Longhorn women struggle in Madison at ITA Indoor Championships
The Longhorn women’s tennis team just couldn’t seem to put it all together this past weekend at the ITA Indoor Championships. After starting the season strong, registering five wins and just one loss, No. 11 Texas suffered three straight losses in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Longhorns started their weekend against No. 4 Georgia, who came in as a favorite over Texas. After losing the opening doubles point, which the Longhorns have struggled to earn throughout the season, Texas lost the match after dropping three singles matches.
“The outcome was naturally disappointing for our ladies,” head coach Howard Joffe said. “While we did come very close today, it is clear that our team and program are on the rise.”
The Longhorns weren’t able to collect themselves after the initial loss and fell in both of the following matches.
Texas dropped to 5–4 on the season after this weekend’s three losses. On top of that, No. 1-ranked sophomore Bianca Turati dropped her first singles match of the season against No. 25-ranked senior Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss.
Bianca’s twin sister, Anna, who rose to No. 41 in the singles rankings last week, went undefeated in Madison, a lone bright spot on a dim weekend for the Longhorns.
The Texas women return to compete at home this upcoming weekend against South Florida and No. 1 Stanford, a much needed break from travel for the Longhorns.
“For such a young group, it is easy to get discouraged, but every day they have battled superbly,” Joffe said. “I definitely think that a return to Austin and finally getting to compete at home after this long away stretch will be chicken soup for the Longhorns’ proverbial soul.”
Longhorn men win two matches in dominant weekend
The Longhorn men’s team took care of business this weekend with two convincing wins against Utah State and Arkansas.
On Friday, Texas defeated Utah State, 6-1, a match that had to be relocated midway through to the Weller Tennis Center due to rain. The men’s team produced wins at third and first doubles to secure the doubles point. The Longhorns then went on to win five of the six singles matches.
Junior Harrison Scott ground out a tough match against senior Jaime Barajas of Utah State. With the first set knotted at 5-5, Scott dug deep to win two straight games and close out the set 7-5. After losing the second set, Scott was victorious in the 10-point tiebreaker to close out the match with a victory.
Sophomore Yuya Ito was dominant, winning 6-1, 6-0 against Aggies Samuel Serrano. All remaining matches were relocated indoors right after Ito secured his victory.
Despite the apparent lopsidedness of the match with Utah State, Texas head coach Michael Center wanted to make it clear afterward that things were closer than they looked.
“We really got pushed tonight,” Center said. “This team is a very good team … but I like the way we responded and pushed through.”
The Longhorns closed out the weekend with another 6-1 victory on Sunday against Arkansas at the Weller Tennis Center. The men yet again began the match by winning the doubles point for the seventh time in eight matches this season.
Sophomore Christian Sigsgaard started the singles pool for the Longhorns with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory. Ito continued to impress, registering a 6-2, 7-6 (5) match-clinching victory over Arkansas senior Jose Salazar, who is currently ranked No. 59 in the nation in singles.