The men’s tennis team prepares for the first of four national championship events in what could be the most challenging competition of the fall season. Saturday marks the start of the pre-qualifying draws for the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The ITA Championships is a grueling, nine-day event which presents one of the toughest fields in collegiate tennis. It features teams from across the heart of the U.S., including Arkansas, Tulsa, Wichita State and Big 12 rivals such as OSU and three-time national runner-up Oklahoma.
Nine of the team’s 12 players will accompany head coach Michael Center and his staff to the event, all but one of whom will have to compete in qualifying draws in order to advance. Texas senior George Goldhoff secured his place in the main singles draw with an impressive No. 23 ITA preseason single rank. He is one of 48 elite players from around the country to be admitted, including No. 1 Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State and No. 4 Thai-Son Kwiatkowksi of the University of Virginia.
Texas sophomore Harrison Scott joins three teammates in the qualifying draws, including freshmen Yuya Ito and Leonardo Telles, ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, among newcomers. In his last outing, Scott toppled No. 15 William Bushamuka of Kentucky to win the singles title at the John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic.
The week prior, sophomore Colin Markes claimed the singles title at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland, finishing with an undefeated record.
Markes and four other Longhorns will attempt to fight through the pre-qualifying draws starting Saturday. With a slew of wins already under their belt, the Longhorns look to build upon what has been one of the strongest starts in recent history.