Sudanwa Sitaram

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.

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.

After dropping their first match of the tournament, the Longhorns ended the weekend on a positive note with two victories over Top 20 teams.

The No. 14 ranked Longhorns wrapped up the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships with a 4-2 win over No. 16 Auburn late Sunday evening. Texas claimed the doubles point thanks to an 8-3 victory by Sudanwa Sitaram and Daniel Whitehead at the number three doubles line. Chris Camillone and David Holiner clinched the point for Texas with their 8-6 win over Auburn’s No. 2-ranked doubles team.

The Tigers scored their first point off Lukas Ollert’s win over Camillone at the No. 5 singles spot. Texas scored their second point with Sitaram’s 6-2, 6-2 win over Dan Cochrane. Whitehead increased Texas’ lead by two with his three-set win over Alex Stanchev at the second spot, but the Tigers would not go away, getting their second point with a win at the six spot. Clinching the victory for the Longhorns was freshman Lloyd Glasspool, who came back from losing the first set to beat Dennis Lengsfeld 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

On Saturday, the Longhorns avenged a loss to Texas A&M in the previous week with a 4-1 win in the first round of the consolation bracket. Texas got on the board early with two doubles victories. In the No. 3 spot, Sitaram and Whitehead blanked Niall Angus and Alexis Klegou, 8-0. Camillone and sophomore Holiner pulled off the upset of the No. 36 ranked tandem of Lewis and Hoover, 8-4.

In singles, Sitaram added to Texas’ total with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Junior Ore, while Camillone added another point with his 6-2, 6-2 win over Jackson Withrow. The Aggies got on the board with a win at the number six spot, but freshman Soren Hess-Olesen, ranked No. 93, upset No. 15 Klegou, 6-3, 6-3 to avenge his loss from the Longhorns’ previous matchup against the Aggies and seal the victory for the Longhorns.

Texas opened the tournament with a 4-0 loss to the No. 3 seed Ohio State.

The Buckeyes scored the first point after claiming two of the doubles matches, although Texas scored an upset over the Buckeyes’ No. 27 ranked team at the number two spot. Whitehead and Holiner teamed up to hand Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen an 8-3 loss. The Buckeyes went on to post three straight singles victories to clinch the match and knock Texas into the consolation bracket. The Longhorns finished the tournament with a 2-1 record. They will return to the courts this Saturday with a doubleheader in Austin.

Printed on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 as: Horns pick up wins over Auburn, A&M

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.

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