Rising stars shine in tournament play

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Head coach Michael Center has run the Longhorns’ men’s tennis program since 2000, making the Final Four three times. And following a Round of 16 loss to Ohio State in the NCAA tournament last season, Center’s group now looks to continue its success heading into the 2016-17 regular season.

The Longhorns reached the end of tournament play last week at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Texas Regional with solid performances by freshmen Yuya Ito and Christian Sigsgaard. Ito reached the semifinals of the tournament, picking up four singles wins before falling in three sets to Texas Tech’s 95th-ranked Jolan Cailleau. 

After the singles portion of the tournament, Texas’ doubles pair of Sigsgaard and redshirt sophomore Julian Zlobinsky won their first two matches before falling to the Red Raiders in the third round.

Strong performances throughout the fall tournament season earned Ito and Sigsgaard spots in the USTA/ITA National Indoors Tournament in New York City. The two will be in the Big Apple from Nov. 3 through Nov. 6.

Apart from Texas’ standout freshmen, sophomores Colin Markes and Harrison Scott have also enjoyed fall tournament success.

The two players have combined for a 14-2 singles record on the year, building off a freshman year where they combined for 31 wins and 13 losses in singles play. 

Poor conference records in past seasons have doomed the Longhorns, but two budding freshmen and a strong core of upperclassmen place Texas in contention for a Big 12 title.

The Longhorns will have two months of rest before opening the regular season on Jan. 12 against UTSA.