Tennis roundup: Longhorn men and women have big weekends ahead

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Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Turati wins Player of the Week

Ahead of this weekend’s play, the Big 12 Conference announced the selection of Texas sophomore Bianca Turati for women’s tennis Player of the Week.

The No. 10-ranked Turati remained undefeated this year after dominating last week against California’s No. 27-ranked Anna Bright — her second top-30 opponent that she’s taken down this season. Turati’s win played a significant role in pushing the Longhorns toward a bid to enter the ITA National Team Indoor Championships and earned her Player of the Week honors.

This is the second Player of the Week award the Longhorns have earned since the beginning of the season. Bianca’s twin sister, No. 87-ranked Anna Turati, received her first Player of the Week honor after the first week of the season. She has proceeded to dominate, winning the final point necessary to pull off last week’s upset over Cal.

The No. 11 Longhorn women look to continue their hot start this weekend as they travel to Illinois. With a record of 4–0 and a bid into the National Team Indoor Championships, the Longhorns moved up one spot from No. 12 in the ITA’s most recent team rankings.

Texas will play two matches this weekend, the first against Illinois and the second against No. 23 Northwestern. Texas is the favorite to win both this weekend, providing the Longhorns with an opportunity to gain more momentum as they prepare for their first Indoor Championships in four seasons.

Play will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday in Illinois and will continue at 11 a.m. on Sunday against Northwestern.

Longhorns Head to Ohio to face No. 2 Buckeyes

The No. 13 Longhorn men will look to avenge a subpar weekend as they take on Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

The men’s team experienced disappointment this past weekend at the ITA Kickoff Weekend by losing to Notre Dame in the semifinal round of the Texas regional. Notre Dame went on to beat Minnesota in the championship round and will now represent the Texas region at the 2018 ITA National Indoor Men’s Championship. Texas was hindered by various illnesses to players and unable to play up to par.

“I was pretty unsure who was going to be able to play this weekend,” said head coach Michael Center last weekend when asked about the sickness spreading around the team.

With a week to recover, the Longhorns hope to have their team fully healthy as they head north for a tough matchup with the Buckeyes. Ohio State is currently ranked No. 2 in the country and topped the first USTA College Tennis rankings as the No. 1-ranked team.

The Buckeyes’ dominant team is led by senior Mikael Torpegaard and sophomore Kyle Seelig — they are ranked No. 5 and No. 26 in the nation for singles, respectively. The Longhorns’ highest-ranked player is junior Harrison Scott, who ranks No. 27 right behind Seelig. After last week’s loss, Center sees the need for growth in his team.

“It’s early in the season,” Center said, “but we’ve got to improve if we’re going to be a great team.”