Gonzalo Escobar

Men's Tennis Preview

After defeating Texas A&M in the thrilling, final chapter of the Lone Star Showdown last weekend, the Longhorns will try to get above .500 with a win over No. 22 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday.

This is the final conference match for both teams, with the winner claiming the No. 2 seed and first round bye at the conference tournament next weekend.

No. 15 Texas moved up two spots in the rankings after their 4-3 victory over No. 29 Texas A&M, which went down to the last match before the Longhorns claimed the win.

The Red Raiders (14-7, Big 12 3-1) are coming off their first conference loss to No. 11 Oklahoma earlier this week.

The Longhorns will look to end their conference schedule on a high note after losing their first two conference matches to Oklahoma and Baylor. Right now Texas sits at 2-2 in conference play, but would like to get the win this weekend to rise above the .500 mark.

An important factor in getting the win this weekend will be to win the doubles point and get solid singles play from the lineup. Texas will depend on the No. 30 ranked duo of junior Chris Camillone and sophomore David Holiner and the No. 40 ranked pairing of juniors Daniel Whitehead and Ben Chen to take that first point. Camillone and Holiner will have to get through the No. 29 ranked pair of Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar, who are 8-1 on the season.

In singles, the Raiders are led by Escobar, who is ranked No. 47 and Carvalho, who is ranked No. 73. The Longhorns are led by the No. 69 ranked freshman Soren Hess-Olesen and No. 100 Whitehead.

These two teams last battled each other earlier this year in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend, with Texas claiming the 4-0 victory in the first round of the weekend. Posting wins were the doubles team of Whitehead and Holiner, and the team of freshman Jacoby Lewis and sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram. In singles, freshman Lloyd Glasspool posted a win, along with Sitaram and Whitehead, who defeated Escobar in straight sets.

The Longhorns will be back on the courts next weekend in College Station for the Big 12 conference tournament, followed by the NCAA first and second rounds the second weekend in May.

Men's Tennis

The Longhorns beat a conference foe and went undefeated over the weekend to earn a spot in the indoor championships in February.

On Sunday, Texas defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 4-0.

In the doubles session, the third line duo of freshman Jacoby Lewis and sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram played an even match against juniors Gabriel Wanderley and Jeff Bryan of Tech. The Longhorns got the first service break at 3-3 in the match, but were broken right back on a controversial line call by the chair umpire. Lewis and Sitaram got another break at 5-5, though a hold by Tech allowed Lewis to serve out the set for an 8-6 Texas win.

In the number one doubles slot, freshman Soren Hess-Olesen and junior Alex Hilliard had a tough match against Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia of Tech. Tech got the first break of the match at 2-2 after a lengthy deuce game where the advantage switched back and forth between the teams. Texas was able to break Tech in the next game, but suffered another break at 3-4 to push Tech up to 5-3. Tech went on to close out the match 8-3.

In the match to decide the doubles point, junior Daniel Whitehead and sophomore David Holiner kept it interesting for the fans. The Longhorns got down, but held serve 4-7 and immediately broke the Tech duo of Gonzalo Escobar and Vitor Manzini to make the score 6-7. Both teams held serve to push the match to a tiebreaker. After getting behind 1-3 in the tiebreak, Texas came back and took the set and the doubles point, with a 7-4 win in the tiebreak.

In the singles matches, freshman Lloyd Glasspool, playing in the number four position, scored a quick 6-3, 6-1 victory over Francisco Zambon to put Texas ahead 2-0.

Adding another victory to Texas’ overall total was Sitaram, who didn’t let a Tech injury time-out faze him, as he earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tech’s Garcia.

Earning the final point for Texas was Whitehead, ranked No. 112, who scored a straight set win over Escobar, a USTA/ITA Regional champ ranked No. 23. After winning the first set, 6-0, Whitehead weathered a comeback from Escobar, and got the break at 4 all in the second set and served the match out to give Texas the win. At that point all other singles matches still on court were suspended.

To earn the spot in Sunday’s match, Texas defeated Maryland on Saturday, 4-0. Contributing towards that win were the doubles team of Whitehead and Holiner, and Sitaram and Lewis for the doubles point. Singles victories came from Hess-Olesen, Whitehead and Holiner, who fought back from a 0-4 hole in the second set to take the match with a 6-0, 6-4 win.

With the two victories, Texas sealed its spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at Charlottesville, Va. on Feb. 17-20.