LUBBOCK, Texas – Powered by big performances from true freshman Piotr Pawlak and senior Ilgiz Valiev the Texas Tech Red Raiders opened the season with dominate victories over in-state foes ACU (6-1) and UTRGV (7-0) Thursday at the McLeod Tennis Center.
It was a picture-perfect weather day, as the Red Raiders (2-0) used clutch performances from Pawlak and Valiev in the doubles session to jump start a dominant 6-1 victory over the Wildcats (0-1) in match one of the day, before closing off the sweep of UTRGV (0-1) in the nightcap.
In his Texas Tech debut, Pawlak was a perfect 3-0 Thursday earning a pair of singles wins and critical doubles point against ACU.
Pawlak coasted to an easy 6-3, 6-2 singles victory in the opener over ACU’s Riley Tran before closing the day with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Chris Lawrance. Teaming up with Franco Ribero in the doubles, the duo dropped ACU’s doubles tandem 7-5. Pawlak and Ribero overcame an early break by the Wildcats.
Not to be outdone, Valiev was also solid Thursday as the native of Ufa, Russia was also 3-0 for the day. Valiev and doubles partner Dimitrios Azoidis joined forces to win an epic tiebreaker to seal the all important doubles point.
Tech won five of the six singles matches against ACU to earn the aforementioned 6-1 victory.
In the nightcap, Valiev and Azoidis ran their record to 2-0 as a double’s duo, defeating UTRGV 7-5. Other doubles results included Issac Arevalo and Reed Collier winning 6-2, before the third doubles match was called.
During the singles action, Olle Wallin starred for the Red Raiders, using a fast start to record a 6-0, 6-2 victory in the No. 1 slot, while Takeyasu Sekiguchi defeated Alberto Mello of UTRGV 6-1, 6-1.
Head Coach Danny Whitehead:
“Starting with the doubles, ACU came out and played extremely well. I think they were a little looser than we were. I like how we prepared and how we started for the most part, but the doubles point was a battle. It took 50 minutes to an hour which is a long doubles point these days. We came out on top which was huge. Pitor was great for us, going 3-0 in his first action, and then Franco did what he’s done for us a lot, winning his doubles match. And then Ilgiz and Dimitrios finished it off for us. In the singles, I felt like we really took control of the match and played really sharp. We got off to a good start and got on top early. Overall, everybody had a good day.”
The Red Raiders will travel to Dallas to take on No. 45 SMU