After starting the day with an easy win, the Longhorns had to overcome an unexpectedly tough opponent to earn their second win in a doubleheader on Saturday.
In the morning match, Texas defeated UT-Arlington 7-0 and turned around and got the 6-1 win over UTSA in the evening match. While the score against UTSA might suggest otherwise, the match was anything but a walk in the park for the No. 11 Longhorns.
“I’m going to give UTSA credit and say that I wasn’t very pleased with our performance in the singles matches,” head coach Michael Center said.
Texas swept all three doubles points to put a point on the board first. The doubles team of Alex Hilliard and Sudanwa Sitaram got on the board first with their 8-3 win over the Roadrunners’ number three doubles team. Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland clinched the doubles point for Texas with an 8-5 win at the number two spot, while Chris Camillone and David Holiner finished the doubles sweep with their 8-4 win at the number one doubles line.
The singles matches are where Texas got into some trouble. Out of the six singles matches, all but one went to a third set. Sitaram scored a quick second point for the Longhorns with his 6-0, 6-1 win over Tyler Brown at the number two singles line. Junior Daniel Whitehead, ranked No. 69, got the break at 5 all in his first set against Yannick Junger, and served out the set at 7-5, but was unable to carry momentum into the second set, losing it 0-6. In the deciding set, Whitehead broke serve at love-four to get on the board, and won the next two games, but his comeback fell just short as he lost the set 3-6 to give UTSA its only point.
Freshman Lewis dropped his first set, but came back to claim the next two to win his match over Daniel Moser, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to put the Longhorns within one point of clinching the match.
Freshman Lloyd Glasspool delivered the match-clinching point after dropping his first set, and fighting through a tiebreaker in the second to push the match to a third set, where he prevailed with the 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 over Joel Rubio.
After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Holiner had to fight his way back over UTSA’s Martin Ayala, but pulled out the next two sets to get the 6 (4)-7, 6-3, 6-3 win.
In the last match on, Hilliard had to fight through a third set after dropping the second. Just a few minutes after Holiner’s win, Hilliard finished the night with a 6-3, 6 (7)-7, 6-3 victory over David Kelleher at the number five singles spot.
Although Texas walked away with the victory, Center wasn’t happy with the way matches were played.
“I think that [UTSA was] out-working us,” Center said. “We were able to turn matches around and fight through tough situations, but we have to do a better job starting these matches.”
In the morning match against UT-Arlington, the Longhorns had almost no problems, winning two of the three doubles matches and sweeping the singles matches while only dropping two sets.
Center hopes the doubleheader will be a valuable learning experience for his young team.
“I’ll just chalk this one up to one of those days, but we’ve got to learn from it too,” Center said. “If we do that, we’ve got a really good team and I think we’ll improve.”