Ratnika Batra

For the first time in program history, Houston bested Texas, 6–1, over the weekend.

The teams split the first two doubles matches as Texas freshman Dani Wagland and sophomore Ratnika Batra defeated sophomore Despoina Vogasari and senior Elena Kordolaimi, 6–2. Houston sophomore Tina Rupert and junior Maria Cardenas dropped Texas’ junior Lana Groenvynck and sophomore Neda Koprcina, 6–5.

The Longhorns only had five healthy players for the match and did not have a third doubles team, so the Cougars took the doubles point by default.

In singles, Houston took a swift lead, taking victories over Wagland and senior Lina Padegimaite.

Batra was the only Longhorn able to take a singles win. She defeated Rupert in third singles, 6–2, 6–2.

In the last match of the day, Koprcina pushed back against No. 34 Vogasari, Texas Regional Champion — but lost in the end, 1–6, 6–4, 6–2.

The Longhorns continued their slump, but look to turn it around next weekend when they play Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament openers.

In the season home opener Saturday, the No. 23 Texas women’s tennis team took down No. 32 Rice, 43.

The Owls opened the match well, as they took the doubles point. Rice was able to take the first two doubles to capture the point, although Texas sophomore Ratnika Batra and junior Lana Groenvynck won the third round of doubles, 62.

In the singles competition, the Longhorns turned the game around and dominated the Owls. Texas gained its four points from the match, as sophomores Batra and Neda Koprcina and freshmen Ryann Foster and Danielle Wagland completely swept their competition.

In fifth singles, Wagland tied the score 33 with a 61, 63 win against Rice sophomore Alison Ho. And in second singles, Foster secured Texas’ victory, defeating Rice senior Liat Zimmermann, 62, 63.

No. 84 Longhorn junior Breaunna Addison struggled against No. 24 Rice senior Natalie Beazant, and fell 61, 57, 75. Likewise, Rice junior Solomiya Zinko knocked off Groenvynck in sixth singles, 61, 26, 76.

Texas heads west to Southern California to play its next dual-match on Valentine’s Day weekend against Pepperdine and USC.    

Ratnika Batra collected three wins over the weekend in Southern California, advancing to the qualifying round of the ITA All-American Championships, one of three national championship events on the college tennis calendar. 

Batra did what the Texas football team could not do against Ole Miss this season: win. The freshman from New Delhi, India beat Erin Stephens in straight sets to start her Saturday.

In her second match, Batra faced University of Southern California’s Kaitlyn Christian, ranked No. 86 in singles and No. 1 in doubles. She quickly
defeated the Trojan tennis player (6-2, 6-1) to advance to the pre-qualifying round of 16.

Batra played against Big 12 foe No. 116 Nikki Sanders of Texas Tech on Sunday. Batra outlasted Sanders in two long, competitive sets (7-5, 7-6), advancing to the qualifying draw.

“It was a gritty performance from Ratnika today,” assistant coach Darija Klaic said.  “Ratnika played flawlessly on Saturday, but today was a different day and a different story, but Ratnika managed to keep the match on track. She fought through it all and was the last one standing at the end of a tough battle.”

With two wins over ranked opponents, Batra improved to 4-1 in singles competition. Her next match is Tuesday at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.