennis.

Texas Tech (25-5) has dialed up victories in seven of its last eight matches which include a pair of wins over Boston University (4-0) and No. 21 Mississippi State (4-2) during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament last weekend.

The Lady Raiders have already amassed a program single season record with 25 victories and will be making the program's second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

Last weekend, California (21-1) posted a pair of sweeps against Texas Rio Grande Valley and UC Santa Barbara to claim a spot in its 10th straight NCAA Sweet 16. The Golden Bears lone setback on the season came at then No. 19 Stanford on April 19.

"The players handled the situations fairly well and learned a great deal about themselves last weekend," Texas Tech head coach Todd Petty said. "One of the lessons was the capability to win on the big stage when you're not playing your best tennis. With that being said, we're going to have to play some of our best tennis to have a shot against a very talented California team. I do believe that the players feel like they haven't played their best tennis at this point in the tournament, and it still has the capability to come."

Texas Tech has played some of its best doubles on the back end of the season and captured seven of its last eight doubles points with only four losses during the stretch.

Gabriela Talaba and Alex Valenstein have garnered a 4-1 mark since moving to the No. 1 line. The duo has notched a pair of Top 30 wins which includes a 6-3 decision over Mississippi State's No. 30 Madison Harrison and Kristina Vozniak.

Sabrina Federici and Felicity Maltby has secured an 11-4 record on court two fueled by victories in eight of their last 10 decisions whereas Sarah Dvorak and Katelyn Jackson have picked up wins in four of their five outings at the No. 3 position.

"I believe our team is getting more confidence with every match and every doubles point that we're able to win," Petty said. "Obviously, tomorrow will be a completely different challenge. I feel that when we do the things that we can control and play the style that we want to play, we have a shot against anybody. Our players have a lot of the necessary tools to be successful in doubles. If it all comes together tomorrow, I feel that it's a point we are capable of getting."

The Lady Raiders have turned in a 91-37 singles mark headed by Maltby who has piled up wins in 21 of her 24 decisions mostly from the No. 4 spot.

Dvorak and Federici have collected 16 dual match victories apiece. Federici is on a team-leading five-match winning streak highlighted by a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback win over Mississippi State's Vozniak. She has won 12 of her 13 outings on court five. Last time out, Dvorak battled No. 13 Jasmine Lee of MSU to a hard-fought 7-5, 5-7, 5-5 tally.

Valenstein and Talaba have produced 15-6 and 13-9 records, respectively. It was Talaba who overcame a 2-0 third-set deficit and ripped off six straight games to close out the MSU match versus No. 36 Georgiana Patrasc for her fourth win over a ranked opponent on the season.

Jackson has worked her way to a 9-4 mark sparked by six victories against opponents from ranked teams. Eight of Jackson's nine wins have come in straight sets most recently a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over MSU's Jennifer Brown.

"I think it's going to be about the way we start the match," Petty said. "How quickly can we shake the nerves and treat this match like any other tennis match? If we can do that, I feel that we are strong enough to put ourselves in the match and anything can happen. We need to get off to a fast start."

Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the women's tennis program. Fans also can follow the program and live match updates on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TechWomensTennis and @TexasTechTennis on Twitter.

2016 NCAA Tournament
Thursday, May 19 -- Round of 16
Match 1: No. 3 North Carolina vs. No. 14 Virginia -- 9 a.m.
Match 2: No. 6 Auburn vs. No. 11 Vanderbilt -- 9 a.m.
Match 3: No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 Stanford -- 12 p.m.
Match 4: No. 7 Miami vs. No. 10 Michigan -- 12 p.m.
Match 5: No. 1 California vs. No. 16 Texas Tech -- 4 p.m.
Match 6: No. 8 Pepperdine vs. Texas -- 4 p.m.
Match 7: No. 4 Ohio State vs. Georgia Tech -- 7 p.m
. Match 8: No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 12 Oklahoma State -- 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 -- Round of 8
Match 1: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner -- 12 p.m.
Match 2: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner -- 12 p.m.
Match 3: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner -- 4 p.m.
Match 4: Match 7 winner vs. Match 8 winner -- 4 p.m.

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