Longhorns dominate then struggle at ITA Tournament

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Texas had two performances on the opposite side of the spectrum this weekend.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, hosted one of 15 four-team tournaments across the country with the winner of each advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 10–13 at Yale University. 

The Longhorns took a huge stride toward nationals after a convincing victory over Columbia in the first round.

Columbia jumped out to a 1-0 lead after posting two wins at the first and second doubles positions.

After doubles, the Longhorns depended on singles, which consisted of a couple of debuts for freshmen Bianca Turati and Petra Granic. 

“Having lost the doubles point to an excellent and well-coached Columbia team, the pressure on our lineup for the singles was intense,” second-year Texas head coach Howard Joffe said. “Even more daunting was having three freshmen debut in our top four spots.”

But senior Neda Koprcina, sophomore Katie Poluta as well as the freshmen all prevailed, giving the Longhorns the 4-1 victory. 

The Longhorns followed up Saturday’s win with a championship matchup against No. 2 North Carolina (4–0).

With a birth to nationals in New Haven, Connecticut, on the line, the Tar Heels didn’t leave any room for error on Sunday afternoon. North Carolina got off to a quick 1-0 lead after earning the doubles point. 

The Tar Heels didn’t let up. Texas failed to get on the board after getting shut out in singles as well, giving the Tar Heels the at-large berth at the ITA National Championship. 

The Longhorns will look to get back on track Feb. 5 when they travel to Michigan.