In the final home matches of their careers, seniors Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico both walked out of Penick-Allison Tennis Center with wins, and No. 11 Texas defeated 38th-ranked Nebraska 5-2 on Sunday.
With the math even at one point each, Damico gave Texas its first lead in the match. After taking the first set, Damico held a 5-2 lead before Nebraska’s Christopher Aumueller tightened the match to 5-4. But Damico proved too strong and took the next game to seal the point, 6-4, 6-4. After starting the season at the No. 3 position in the lineup, Damico took advantage of the opportunities given to him and worked his way up. As Texas juggled inconsistency problems heading into conference play, Damico continued to produce and has been one of the team’s biggest strengths.
The second member of Texas’ senior class also had a nice afternoon in his final match in Austin. Corrie dropped the first set of his match but quickly recovered. With the match already secured, Corrie was the last man on the court and was able to take a long third set 6-4 to take his final point in Austin.
“I’m happy for my seniors, Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico, to see them win on senior day,” said Texas head coach Michael Center.
Texas got itself in trouble for the third straight match, as Nebraska fought through a Texas match point in doubles to take the opening point as well as the lead heading into singles competition. Texas failed to take the doubles point for the third straight match after only losing one in its first 17 matches.
“We got into a hole after doubles. We had a chance to win the doubles point and got to match point, but before you knew it, Nebraska had won it, and it was over,” Center said. “It became a bit of a roller coaster after that.”
But the Longhorns came roaring back in singles. Including Nebraska, they have now won five of their last six singles points.
Junior Jean Andersen leveled the match at one apiece after quickly disposing of Nebraska’s Andre Stenger in straight sets. After Damico, Texas got its third point in a straight set win from sophomore Vasko Mladenov, and the clincher came from fellow sophomore Daniel Whitehead in three sets.
“Ben Chen lost a tough match again after being up a break in the third, and then Daniel Whitehead got us the clinching point in the end,” Center said.
Texas got out to a quick 3-1 lead, after claiming points at Nos. 1, 3 and 5 spots in singles but wasn’t able to take full control of the other matches until the very end.
The win puts Texas at 3-2 in the Big 12 and 17-6 overall. Texas finishes the regular season Saturday as it travels to College Station to take on conference-leading Texas A&M.