LUBBOCK, TX - Head Coach Todd Petty and the Texas Tech Women’s Tennis program unveiled its 2017-18 schedule which features 14 opponents who ranked among the ITA’s Top 50 in the 2017 final rankings.
The Lady Raiders made history once again with a program-record 27 victories and the highest final ITA national ranking (No. 7) during the 2017 season. Texas Tech also earned its third-straight trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the program’s first Elite Eight appearance. The team has now collected six straight NCAA Tournament bids under Petty.
The team also claimed the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles for the first time in program history. The regular season title was the third under Petty while the tournament title was the first for the Lady Raiders.
The Lady Raiders will face 12 squads who were selected to last year's NCAA Tournament including Elite Eight finalist Oklahoma State. Tech went 13-0 at the McLeod Tennis Center last season and has posted a dominant 88-14 home record in nine seasons under Petty.
"We have set up our schedule to be another tough one this year and I think it showed in the postseason how well our team was prepared," Petty said. "This group of determined young ladies have set the bar higher and higher each year and are hungry for that next step."
Texas Tech’s fall tournament schedule includes trips to the Midland Invitational (Sept. 15-17), the TCU Invitational (Sept. 22-24), the Stillwater 25K (Sept. 25-Oct. 1) hosted by Oklahoma State and the Kansas Invitational (Oct. 27-29). Several of the Lady Raiders will also compete in the Lubbock 25K (Sept. 18-24) at the McLeod Tennis Center.
The Lady Raiders will compete at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships (Sept. 30-Oct. 8) in California and the ITA Texas Regionals (Oct. 12-15) hosted by TCU this fall. The singles and doubles champions from the ITA Texas Regionals will earn spots to the ITA National Indoors (Nov. 1-5) in Indian Wells, Calif.
Texas Tech kicks off the spring schedule at the Michigan Invitational (Jan. 13-15) where the Lady Raiders will face host and fellow NCAA Sweet 16 participant Michigan.
The Lady Raiders will then travel to Seattle, Wash., for the first dual match of the season against Washington on Jan. 19.
The spring home slate begins with the ITA Kickoff Weekend (Jan. 26-27). This will be the third consecutive season the Lady Raiders have hosted the two-day tournament. Texas Tech will host Saint Mary’s (Calif.), Wichita State and FIU with the winner advancing to the ITA National Indoor Championships (Feb. 9-12) hosted by Wisconsin. The Lady Raiders qualified for the 16-team event for the second straight season and advanced to the quarterfinals before being knocked off by the NCAA Champions Florida. Tech also earned a win over the highest ranked opponent in school history when sweeping No. 3 Pepperdine, 4-0, in the consolation quarterfinals.
The Lady Raiders welcome Arizona (Feb. 23), NC State (Feb. 25), Cornell (March 16) and Georgia Tech (March 18) to the McLeod Tennis Center for the non-conference portion of the spring schedule.
Texas Tech will travel to TCU (Feb. 3), Rice (March 3), Fresno State (March 10) and California (March 13) and will play Tulsa in a neutral site match in Dallas (March 28) before starting Big 12 play.
Tech's nine-match Big 12 schedule has home dates with Kansas (March 23), Kansas State (March 25), TCU (March 31) and Texas (April 8) with road matchups at Baylor (April 6), Oklahoma (April 13), Oklahoma State (April 15), West Virginia (April 20) and Iowa State (April 22). The Big 12 Championships will be hosted by Texas from April 26-29.
Texas Tech is slated to return all six of the starting lineup from last season. Seniors Sarah Dvorak, Gabriela Talaba, Katelyn Jackson and Sabrina Federici return to the squad along with juniors Felicity Maltby and Alex Valenstein. Talaba, Maltby, Federici and Dvorak garnered All-Big 12 singles and doubles honors.
Gabriela Talaba became Texas Tech’s first All-American and earned the program’s highest ITA individual ranking (No. 8). She also set the school record for most wins in dual matches at the No. 1 position with as she finished the season 22-5.
Talaba was named the Big 12 Player of the Year for her outstanding year on the court. Petty was name Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
The Lady Raiders also welcome two newcomers, Alex Angyalosy and transfer Lana Rush.
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