Weekend Previews: April 25 - April 27


Postseason for men’s golf begins at Big 12 Championships

The regular season is over for the Longhorns, and, from this point on, all roads lead to Kansas, the site of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. First on the agenda for Texas, though, is this weekend’s Big 12 Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity.

Texas heads into the weekend as the reigning Big 12 champion after it beat Oklahoma State by a 4-stroke margin in 2013. Freshmen Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall take on their first collegiate championship in Trinity this weekend, but, if the regular season is any evidence, the two youngest golfers are ready for the challenge. 

Hossler, especially, demonstrates this preparation, coming off his first top-five finish ever two weeks ago in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he lead the Longhorns to their eighth-place finish. Senior Toni Hakula and junior Kramer Hickok return to the championship looking to stretch their Big 12 streak to two years, but the team’s veterans aren’t letting the postseason pressure dictate anything for them. 

“I don’t feel like there’s any kind of extra pressure on my shoulders,” Hakula said. “Obviously, I want to do great and I want to finish strong in my college career, but I know that putting too much pressure on myself is just [going to] hurt myself and the team.”

Gaining the No. 3 seed, the Longhorns’ fifth conference title is not going to be a simple stroll to the 18th hole, with tough such competition as No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Oklahoma State gunning for the same prize. 

“We know it’s [going to] be a tough test,” Hakula said. 

Texas isn’t looking back anymore, though. That time has passed, and winning is the only objective left; an objective that, according to Hakula, is within their grasp. 

“That’s our only target — to go out there and win this week,” Hakula said. “And I feel like we can do it for sure.”

—James Grandberry

Men’s tennis earns No. 2 seed for Big 12 Championship

The regular season of the Big 12 Conference has come to an end, but the Longhorns are not finished competing. Saturday will mark the beginning of the Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship in Fort Worth.

Just last week Texas defeated Texas Tech 5-1, sealing the Big 12 regular season title, along with Baylor and Oklahoma.

Texas has only lost two of its last 13 matches, bringing the team to an No. 7 ITA ranking. The team has been in the national top-10 in nine of the last 10 ITA polls. 

In addition to their ranking, the Longhorns have earned the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Championship.

“All the guys are excited about the opportunity this weekend and we are looking to carry the momentum from the regular season into the conference tournament and come away with another Big 12 title,” junior Jacoby Lewis said.

—Brianna Holt

Women's golf takes momentum going into Big 12 Championship

Texas will host the 18th annual Big 12 Championship this weekend at the University of Texas Golf Club with first tee set for Friday morning.

Currently at the peak of their season, the Longhorns are poised to make a strong showing this weekend, coming off of two consecutive top-10 finishes against ranked opponents at the SDSU Farms Invitational and the PING/ASU Invitational.

The team, made up of consistent season starters junior Bertine Strauss, sophomore Natalie Karcher, freshman Julia Beck, sophomore Tezira Abe and freshman Laura Weinstein, will face a tough lineup of strong Big 12 teams. Texas is the sixth seed, with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State rounding out the top three.

Following the top three, who will kick off the action Friday at 8 a.m., Texas tees off at 8:50 alongside No. 4 Baylor and No. 5 Kansas. No. 7 TCU, No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 9 Kansas will follow at 9:40 a.m.

—Caroline Hall

Longhorn women’s tennis enter Big 12 tournament with momentum

After a back-and-forth regular season, the Longhorns head into the Big 12 Tournament this weekend as the No. 3 seed when they meet sixth-seeded TCU.

Texas (11-11, 6-3 Big 12) may be heading into the tournament with two consecutive conference losses, but the team has a couple of reasons to be confident that it will be a factor in the tournament.

First, they have won the last two Big 12 Championships as either the third or fourth seed. Also, their losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor could have gone either way with both matches ending in a 4-3 decision. A rematch against either or both teams in the tournament might also be close.

The Horned Frogs, who defeated Texas 5-2 in the conference opener, stand in the way of the Longhorns advancing past the quarterfinals. This match between Texas and TCU was also close, as the Longhorns had an opportunity to win the doubles point.

Texas and TCU will begin play Friday in Fort Worth at 3 p.m.

—Chris Caraveo