David Holiner

For senior David Holiner, tennis wasn't always fun. His mother had to force him onto the court at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas. Now, he is excelling at Texas in his final season. He has already played in an NCAA final and is an All-American.

 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Given David Holiner’s obvious passion for tennis and the senior’s illustrious career at Texas, it’s hard to believe that when he first picked up a racket he wanted nothing to do
with the sport.

Holiner first started playing at the age of 6, when his mother would drive him to his local Jewish community center in Dallas and force him onto the court.

“I hated tennis at first,” Holiner said. “But my mom made me keep playing.”

In a sport where many kids start competing before they even enter pre-K, Holiner’s detest for the game at an early age could have put him at a major disadvantage.

After struggling for years to enjoy playing singles, Holiner found his niche as a doubles player. Having a teammate was just the motivation he needed. The Dallas native began to finally enjoy playing the game.

Little did Holiner know that his time at Texas would follow a very similar trend. 

As a freshman, Holiner struggled to find a balance between tennis, academics and a social life, and he found himself struggling to enjoy the sport once again.

But, just as he had grown to love the game in his early years, Holiner grew more comfortable with college life and developed strong relationships with several of his teammates. 

“Although it took a while to adjust, these guys have become my best friends,” Holiner said. “I cherish every moment, and, looking back, it’s sad because I wont be here, but I know I will keep in contact with all of them. They are a big part of my life.” 

And his greatest memory at Texas? The same thing that revived his tennis career as a youngster: playing doubles.

Holiner and his doubles partner, Chris Cammillone, beat the number-one team in the country last season. They made it to the finals in the NCAA tournament and were named All-Americans.

Now, as the team captain in his final season, Holiner says what he has learned as a student-athlete at the University of Texas will stick with him forever. 

“Being the team captain and a student-athlete, you basically have a job and lots of responsibility,” Holiner said. “With every decision you make, you have to keep in mind that you are representing [Texas] at all times. It’s made me mature.”

Just like so many other college students, Holiner isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do after he graduates. After graduation, he plans to get his real estate license and travel the world. But, as an elite athlete, he still has aspirations of going pro and pursuing a career in tennis. 

“I have many options,” Holiner said. “I am not quite sure of where the sport will take me.” 

No matter what he chooses to do, Holiner knows that he’s going to miss the experiences he’s had at Texas.

“I’m going to miss the group of guys and being with all my friends every day,” Holiner said. “The family atmosphere that UT provides and the many relationships and friendships I’ve made will all be missed.”

The Texas men’s tennis team continues its fall play in Tulsa, Okla., at the 2013 ITA Men’s All-American Championships, which begins with singles pre-qualifying on Sept. 28.

Redshirt senior David Holiner and juniors Clement Homs and Jacoby Lewis will be the Longhorns’ representatives in the singles pre-qualifying rounds. If any of the three advance, they will join fellow Longhorn juniors Adrien Berkowicz and Lloyd Glasspool, freshman George Goldhoff, sophomore Nick Naumann and senior Sudanwa Sitaram in qualifying.  Junior Soren Hess-Olesen will not play until the main draw.  

In doubles, Holiner/Naumann, Lewis/Sitaram, Berkowicz/Goldhoff and Hess-Olesen/Glasspool will compete in the qualifying round, after which the top eight pairs advance to the main draw. 

The men’s tennis team traveled to California this weekend to take on No. 2 USC and No. 7 Pepperdine.

Texas began the weekend with high hopes as David Holiner and Daniel Whitehead took an easy 8-1 doubles point against USC’s Gomez/Johnson to start things off. After that, things went downhill as the Longhorns lost the next two doubles matches, securing the doubles point for USC. In the singles matches Texas was shut out, falling to all six of the ranked
USC players.

The Longhorns looked to bounce back from their loss in Los Angeles on Friday as they traveled to face Pepperdine in Malibu. However, things did not go much better for Texas on Sunday, either. Holiner/Whitehead were the only doubles team to win, forfeiting the doubles point to Pepperdine.

No. 98 Nick Naumann provided a ray of light for Texas as he defeated Mousheg Hovhannisyan, improving his dual match singles record to 4-1 on the season. Unfortunately, he was the only Longhorn to capture a singles victory on the day.

Texas drops to 4-3 on the season after beginning 3-0. The Longhorns will have an almost three-week break before returning to competition at the Pennick-Allison Tennis Center here in Austin Feb. 21, as they host UT-Arlington and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Men's Tennis

Play began Thursday in Flushing, N.Y., as the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships got under way at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Senior Daniel Whitehead represented the Longhorns as he competed in the singles draw after receiving automatic entry through his win at the Texas Regional Championships on Oct. 23. Whitehead was defeated in his first match against California’s Ben McLachlan (6-2, 6-1), who ranked No. 16 in the ITA preseason rankings.

However, two Longhorns are still alive in the tournament. Doubles tandem Chris Camillone and David Holiner, the No. 8-ranked doubles team in the country, received a late invitation to Flushing as they were chosen as alternates in the doubles draw. Camillone and Holiner received a bye in the first round of 32 but played a tough match against North Florida’s Moritz Buerchner and Norbert Nemcsek in the round of 16, where they won 8-6.

The win puts Camillone and Holiner at an 8-2 record this fall and, more importantly, advances them to the quarterfinals Friday against Duke’s No. 16 Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler.  

Days two and three of the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championships proved to be more difficult for the Longhorns’ men’s tennis team than day one.

Sophomore Jacoby Lewis, who started the Texas advancement with a day-one upset against No. 7 Vitor Manzini, fell to TCU’s Will Stein in a tough three-set match (6-3, 2-6, 7-6). The rest of the Longhorns advanced beyond the round of 32 in Sunday’s action except Ben Chen, who was ousted by Baylor’s Marko Krickovic (6-3, 7-6).

In the round of 16, Texas players began to drop like flies. David Holiner, Andrew Korinek and Nick Naumann all fell in tough, three-set matches while Sudanwa Sitaram defeated Texas teammate Lloyd Glasspool (6-0, 6-3). Whitehead also advanced as he defeated TAMU-CC’s Peter Nagy (7-6, 6-3).

In the doubles round of 16, two of the four Texas teams advanced to the quarterfinals: top-seeded Chris Camillone/Holiner beat UT-Arlington’s Sebastian/Williams (8-1) and Lewis/Sitaram upset Baylor’s No. 4 Krickovic/Verzaal (8-6).

Lewis/Sitaram lost in the quarterfinals to Texas A&M’s Bautista/Withrow (8-5), but Camillone/Holiner defeated Lenz/Zsiga of Baylor (8-6) before losing to Adams/Vinsant of A&M (8-5) in a semifinal upset.

Whitehead defeated Baylor’s Krickovic (6-2, 6-2) in the quarterfinals while Texas teammate Sitaram ran away with a victory against Texas A&M’s Szabo (6-4, 6-3). The two then faced off in the semifinals, where Whitehead emerged victorious over Sitaram (6-3, 7-6) in a battle of Longhorns.

Whitehead will face Baylor’s Julian Lenz in the finals today for the chance to travel to New York for the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 8-10.

The Longhorns ended what seemed like a promising run in the singles and doubles main draw rounds of the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend. Sophomore Soren Hess-Olesen, seniors Daniel Whitehead and Chris Camillone, and juniors Sudanwa Sitaram and David Holiner headlined the action for Texas.

Hess-Olesen started the singles main draw strong, defeating Michigan’s No. 31 Spencer Newman, 7-6, 6-4, and edging out All-American sophomore No. 5 Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss, 6-2, 7-5. He advanced to the third round of 16 of the main draw after the two wins Thursday. Hess-Olesen exited the tournament Friday with a loss to University of Tulsa’s Japle DeKlerk, 6-0, 6-2.

Whitehead made it through two rounds of the consolation singles draw before being knocked out by Tennessee’s Hunter Reese. Whitehead defeated Boise State’s Andrew Bettles, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and outlasted LSU’s Olivier Borsos, 6-4, 6-3, in the second round before being knocked out by Reese Saturday.

Whitehead and Sitaram played impressively as they advanced through the doubles qualifying rounds in Tulsa. The duo won four straight en route to securing a spot in the consolation round, where they were finally defeated by University of Georgia’s Hemus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-3. The Longhorns’ doubles team of Holiner and Camillone, ranked as the No. 8 doubles team coming into the competition, defeated Oregon’s Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen, 8-6, before losing in a close match to Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis, 9-8.

The Longhorns’ performance at the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend was a drastic improvement from their outing in the championships last year. The Longhorns had two singles players and two doubles teams in the main draw and consolation rounds this year compared to having no players participate in the main events in 2011.

The Longhorns are off to a bad start at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships. Texas senior Ben Chen along with sophomores Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland were all eliminated in the pre-qualifying singles round Saturday.

Chen and Lewis escaped the first round with byes, but Swaysland was not as fortunate, falling in the first round to Vukasin Teofanovic of Marquette (6-4, 6-4). Lewis followed with a loss in the second round to Russell Bader of Penn State (7-6, 7-5). Chen was also outed in the second round by Adam Lee of Wake Forest (5-0) before having to surrender due to injury.

The Longhorns will have to play better if they hope to advance to the championships, as they’ve done in previous tournaments this year. Texas should see promising play from No. 42 sophomore Soren Hess-Olesen, No. 46 senior Daniel Whitehead, No. 99 David Holiner, Chris Camillone and No. 109 Sudanwa Sitaram as they continue play in Tulsa, Okla.

Camillone, Holiner and Sitaram will continue play in the qualifying singles round, hoping to do better than their teammates in the pre-qualifying rounds. 

Chen will hopefully play with his doubles partner Daniel Whitehead, the No. 38 doubles team, in the qualifying doubles round this upcoming week.

The Championships will conclude this week with Hess-Olesen and Whitehead in the main draw singles round and No. 8 Holiner and Camillone in the main draw doubles round.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

This weekend is the start of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, OK. The event will last a little more than a week and starts Sept. 29 with pre-qualifying rounds, continuing through Oct. 7 with the main draw. The Longhorns sent four players to each of the first two events this year but will be sending many more to the ITA Championships.

Soren Hess-Olesen, who was edged out in last week’s Napa Valley Classic finals by Georgia’s Nathan Pasha, will participate in the main draw singles along with teammate Daniel Whitehead. Chris Camillone, David Holiner and Sudanwa Sitaram will compete in the qualifying singles. Camillone and Holiner will also participate in the main draw doubles pool as a team. Whitehead will compete in the qualifying doubles with teammate Ben Chen. Chen, Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland will round out the Longhorn participants in the pre-qualifying singles.

Texas has been out to a great start this season with impressive play all-around at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Napa Valley Classic. Hess-Olesen, No. 42 on ITA’s preseason singles rankings, and Whitehead, No. 46, did well in their first events this year and should do well again in Tulsa. Doubles duo Holiner and Camillone, No. 8 on ITA’s preseason doubles rankings, should also do well at the championships the following week.

The Texas Longhorns’ highly touted men’s tennis team is looking to get its fall season off to a good start this weekend, playing in two separate tournaments in two different parts of the country. Head coach Michael Center and a group of underclassmen will head to Midland to compete in the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational, while assistant head coach Ricardo Rubio will lead a group of upperclassmen to Chicago where they will compete in the Olympia Fields Club Invitational.

Heading to Midland are freshmen Andrew Korinek and Nick Naumann, along with sophomores Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland. The tournament hosts athletes from 14 different schools, including Texas A&M and a number of other Big 12 schools. The Longhorns are no strangers to success out in Midland as senior Daniel Whitehead won the tournament last year.

On the other side of the country, the Longhorns will bring junior David Holiner and a trio of seniors made up of Chris Camillone, Alex Hilliard and Ben Chen. Holiner and Camillone open the fall season as the eighth-ranked doubles team.

Texas has four players ranked nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, but only Holiner, ranked 99th, will be competing this weekend. Holiner finished his sophomore campaign with a 25-8 record and All-Big 12 honors, and will be looking to parlay that into a stellar junior season.

Both tournaments will begin today and carry over into the weekend, with the finals being played Sunday.

Men's Tennis

After finishing conference play with their third loss, the Longhorns look to bounce back with a win in the conference tournament this weekend against a familiar foe.

No. 18 Texas will take on the host team, No. 34 ranked Texas A&M, in the second match today in College Station. The Longhorns are the No. 4 seed, while the Aggies hold the No. 5 tournament seed.

Should Texas win this match, they will face the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma on Saturday. The Sooners took the match against the Longhorns by a 5-2 count at the end of March.

This will be the fourth matchup between the two in-state rivals this season. Texas took the last two matches, with the most recent being a thrilling 4-3 win in the final Lone Star Showdown two weeks ago. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the Longhorns had to weather an Aggie comeback before junior Ben Chen came back from 2-5 down in the final set to win his match and clinch the victory. Texas’ other victory came during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Team Indoor Championship, which Texas won by a 4-3 count in February.

The Aggies’ lone win against the Longhorns came during the Texas Cup match in Houston, which they won by another 4-3 score.

Historically, Texas has done well at the conference tournament, reaching five of the last six finals, and has claimed four titles, most recently in 2006 and 2010. In order to keep that finals appearance streak up, Texas will need the top of the singles lineup to produce wins and strong play from the doubles teams.

In doubles, the Longhorns are led by the No. 36 ranked duo of junior Chris Camillone and sophomore David Holiner. The pair has an 18-9 overall record and is 8-3 in tournament play. Earlier in the season, they posted a win over a top 10 doubles team from Tulsa.

Also ranked is the duo of junior Daniel Whitehead and Chen at No. 78. The pair has been pretty solid, with a 14-6 overall record and a 5-3 record at the number two doubles line.

In singles, Texas will need to get wins from the top spots, held down by the No. 70 ranked freshman Soren Hess-Olesen, No. 101 Whitehead and sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram, who won his first conference singles title for the number three singles line. Sitaram has been having a solid second year in the lineup, with 27-11 overall record, and an impressive 11-5 mark at the number three spot.

Hess-Olesen has had a fairly good season, considering he is holding down the No. 70 spot in his first year of collegiate competition with a 20-12 record and 9-7 record at the top spot.

Whitehead started the season off well, but has fallen down in the rankings recently with a 9-9 record at the number two line. Granted, he has faced some tough competition in terms of consistently playing against ranked singles players.

Another player that has been solid for the Longhorns is Holiner, who held a nine-match winning streak at one point this season, and has a 4-1 conference record. Holiner had an upset this season when he defeated a USC player ranked No. 41 in the team’s 6-1 loss to the No. 1 team.