Longhorns look for second chance in singles

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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.