Intercollegiate Tennis Association

After helping Denmark advance to the Davis Cup, two-time All-American senior Søren Hess-Olesen has returned to Texas and will head to Napa Valley, California, to compete in the Napa Valley Tennis Classic.

Fellow seniors Lloyd Glasspool and Jacoby Lewis and junior Nick Naumann will join the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year in California while other Longhorns will head to Lafayette, Louisiana, to compete in the Cajun Tennis Classic.

Hess-Olesen, Glasspool and Naumann were listed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason rankings at No. 5, No. 31 and No. 113.

The Napa Valley Tennis Classic features American top junior tennis players competing against some of the country’s top collegiate players. Following three rounds of pool play, the pool winners will compete in a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a wildcard entry into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.

Representing eighth-ranked Texas in Louisiana are senior Adrien Berkowicz, sophomore George Goldhoff, junior Michael Riechmann, who recently transferred from
Brown University, and freshman John Mee.

Goldhoff ranked No. 56 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason rankings, and Berkowicz made his debut as No. 106 in the rankings. 

Eight teams will be represented at the Cajun Tennis Classic, including fellow Big 12 teams Oklahoma State University and Texas Christian University, as well as ninth-ranked Georgia. 

Play begins Thursday at 9 a.m. and runs through Sunday.

Tennis

They say actions speak louder than words. With that said, the Longhorns intend to let their rackets do all the talking this season.

The women’s tennis squad comes into the 2012-2013 season returning six athletes from a team that finished No. 10 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association team poll. Despite a strong year that saw the Longhorns claim a Big 12 title, a loss in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships leaves some unfinished business for this year.

“We are just excited for play to begin this fall,” head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “This team has been training hard, and the ladies are ready to start their first competition.”

Leading the team will be senior Aeriel Ellis, who enters this season as the No. 20 ranked singles player in the country. Ellis earned her second consecutive ITA singles All-America selection last season and has also advanced to the round of 16, improving on their 2011 finish, where they made it to the round of 32 at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.

Sophomore Lina Padegimaite is coming off of a spectacular freshman campaign that saw her post a 22-5 singles record en route to being named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Junior Elizabeth Begley posted an impressive 34-7 overall singles record, including a perfect 9-0 mark in conference play last season. Padegimaite and Begley will likely move to the top of the lineup with the departure of Krista Damico.

Sophomore Noel Scott will also look to carry some of the load for the ladies as she is coming off of an impressive freshman season much like her doubles partner Padegimaite. The pair enters this season as the No. 18 ranked duo in the country.

The Longhorns will be one of 16 teams to begin their seasons this weekend at the Duke Fab-Four Invitational.

“There will be several highly ranked players at this Duke tournament,” Fendick-McCain said. “It will be a great opportunity to challenge ourselves as we start off the fall season.”

The tournament has a strong field that features players from Illinois, North Carolina, Alabama, Yale and tournament host Duke, with play beginning Friday afternoon.

Men's Tennis Preview

This weekend the Longhorns return home and will try to add two more wins to their season total with a doubleheader on Saturday.

Texas will take on UT-Arlington in the first match at 11 a.m., followed by a match with UT-San Antonio at 6 p.m.

The Longhorns (8-3) are continuing their climb up the team rankings this season, moving up to No. 11 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings this week, after starting the season at the No. 19 spot. Junior Daniel Whitehead also improved his ranking from No. 112 in the first set of singles rankings to No. 69 in the most recent.

Making his first debut in the ITA singles rankings at No. 93 is freshman Soren Hess-Olesen, who took down the No. 15 ranked Alexis Klegou during the Longhorns’ 4-1 win over Texas A&M this past weekend in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.

UT-Arlington is coming off a 5-2 loss to TCU earlier this week. UTSA will be playing their first match as a ranked team this season, earning the No. 72 team ranking, although the Roadrunners just came off a 4-3 loss to Nicholls in their conference opener. The Roadrunners also upset No. 36 Rice earlier this month, and will look to do the same against a young Texas team.

The Longhorns are coming off a 2-1 finish at the ITA Indoor Championship. Texas defeated No. 11 Texas A&M and No. 16 Auburn after dropping their opening match to No. 3 Ohio State. After Saturday’s doubleheader, the Longhorns will enjoy a week off before returning to the courts next Sunday to take on TCU.

Junior Daniel Whitehead and the No. 19 Longhorns opened their season with a 5-2 win against SMU last weekend. The squad is young with no seniors on the roster but will still look to improve on last season’s finish where they lost in the second round of the NCAA championships.

Photo Credit: Shereen Ayub | Daily Texan Staff

Texas returned from the break early to hit the courts in a successful weekend tournament in Florida, and were able to come away with a victory in their first team match against SMU.

The Longhorns, ranked No. 19 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s preseason poll, opened the season with a 5-2 win over SMU on Sunday. Texas swept the doubles point with wins from the pairings of junior Alex Hilliard and freshman Soren Hess-Olesen; junior David Holiner and junior Daniel Whitehead; and freshman Jacoby Lewis and sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram.

Also posting singles victories for the team were Hess-Olesen, Whitehead, Sitaram and Lloyd Glasspool.


The Longhorns got in some warm-up matches prior to the season at the Key Biscayne Invitational the first weekend in January. On the opening day of the tournament, Texas claimed seven of nine singles matches, lead by Whitehead, ranked No. 112, and swept all four doubles matches for the day. The highlight of the day was newcomer to the team, Glasspool, recording a victory in his first match for the Longhorns. Glasspool, a freshman from England, joined the team this semester.

On the second day of the tournament, the Longhorns recorded six more singles wins and five double wins. Texas added three more singles victories on the final day of competition to finish the tournament with an impressive 24-6 combined record against players from Michigan, Virginia, Denver and LSU. Sitaram went undefeated on the weekend, posting three wins while only dropping eight games.

The early success is good for the team because the rest of the season is anything but a walk in the park as they will face nine opponents ranked in the top 30 of the ITA rankings. The Longhorns will go up against No. 2 Virginia and No. 20 North Carolina on their courts in the same weekend. Also looming for Texas is a home-court matchup with the No. 1 ranked team in the country, USC.


The Longhorns will also face some tough conference competition. Baylor has a No. 5 ranking, Texas A&M is ranked No. 11, Oklahoma is ranked No. 18 and boasts the fourth ranked player in the country, while Texas Tech holds the ranking of No. 22.

This year, Texas is a fairly young team without a single senior on its roster. The Longhorns have the same number of juniors as freshmen (four), and only boast one ranked player (Whitehead at no. 112).

Texas looks to improve upon last year’s results, in which they fell to A&M in the Big 12 tournament semifinals, and lost to Tulsa in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns finished last season ranked No. 16.

Printed on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 as: Texas starts year off with promise: sucessful early season showing bodes well for yoiung Horns squad