Joffe looking for improvement from Longhorn tennis team

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The Longhorn women’s tennis team knows it needs dramatic improvement after last weekend’s tournament at Furman University.

Texas left South Carolina on the final day of the Debbie Southern Fall Classic on Sunday with just three victories compared to eight losses. Texas also recorded a pair of doubles wins Friday and earned five victories Saturday the first two days of the tournament.

After the final matches concluded, head coach Howard Joffe emphasized his team’s need to work on playing a full match with consistent skill.

“Our ladies played with great skill at times, but in most cases it was not sustained,” Joffe said. “They understand we will need to improve vastly over the course of this fall.”

Senior Katie Poluta headlined the day for Texas with two doubles victories. The first came against Eva Borders and Mary Hunter Hyche of Furman in an 8–4 decision. Then, a win over Ohio State’s Andrea Ballinger and Marybeth Hurley was captured by Poluta and her partner, Vanderbilt’s Lauren Gish, with a score of 8–3.

Poluta and Gish ended the tournament with a perfect record of 3–0 after defeating Clemson’s Alex Angyalosy and Laura Marti with another 8–3 win on Saturday.

Junior Petra Granic and sophomore Bojana Markovic, the No. 21 duo in the preseason Oracle/ITA doubles rankings, carried on with the Texas doubles victories on Friday with an 8–6 win against over Georgia Tech. Later on, however, the Longhorns couldn’t quite finish on top, as they went on to lose to Carla Touly and Emmanuelle Salas of Florida State, 8–6.

Day two of the Fall Classic showcased the most victories for the Longhorns as the women walked off the courts with a total of five wins and three losses. Tijana Spasojevic, a freshman from Serbia, secured her first collegiate victory in a singles match against Furman’s Katty Weymouth in two sets (6–4, 6–2).  The Longhorns gained four singles wins on Saturday, which included Granic’s 2–1 win against No. 11 Carla Touly of Florida State. Granic is ranked No. 40 in the preseason Oracle/ITA singles rankings.

The end of the tournament on Sunday brought the Longhorns three more singles victories. Sophomore Bojana Markovic, who is No. 95 in the preseason Oracle/ITA singles rankings, won an impressive match against No. 75 Shiori Fukada of Ohio State.

Joffe praised Markovic’s (6–7), (7–5), (6–4), (6–4) victory stating, “Bojana played our best match of the weekend and was rewarded with a ranked win.”

Poluta and sophomore Fernanda Labraña also came out victorious on Sunday, while Granic, lost 6–1, 6–0 against Wake Forest’s No. 16, Emma Davis. Spasojevic also fell against No. 55 Ana Oparenovic from Florida State, 6–1, 6–2.

“There’s no question our very ordinary performance at this tournament reveals the need for huge improvement, individually and collectively,” Joffe said.