Longhorn men handle Rice on Saturday
Make that seven straight wins for the Longhorns.
No. 10 men’s tennis handled Rice on Saturday in Houston with a 7-0 victory. The Longhorns didn’t lose a set and improved to 11–2 on the season. It was Texas’ second consecutive 7-0 win after its victory over Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
The match opened with the Longhorns capturing the doubles point for the 10th time in 13 matches this spring. The point was clinched by junior Adrian Ortiz and sophomore Christian Sigsgaard with a 6-1 win over Rice’s Conrad Russell and Jacob Eskeland at second doubles.
In the singles pool, 60th-ranked junior Harrison Scott, who earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors last week, started the Longhorns off with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Rice’s Mohamed Abdel-Aziz. Shortly afterward, sophomore Yuya Ito extended the Longhorns’ lead to 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sumit Sarkar. Ito skyrocketed in the new edition of ITA singles rankings last week, jumping from No. 118 to No. 46.
The team match was ultimately clinched by junior Colin Markes at sixth singles. After a back and forth first set, Markes squeezed just enough out of the tank to defeat Rice’s Ashton Duke, winning 9-7 in a tiebreaker. Markes cruised through the second set, winning 6-2. Juniors Leonardo Telles and Rodrigo Banzer were both victorious in their respective matches, as well as sophomore Christian Sigsgaard who, like Markes, won a grueling first set by way of 9-7 tiebreaker victory.
Texas head coach Michael Center was pleased at the way his team came out ready to play and produced during crunch time.
“Though there were a few inconsistencies here and there,” Center said. “I thought we really stepped it up when we needed to today.”
The Longhorns will have their work cut out for them this week. They travel to Los Angeles for a matchup against No. 13 USC on Wednesday.
Texas women shred Michigan despite poor weather
After a strong showing last weekend against Ohio State, No. 14 Texas (9–4) wasn’t hindered by the poor weather in returning to dominate another Big Ten opponent — No. 37 Michigan — on Sunday.
Prior to this weekend’s play, the Intercollegiate Tennis Associate updated its team, singles and doubles rankings, which resulted in a lot of movement for the Longhorns. The ranking updates pushed the Texas team and singles rankings higher, and also moved sophomore Bianca Turati back to the top singles spot in the nation. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise from the ITA release.
Following a two-week break from the season, the Texas women returned to play against Ohio State with a different doubles lineup after having suffered consecutive losses at the doubles point to competitive opponents. The change paid off for the Longhorns in a win at the doubles point against Ohio State and launched sophomore Petra Granic and freshman Bojana Markovic to the No. 44 spot on the ITA national doubles rankings. It’s the first time a Texas doubles team has been ranked in weeks.
The changes to the doubles lineup look to have had a lasting impact on the Longhorns, as they began their successful day against Michigan by winning the doubles point, which included a critical win from Texas’ No. 44 tandem Granic and Markovic.
After taking a 1-0 lead, the Longhorns ran away with the win. Freshman Marta Perez-Mur showed no mercy, dropping her opponent 6-0, 6-0 to extend the Longhorns’ lead to 2-0. Soon after, No. 34 sophomore Anna Turati and freshman Bojana Markovic captured consecutive wins to finish off the Wolverines.
Poor weather looked like it could potentially derail the Longhorns from playing outdoors in their brand new Texas Tennis Center, but the two teams stuck it out.
“Just calling it like it is, it was an awful day for tennis,” Texas head coach Howard Joffe said. “I feel like we applied ourselves probably quite a bit better than Michigan today, and that was, more than anything, the difference.”