the ITA All-American Championship

The opening weekend of the ITA All-American Championship was a sour one for the Longhorns as all three players in the pre-qualifying singles draw were eliminated from competition.

Day one went swell for junior Elizabeth Begley, as she collected a pair of wins in the pre-qualifying singles draw setting herself up for a berth in the qualifying draw with a win Sunday.

Begley started her day with a win over Jennifer Pfeifler of Auburn in three sets, claiming two 6-3 sets in the process. She defeated Missouri’s Rachel Stuhlmann in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 later in the day.

Two other Longhorns were in action Saturday. Sophomore Noel Scott fell in her first match after three exhausting sets against Purdue’s Mara Schmidt. She forced a third set with a 7-6 win in the second set, then lost the last set 5-7.

Sophomore Lina Padegimaite beat Diana Ivanova of Old Dominion in her first match, but lost in straight sets to Yale’s Blair Seideman 3-6, 0-6.

On Sunday, with a chance to advance to the qualifying draw, Begley was eliminated by Florida’s Danielle Collins in straight 6-3 sets.

Senior Aeriel Ellis is the lone Longhorn remaining in singles play. She will take court Thursday in the main draw. Scott and Padegimaite still have the qualifying doubles draw Oct. 2.

After failing to qualify any Longhorns for the doubles draw over the weekend at the ITA All-American Championship in Los Angeles, Texas will attempt to advance some players in the singles event beginning today.

Both of the Texas doubles pairs competing in the draw were unable to avoid defeat in the opening round on Saturday. The duo of junior Krista Damico and freshman Cierra Gaytan-Leach fell 8-4 against a team from Harvard. Also failing to advance were seniors Amanda Craddock and Caroline Larsson, who were beaten 8-5 by Kansas’ Ekaterina Morozova and Erin Wilbert.

Damico, however, remains in California as she will begin her competition in the qualifying rounds of the singles draw today. She joins senior Maggie Mello and sophomore Aeriel Ellis, who had the weekend off. Mello and Ellis are also expected to be playing together in the qualifying stages of the doubles draw.

Ellis will also be participating as an alternate for the main singles draw. This will be an important event for Ellis, as she finds herself involved in two of the last three events that the Longhorns remain alive in. Ellis was the 2010 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as the ITA Texas Region Rookie Player of the Year. Playing in all three national championship events last season (the ITA All-American Championship, ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships and the NCAA Championships) she was able to tally a 32-14 overall singles record.