The roars from the crowd could be heard from both sides of the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon as both Texas’ men’s and women’s tennis teams battled it out for match wins against their opponents. While the fierce wind and chilly temperatures would seemingly have a negative effect on match play, the Longhorns did not allow Mother Nature to impose.
The Texas men’s squad (16-2) entered Sunday’s match against No. 24 Pepperdine with little rest. The team took on Michigan on Saturday night, and the Horns cruised to a match victory against the Wolverines as they won the doubles point and then went on to win five of six singles matches, pushing the final match count to 6-1.
Texas fought it out against Pepperdine in doubles play with two of three teams winning their matches, securing the doubles point. Seniors Josh Zavala and Dimitar Kutrovsky were the only pair to fall to opponents Bassam Beidas and Alex Llompart, who took the match by a single game, 9-8.
“The doubles was very close,” Texas head coach Michael Center said. “We had the chance to serve for all three matches. They hung around and stuck their nose in there and forced us to win one in a tiebreaker to get the doubles point.”
Texas was put to the test in singles play as three of its top players fell. Pepperdine’s Beidas dealt Kutrovsky a tough defeat 6-0, 6-1 while at second singles junior Ed Corrie could not hold on against the Waves’ Sebastian Fanselow, and finally at the third spot junior Kellen Damico was handed a swift defeat, 6-3, 6-0, by Llompart.
True to form, the Longhorns would not go down without a fight. Victories at the fourth, fifth and sixth singles courts, all in only two sets, gave Texas the boost it needed to overcome Pepperdine.
“We were able to win with our depth today,” Center said. “That’s a strength of our team, and I give those guys credit today for doing the job.”
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the tennis center, the women’s squad was making its mark against Kansas in the second of this season’s slated play against Big 12 opponents. Texas (6-3, 2-0 Big 12) has been steadily building upon its match successes as it now has a four-match winning streak under their belt.
The Horns opened the weekend with a decisive match victory, 7-0, against Kansas State on Friday afternoon. The Horns’ first sweep of the weekend began with victories in all three doubles matches, and four of the six singles matches, decided by only two sets.
Brimming with confidence, the Texas women defeated Kansas 7-0 yesterday afternoon. The unsavory weather conditions did nothing to stop the Horns from registering their second match shutout of the weekend. Both seniors Vanja Corovic and Sarah Lancaster showed no mercy to their Jayhawk opponents, with Corovic defeating Sara Lazarevic 6-1, 6-0, and Lancaster handing Alie Dzuba a 6-0, 6-0 defeat.
“It was a good, solid day today,” coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “The conditions were really tough — it was cold and it was windy. We started off a little rough around the edges in doubles, but we got the doubles in the end, and I think that helped us get the momentum in singles.”