ORLANDO, Fla. (KXAN) — The sun is shining on the Texas women’s tennis team yet again, after the Longhorns beat Pepperdine, 4-3, to win the program’s third national championship and first in 26 years.
Lulu Sun secured the title for the Longhorns in a match that went three sets against Taisiya Pachkaleva. Sun, a freshman from Geneva, Switzerland, locked up the 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-5. The championship point came at the end of a long rally when Pachkaleva’s return went into the net.
Sun let out a scream, threw her arms up in the air and was mobbed by her teammates while the men’s team, which lost in the national semifinals on Friday night, cheered them on.
The Longhorns won the doubles point to take an early, 1-0 lead. They took a 2-0 lead with Charlotte Chavatipon’s two-set sweep of Shiori Fukuda.
The Wave tied things up with wins from Jessica Failla and Lisa Zaar over Anna Turati and Kylie Collins, respectively.
Team No. 1 Peyton Stearns put Texas back on top with a come-from-behind win over Ashley Lahey. After dropping the first set, 2-6, Stearns blanked Lahey, 6-0, in the second set, and closed things out with a 6-2 in the third set.
Pepperdine tied things up at 3-3 when Nikki Redelijk swept Cedar Park native Malaika Rapolu, which led to what became a winner-take-all third set between Sun and Pachkaleva.
All three singles winners for Texas were freshmen.