Sophomore Harrison Scott is the backbone of the young Longhorns group. The soft-spoken Canadian leads by example, recording 14 singles wins this season — the most on the team.
It’s this consistency that Texas hopes to lean on once more as the Longhorns host UT-Arlington on Tuesday at Caswell Tennis Center.
The Longhorns defeated three top-25 opponents last week, capping off the stretch with a 4–1 victory over No. 24 Columbia. Texas started off slow against the Lions, losing the doubles point to fall behind 1-0. But the Longhorns broke out in singles play, winning the first four matches to secure the win. Scott claimed the final point for his team with a 6-4, 6-2 demolition of Columbia’s Victor Pham.
“It’s tough losing the doubles point, but we’ve gotten good at being in that position,” Scott said. “We just fight in singles play and bring a lot of energy.”
Scott started the season as hot as any player in the country. The sophomore won his first seven matches of the season without losing a set.
The strong play motivated his teammates to work on their game as well, resulting in a resilient squad with statement wins over No. 2 Ohio State, No. 13 California and No. 16 Florida.
“We’re playing with energy,” Scott said. “The whole team is pretty confident right now. We’re going into our matches knowing we can win and be competitive with the other players.”
The Achilles heel for Texas all season has been doubles play; however, the Longhorns hold a subpar record of 5–4 when they fall behind 1–0.
Head coach Michael Center emphasized the need to become more well-rounded as both conference play and the post-season are rapidly approaching.
“Our goal is to go out there and get wins at every spot,” Center said. “I think we’re starting to get closer, but we’ve got some big matches coming up in the next few weeks, so we’ll look to keep improving.”
Tuesday’s face-off with UT-Arlington provides Texas with the perfect opportunity to do just that. And although the Mavericks enter the competition with a record of 12–6, Scott and the Longhorns plan to approach the match with the same ferocity they bring to every opponent they face.
“We still have to battle,” Scott said. “Coach told us not to relax, so we have to bring our all like we have been the past couple of games.”
The first serve for Texas’ match against UT-Arlington is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.