Texas prepares for Big 12 Championships

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Photo Credit: Katie Bauer | Daily Texan Staff

Ahead of this weekend’s upcoming Big 12 Championship tournament, the Longhorns received the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye after they secured the Big 12 regular season title last weekend.

Heading into this weekend’s tournament, No. 6 Texas comes in as the favorite to take home the Big 12 Championship. The Longhorns have won their last 14 matches, including 9 matches against conference opponents. Last weekend’s victory over then-No. 25 Baylor to secure an outright Big 12 regular season title was the first since 2004 for the Longhorns, an incredible marker of success for head coach Howard Joffe, who took over the job in June 2015.

The Longhorns regular season didn’t always look like it would be the dramatic success it finished as, however. After suffering nearly four consecutive losses in two weeks early in the season, three of which came in the team indoor championships against the top ranked teams in the nation, the Longhorns sat at an unimpressive 5–4 and looked to be mediocre at best. However, after an impressive win over perennial powerhouse Stanford and a two-week-long break from competition, the Longhorns surged back to the dominance many predicted prior to the season and returned to top of the
national leaderboards.

“For such a young group to face such adversity early in the season, losing four or five matches, to come back and play a schedule that includes all of these Big 12 teams … to play Stanford, Florida and actually go on a streak of 13 or 14 in a row speaks to their talent, but also a very resilient, very tough and very determined group,” Joffe said. “Certainly, they’ve made the coach look good, that’s for sure.”

Now, the Longhorns prepare to face their biggest challenge of the season: securing the Big 12 championship, which will be hosted in the Longhorns’ very own Texas Tennis Center. Texas will start its Big 12 tourney run on Friday, April 27 at 12 p.m. against either No. 8-seeded TCU or No. 9-seeded West Virginia, who will play each other in the first round of matches on Thursday.

If the Longhorns defeat their first opponent, they would face either fourth-seeded Kansas or fifth-seeded Baylor. The finals are scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.