Daniel Whitehead

Texas traveled to Fort Worth this past Saturday to take on the TCU Horned Frogs.

The Longhorns found themselves in a hole early after losing the doubles point and a quick singles match, but they rallied in the home stretch after a straight-set victory by Soren Hess-Olesen. Sudanwa Sitaram suffered a tough loss to Facundo Lugones, but Lloyd Glasspool and David Holiner came away with wins in three-set matches to tie the score at 3-3.

Then senior Daniel Whitehead was placed in a position where his game was the match-decider. Whitehead and TCU’s Orlando Superlano split a pair of sets, and went into a third and final set to decide the match. The match seemed lost as Whitehead dug himself a deep hole by going down 4-0 early in the set. But he stuck around and pulled off a comeback and sealed the win for the Longhorns. This is Whitehead’s fifth match-clinching victory on the season.

“One of the most dramatic finishes I have ever been apart of,” head coach Michael Center said. “Down 4-0 [in the tiebreaker], saved match points, aces — it was an incredible college match.”

The Longhorns improve to 2-1 in Big 12 conference play and will host Baylor on Wednesday as they look to keep their Big 12 Championships hopes alive.

The men’s tennis team traveled to California this weekend to take on No. 2 USC and No. 7 Pepperdine.

Texas began the weekend with high hopes as David Holiner and Daniel Whitehead took an easy 8-1 doubles point against USC’s Gomez/Johnson to start things off. After that, things went downhill as the Longhorns lost the next two doubles matches, securing the doubles point for USC. In the singles matches Texas was shut out, falling to all six of the ranked
USC players.

The Longhorns looked to bounce back from their loss in Los Angeles on Friday as they traveled to face Pepperdine in Malibu. However, things did not go much better for Texas on Sunday, either. Holiner/Whitehead were the only doubles team to win, forfeiting the doubles point to Pepperdine.

No. 98 Nick Naumann provided a ray of light for Texas as he defeated Mousheg Hovhannisyan, improving his dual match singles record to 4-1 on the season. Unfortunately, he was the only Longhorn to capture a singles victory on the day.

Texas drops to 4-3 on the season after beginning 3-0. The Longhorns will have an almost three-week break before returning to competition at the Pennick-Allison Tennis Center here in Austin Feb. 21, as they host UT-Arlington and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

The Longhorns traveled to Tulsa, Okla., this past weekend and secured impressive victories over two Top 25 teams in No. 25 Washington and No. 17 Tulsa. The Longhorns improved to 3-0 on the season with a 2-0 record against top-25 opponents.

Action started Saturday as the Longhorns defeated the Huskies’ No. 13 doubles duo Chris Camillone and David Holiner were paired with different partners for their matches by head coach Michael Center. That didn’t stop them from securing victories with their new partners Nick Naumann and Daniel Whitehead, respectively. The Longhorns’ No. 1 singles player, No. 31 Soren Hess-Olesen, returned to the court from injury and played in his first match of the season. He fell and lost the only match of the day to Kyle McMorrow in three sets (2-6, 7-6, 6-4). 

Sudanwa Sitaram, Whitehead, Naumann, Andrew Korinek and Lloyd Glasspool secured dual match singles victories as well.

Texas faced off against Tulsa on Sunday in a nail-biter of a match. Tulsa secured the doubles team point early on and established a 2-1 lead after splitting the first two singles matches. After that it was all Texas as Glasspool, Naumann and Whitehead secured victories and team points for the Longhorns. Whitehead was the last to play, and with the points tied at 3-3, he overcame No. 69 Alejandro Espejo in three sets (4-6, 6-4, 7-5) to secure the win.

Men's Tennis

Play began Thursday in Flushing, N.Y., as the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships got under way at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Senior Daniel Whitehead represented the Longhorns as he competed in the singles draw after receiving automatic entry through his win at the Texas Regional Championships on Oct. 23. Whitehead was defeated in his first match against California’s Ben McLachlan (6-2, 6-1), who ranked No. 16 in the ITA preseason rankings.

However, two Longhorns are still alive in the tournament. Doubles tandem Chris Camillone and David Holiner, the No. 8-ranked doubles team in the country, received a late invitation to Flushing as they were chosen as alternates in the doubles draw. Camillone and Holiner received a bye in the first round of 32 but played a tough match against North Florida’s Moritz Buerchner and Norbert Nemcsek in the round of 16, where they won 8-6.

The win puts Camillone and Holiner at an 8-2 record this fall and, more importantly, advances them to the quarterfinals Friday against Duke’s No. 16 Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler.  

Men's Tennis

Senior No. 46 Texas player Daniel Whitehead will travel to Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (the same site of the U.S. Open earlier this year) in Flushing, N.Y. today through Sunday for the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Whitehead is one of 32 players who will compete in the singles draw portion of the championships and is the first Longhorn to reach the nationals since Ed Corrie in 2009. Whitehead solidified a spot for himself in the New York after winning the main singles draw at the Texas Regionals in Fort Worth, T.X.

Whitehead has played exceptional tennis this fall accruing an 8-2 singles record in singles competition, 2-2 against ranked opponents. Whitehead was ranked No. 46 in the ITA preseason rankings and will see many of the top-ranked college players in the nation, including Virginia’s Alex Domijan who was ranked No. 8 during the preseason but is currently the No. 1 player in the tournament, and Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt who was ranked No. 35 in the preseason but is currently the No. 2 player in the tournament.

The National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships will mark ending of the fall season.


Senior Daniel Whitehead won the USTA/ITA Texas Regionals in singles competition and will represent Texas at Nationals.
Photo Credit: Ben Chesnut | Daily Texan Staff

Senior Daniel Whitehead won the USTA/ITA Texas Regional singles draw Oct. 23 to advance to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships.

“I’m feeling good. Every year I’ve gotten better and better. It just took a while to get to Nationals,” Whitehead said.

And it’s true. The Sugar Land, Texas native ended his freshman year as a Longhorn with an 11-8 singles record, a 23-7 doubles record and a 2-2 dual-singles record. At the end of his junior campaign last year he had a career singles record of 63-31, doubles record of 70-24 and dual-singles record of 30-18. Whitehead won the Rice Fall Invitational during his sophomore year and the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational during his junior year.

However, the Texas Regionals are much more prestigious than any of those tournaments. A win at the Regionals guarantees you a spot at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships in New York.

“It’s really difficult to win [the Texas Regionals],” Texas head coach Michael Center said after Whitehead won. “The physical and emotional toll of it becomes a big factor. Daniel managed himself in these matches really well.”

Whitehead admits that Center has taught him so much both on and off the court since he first became a Longhorn back in 2009.

“[Coach Center] is a good man. He has good morals. And he’s ready every day to come out here and work hard. That’s a good leader and example of how to be,” Whitehead said. “He told me that when I do something good, he will tell me. But he hasn’t said that yet so I’ll just keep trying to improve.”

That philosophy has translated well as he leads by example.

He is the first player since Ed Corrie in 2009 to win the Texas Regional singles and qualify for the Nationals, and with such a distinguished tournament coming up for Whitehead, his teammates are supporting him all the way.

“It’s sort of the way our team is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a doubles tournament or an individual; if we’re not playing we’re watching the others play.

They’re supporting me and helping me practice for New York the same way I’ll be there to support them [at the UT Invitational],” Whitehead said.

Whitehead was a freshman supporting Corrie when he won the Regionals and advanced to the Nationals in 2009. Now Whitehead is the one that is being watched as he practices and prepares for the Nationals in New York while the newer guys support and help him along the way.

“The longer we’re here the more we can help our freshmen with all of the things that come with being a freshman,” Whitehead said.

But the road to the singles title will be filled with much tougher opponents than Whitehead has faced all year. The three top-seeded players in the nation, Duke’s Henrique Cunha, Virginia’s Jarmere Jenkins and Pepperdine’s Sebastian Fanselow, are all in the tournament and are eyeing the top prize. Whitehead will have to play the best tennis of his life to come out victorious. He began the season with a 1-3 singles record through his first tournament, but has since improved dramatically. Whitehead has won six of his last eight, en route to a 7-5 record on the season through the end of the Texas Regionals.

Whitehead will try to keep his favorite Texas tradition alive — winning — in New York, but he’s going to take it one game at a time.

“A tennis match is a tennis match. It might get a little tougher, but it’s the same philosophy into each match,” Whitehead said.

The Longhorns ended what seemed like a promising run in the singles and doubles main draw rounds of the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend. Sophomore Soren Hess-Olesen, seniors Daniel Whitehead and Chris Camillone, and juniors Sudanwa Sitaram and David Holiner headlined the action for Texas.

Hess-Olesen started the singles main draw strong, defeating Michigan’s No. 31 Spencer Newman, 7-6, 6-4, and edging out All-American sophomore No. 5 Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss, 6-2, 7-5. He advanced to the third round of 16 of the main draw after the two wins Thursday. Hess-Olesen exited the tournament Friday with a loss to University of Tulsa’s Japle DeKlerk, 6-0, 6-2.

Whitehead made it through two rounds of the consolation singles draw before being knocked out by Tennessee’s Hunter Reese. Whitehead defeated Boise State’s Andrew Bettles, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and outlasted LSU’s Olivier Borsos, 6-4, 6-3, in the second round before being knocked out by Reese Saturday.

Whitehead and Sitaram played impressively as they advanced through the doubles qualifying rounds in Tulsa. The duo won four straight en route to securing a spot in the consolation round, where they were finally defeated by University of Georgia’s Hemus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-3. The Longhorns’ doubles team of Holiner and Camillone, ranked as the No. 8 doubles team coming into the competition, defeated Oregon’s Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen, 8-6, before losing in a close match to Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis, 9-8.

The Longhorns’ performance at the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend was a drastic improvement from their outing in the championships last year. The Longhorns had two singles players and two doubles teams in the main draw and consolation rounds this year compared to having no players participate in the main events in 2011.

Men's Tennis

With the field dwindling as the ITA All-American Championships near their end, only three Longhorns remain in the competition.

In the main singles draw, Daniel Whitehead fell in the first round to Alex Domijan from Virginia. But Soren Hess-Olesen won his first and second-round matches in straight sets to advance to the round of 16. He will face Japie De Klerk today for the chance to advance to the quarterfinals.

The pair of Sudanwa Sitaram and Whitehead was eliminated in the first round of the doubles draw to bring the tournament to a close for both. Chris Camillone and David Holiner used an 8-6 win over Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen to advance to the round of 16. The fourth-seeded pair will face Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis out of Tennessee, with the winner advancing to the elite eight.

Texas has made a significant improvement on its performance from last season. It did not advance a single athlete into the main draw for either singles or doubles play, but its performance this season has given the Longhorns a chance at two titles this season.

A win Friday would put either of the Longhorns into the semifinals Saturday, with the finals of both the singles and doubles play taking place Sunday. After being shut out of main draw play last season, Texas is already ahead for this season. But with the championships only a few wins away, the Longhorns might as well enjoy their stay in Tulsa as long as they can.

The Longhorns continued their play in the ITA Championships on Wednesday in Tulsa as they competed in the second round of the doubles qualifying round, this time with much better results.

Daniel Whitehead and Sudanwa Sitaram continued their fantastic play from Tuesday, Sitaram replacing Whitehead’s injured doubles partner Ben Chen. Whitehead and Sitaram defeated Clemson’s Gerardo Meza and Ayrton Wibowo in the second round, 8-4. They advanced to play Mississippi State’s Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp, who they defeated 8-6 in a tough match.

With the two wins Wednesday, Whitehead and Sitaram earned spots to play in the doubles main draw which begins Thursday. Texas teammates David Holiner and Chris Camillone will also participate in the doubles main draw. No. 42 Soren Hess-Olesen and Whitehead will round out the Texas roster Thursday as they participate in the singles main draw.

The Longhorns are off to a bad start at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships. Texas senior Ben Chen along with sophomores Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland were all eliminated in the pre-qualifying singles round Saturday.

Chen and Lewis escaped the first round with byes, but Swaysland was not as fortunate, falling in the first round to Vukasin Teofanovic of Marquette (6-4, 6-4). Lewis followed with a loss in the second round to Russell Bader of Penn State (7-6, 7-5). Chen was also outed in the second round by Adam Lee of Wake Forest (5-0) before having to surrender due to injury.

The Longhorns will have to play better if they hope to advance to the championships, as they’ve done in previous tournaments this year. Texas should see promising play from No. 42 sophomore Soren Hess-Olesen, No. 46 senior Daniel Whitehead, No. 99 David Holiner, Chris Camillone and No. 109 Sudanwa Sitaram as they continue play in Tulsa, Okla.

Camillone, Holiner and Sitaram will continue play in the qualifying singles round, hoping to do better than their teammates in the pre-qualifying rounds. 

Chen will hopefully play with his doubles partner Daniel Whitehead, the No. 38 doubles team, in the qualifying doubles round this upcoming week.

The Championships will conclude this week with Hess-Olesen and Whitehead in the main draw singles round and No. 8 Holiner and Camillone in the main draw doubles round.