• Sigsgaard falls in semifinals at ITA All-American Championships

    Texas freshman Christian Sigsgaard notched 12 consecutive wins on his way to the singles semifinals at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The newcomer from Denmark played with poise far beyond his years as he defeated multiple ITA-ranked veterans, including No. 13 Florian Lakat of California in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

    But a weekend worth of nonstop action took its toll. The fatigue plagued Sigsgaard during the quarterfinal match as he dropped a hard-fought set against No. 33 Hugo Di Feo of Ohio State, 7-6, only to lose the next set and a spot in the finals by a 6-0 margin. Regardless, the Texas freshman concluded his first collegiate national championship event with a stellar 11-1 record. 

    Another Texas newcomer also continued to make a name for himself at the championship tournament. Freshmen Yuya Ito advanced to the Round of 16 with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over USC’s Logan Smith. There he met No. 37 Alfredo Perez of Florida, who claimed the first set after a lengthy tiebreaker, 8-6. Ito managed to even the match at a set apiece after a strong 6-1 win, but he fell short in the final set, dropping by the same 6-0 margin that ousted his teammate in the semifinals.

    Over in Houston, the third round of qualifying draws came to a close Monday at the Houston Futures. Two Texas players fell a round short of the singles main draw at the first professional tennis tournament of the fall season, hosted by the International Tennis Federation in Houston. The event features players from around the world competing for a chance to qualify for professional ATP Challenger Tours and World Tours, as well as the $25,000 grand prize.

    After fighting through the first two rounds, sophomore Rodrigo Banzer dropped the first set on Monday, 1-4, before retiring against professional circuit veteran Jolan Cailleau from Belgium.

    Meanwhile Texas sophomore Julian Zlobinsky went up against another longtime pro player, 28-year-old Evgeny Korolev of Russia. After forcing the tiebreaker in the first set, Zlobinsky lost by a slim 5-7 margin. But the age and experience proved too much for the native of New York, and he lost in the next set, 2-6.

    The Futures event continues through Sunday, but no Longhorn players remain. Instead the team turns its attention to Thursday’s upcoming event, as Texas freshmen Ito and Leonardo Telles begin play at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, California.

  • Big 12 Notebook: Kansas State pulls off upset

    Cyclones unable to take next step

    For the second straight week, Iowa State squandered a double-digit fourth quarter lead against a Big 12 opponent.  

    The Cyclones led Oklahoma State by 17 points midway through the third quarter but surrendered 24 straight points en route to a 38-31 loss. They blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead to Baylor in week five.

    Since 2010, Iowa State has not finished higher than No. 7 in the Big 12 standings. The Cyclones had two chances to snag wins against recent conference champions in the last two weeks, but they have failed to seize the opportunity.

    Iowa State sophomore cornerback Brian Peavy said there are growing pains that come with rising through the ranks of the conference.

    “We have the capability and skill set, it’s more of a process of learning how to execute and learning how to win,” Peavy said. 

    Horned Frogs complete comeback

    TCU has already seen two furious comeback bids fall short this year. Against Arkansas, the Horned Frogs overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit only to lose in double overtime. In week five’s contest against No. 19 Oklahoma, TCU climbed to within three points after being down by 18, ultimately losing 46-52. 

    This past weekend, TCU finally perfected its comeback formula against Kansas.  The Horned Frogs trailed the Jayhawks by nine points heading into the final frame, but their defense held Kansas scoreless and they escaped Lawrence, Kansas, with a 24-23 win. 

    Junior quarterback Kenny Hill struggled throughout the game, tossing three interceptions. But he came through when his team needed him most. Hill led two long scoring drives in the fourth quarter and had a critical 34-yard run on third down in an eventual touchdown drive.

    TCU enters its bye week before a matchup with No. 20 West Virginia on Oct. 22. 

    Kansas State defense rises to occasion

    Kansas State ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 in both scoring defense and rushing defense. On Saturday, its defense faced its first great challenge of the season, going up against a Texas Tech offense that averages more than 55 points per game.

    The Wildcats rose to the occasion in a 44-38 Kansas State win. While the unit had its share of struggles in the first half, the defense held the Red Raiders to 10 points in the second half — Texas Tech’s lowest point total in a half this season. 

    The Wildcats’ defensive adjustments at halftime helped springboard them to their first conference win of the year. 

    “We came together as a defensive unit and we were like, ‘We have to eliminate all the big plays,’” sophomore cornerback Duke Shelley said. “This game was on us.”