Soren Hess-Olesen

Texas’ run at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships ended on Friday when Lloyd Glasspool-Soren Hess-Olesen fell in the doubles quarterfinal and freshman Georg Goldhoff lost in singles consolation.

Glasspool-Hess-Olesen were defeated by Benjamin Lock-Marco Nunez of Florida state 8-6. The loss was only their second defeat as a pair for the season and ended a six-match win streak.

In the singles consolation draw Goldhoff was defeated by No. 24 Hunter Reese of Tennessee in straight sets (6-2,6-4). Goldhoff finishes his first fall campaign with the program 11-5, with four victories over ranked opponents.

Texas concludes the fall 65-41 in singles play, including a 13-23 record against ranked opponents. Texas went 31-14 in doubles with a 4-4 record against ranked competition.

The Longhorns’ next time in tournament action is at the Key Biscayne Invitational in Florida, on Jan. 5th to begin spring play. Texas then plays host to SMU on Jan. 11th to open dual-match play.

After receiving a first-round bye in the 20 pair doubles draw, No. 2 seed Lloyd Glasspool-Soren Hess-Olesen defeated Max de Vroome-Eric Johnson of USC (8-4) to advance to the quarterfinals. 

In the quarterfinals, they will face Benjamin Lock-Marco Nunez from Florida State on Friday. Glasspool-Hess-Olesen are now 11-2 as a pair this fall, receiving an automatic bid in this tournament by winning the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship last month.

In the first round of the singles draw, freshman George Goldhoff fell to No. 85 Axel Alvarez in straight sets (7-5,6-1). Goldhoff is now in the consolation bracket of the singles draw. He is the first Longhorn to reach the ITA All-American Tournament quarterfinals since 1998.  Goldhoff is now 11-4 this fall, including a victory over No. 1 Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee.

Texas juniors Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olesen defeated No. 3 Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M with a 8-7(6) win to claim the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship doubles title Tuesday.

With the victory, Glasspool and Hess-Olesen improved to 10-1 together on the season, including a 4-1 record against ranked opponents.  With the regional title, Glasspool and Hess-Olesen received an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in New York, which starts Nov. 7. 

They join freshman George Goldhoff, who claimed his automatic bid by advancing to the singles quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships earlier in the month.

The Longhorns finished the Regional Championship with a 20-10 mark in singles play and a 13-3 doubles record. Texas is now 49-35 on the season in singles play, including a 13-21 record against ranked opponents. The team is 26-10 in doubles play with a 4-4 record against ranked competition.

Texas will host the UT Invitational Oct. 25-27.

Texas continued its strong play in Waco on Monday with several Longhorns advancing deep into the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship draw.

In the quarterfinals Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M defeated 101st-ranked junior Lloyd Glasspool in three sets (6-4,3-6,6-0). In another match 10th-ranked junior Soren Hess-Olesen and sophomore teammate Nick Naumann faced off with Hess-Olesen advancing on straight sets (6-4,6-0) to take on 56th-ranked Vinsant in the semifinals. Hess-Olesen was the tournament’s No. 1 seed but fell in the semifinals to Vinsant (6-4, 6-4).

In one doubles semifinal there was an all-Longhorn match between Glasspool and Hess-Olesen, and George Goldhoff and Jacoby Lewis. Glasspool and Hess-Olesen advanced (8-6) to take on Texas A&M’s Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow for the regional championship match Tuesday. 

Senior David Holiner fell to Tito Moreiras of Texas A&M (6-1,6-3) in the singles consolation quarterfinals while the team of Adrien Berkowicz and Sudanwa Sitaram advanced to the consolation semifinals, but fell in a walkover because of an injury.

The Longhorns ended what seemed like a promising run in the singles and doubles main draw rounds of the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend. Sophomore Soren Hess-Olesen, seniors Daniel Whitehead and Chris Camillone, and juniors Sudanwa Sitaram and David Holiner headlined the action for Texas.

Hess-Olesen started the singles main draw strong, defeating Michigan’s No. 31 Spencer Newman, 7-6, 6-4, and edging out All-American sophomore No. 5 Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss, 6-2, 7-5. He advanced to the third round of 16 of the main draw after the two wins Thursday. Hess-Olesen exited the tournament Friday with a loss to University of Tulsa’s Japle DeKlerk, 6-0, 6-2.

Whitehead made it through two rounds of the consolation singles draw before being knocked out by Tennessee’s Hunter Reese. Whitehead defeated Boise State’s Andrew Bettles, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and outlasted LSU’s Olivier Borsos, 6-4, 6-3, in the second round before being knocked out by Reese Saturday.

Whitehead and Sitaram played impressively as they advanced through the doubles qualifying rounds in Tulsa. The duo won four straight en route to securing a spot in the consolation round, where they were finally defeated by University of Georgia’s Hemus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-3. The Longhorns’ doubles team of Holiner and Camillone, ranked as the No. 8 doubles team coming into the competition, defeated Oregon’s Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen, 8-6, before losing in a close match to Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis, 9-8.

The Longhorns’ performance at the ITA Championships in Tulsa last weekend was a drastic improvement from their outing in the championships last year. The Longhorns had two singles players and two doubles teams in the main draw and consolation rounds this year compared to having no players participate in the main events in 2011.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

This weekend is the start of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, OK. The event will last a little more than a week and starts Sept. 29 with pre-qualifying rounds, continuing through Oct. 7 with the main draw. The Longhorns sent four players to each of the first two events this year but will be sending many more to the ITA Championships.

Soren Hess-Olesen, who was edged out in last week’s Napa Valley Classic finals by Georgia’s Nathan Pasha, will participate in the main draw singles along with teammate Daniel Whitehead. Chris Camillone, David Holiner and Sudanwa Sitaram will compete in the qualifying singles. Camillone and Holiner will also participate in the main draw doubles pool as a team. Whitehead will compete in the qualifying doubles with teammate Ben Chen. Chen, Jacoby Lewis and Joey Swaysland will round out the Longhorn participants in the pre-qualifying singles.

Texas has been out to a great start this season with impressive play all-around at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Napa Valley Classic. Hess-Olesen, No. 42 on ITA’s preseason singles rankings, and Whitehead, No. 46, did well in their first events this year and should do well again in Tulsa. Doubles duo Holiner and Camillone, No. 8 on ITA’s preseason doubles rankings, should also do well at the championships the following week.

The Longhorns traveled to the east this weekend where they were handed their first loss of the season, but were able to rebound by pulling out a tight win over another top 20 team.

On Sunday, No. 17 North Carolina jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after posting wins at the number two and three double spots. Texas’ lone doubles win came from freshman Soren Hess-Olesen and junior Alex Hilliard, who defeated Esben Hess-Olesen, Soren’s twin brother, and Brennan Boyajian 8-3.

The Longhorns evened the score one-all when junior Daniel Whitehead defeated Boyajian 6-1, 6-2 at the number two singles spot. The Tar Heels added another point with a win by William Parker over freshman Joey Swaysland, 6-3, 6-3. Texas evened the score again at two-all with junior Chris Camillone’s 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Oystein Steiro. Sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram gave the Longhorns their first lead of the day with his three set defeat of Esben Hess-Olesen, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (3). Clinching the win for Texas was newcomer Lloyd Glasspool, who joined the team at the beginning of the year and who defeated UNC’s Joey Burkhardt 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

On Friday, No. 2 Virginia handed the Longhorns their first loss of the year, 7-0. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead after sweeping all three matches to claim the doubles point.

“We got a little overpowered in doubles for the first time this season,” said head coach Michael Center. “We did some good things, but we have a lot to learn.”

Virginia added to their total with straight-set wins at the number two, one and three singles spots. Sitaram, playing at the number three spot, took the number one ranked player in the country to a third set, but couldn’t close it out, falling 10-3 in the third set tiebreaker. Glasspool also challenged his opponent at the number four spot, but also fell in the third set tiebreaker, 7-6.

The Longhorns return to action this Friday when they take on Texas A&M at Houston for the Texas Cup.

Men's Tennis

The Longhorns beat a conference foe and went undefeated over the weekend to earn a spot in the indoor championships in February.

On Sunday, Texas defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 4-0.

In the doubles session, the third line duo of freshman Jacoby Lewis and sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram played an even match against juniors Gabriel Wanderley and Jeff Bryan of Tech. The Longhorns got the first service break at 3-3 in the match, but were broken right back on a controversial line call by the chair umpire. Lewis and Sitaram got another break at 5-5, though a hold by Tech allowed Lewis to serve out the set for an 8-6 Texas win.

In the number one doubles slot, freshman Soren Hess-Olesen and junior Alex Hilliard had a tough match against Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia of Tech. Tech got the first break of the match at 2-2 after a lengthy deuce game where the advantage switched back and forth between the teams. Texas was able to break Tech in the next game, but suffered another break at 3-4 to push Tech up to 5-3. Tech went on to close out the match 8-3.

In the match to decide the doubles point, junior Daniel Whitehead and sophomore David Holiner kept it interesting for the fans. The Longhorns got down, but held serve 4-7 and immediately broke the Tech duo of Gonzalo Escobar and Vitor Manzini to make the score 6-7. Both teams held serve to push the match to a tiebreaker. After getting behind 1-3 in the tiebreak, Texas came back and took the set and the doubles point, with a 7-4 win in the tiebreak.

In the singles matches, freshman Lloyd Glasspool, playing in the number four position, scored a quick 6-3, 6-1 victory over Francisco Zambon to put Texas ahead 2-0.

Adding another victory to Texas’ overall total was Sitaram, who didn’t let a Tech injury time-out faze him, as he earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tech’s Garcia.

Earning the final point for Texas was Whitehead, ranked No. 112, who scored a straight set win over Escobar, a USTA/ITA Regional champ ranked No. 23. After winning the first set, 6-0, Whitehead weathered a comeback from Escobar, and got the break at 4 all in the second set and served the match out to give Texas the win. At that point all other singles matches still on court were suspended.

To earn the spot in Sunday’s match, Texas defeated Maryland on Saturday, 4-0. Contributing towards that win were the doubles team of Whitehead and Holiner, and Sitaram and Lewis for the doubles point. Singles victories came from Hess-Olesen, Whitehead and Holiner, who fought back from a 0-4 hole in the second set to take the match with a 6-0, 6-4 win.

With the two victories, Texas sealed its spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at Charlottesville, Va. on Feb. 17-20.

The No. 19 Longhorns beat No. 39 Rice 5-2 by way of a doubles sweep and a strong singles outing on Friday
in Houston.

Texas quickly posted doubles victories and never looked back. Junior Alex Hilliard and freshman Soren Hess-Olesen beat Rice’s Harry Fowler and Justin To at first doubles with a score of 8-2. Daniel Whitehead and David Holiner took the second 8-2, and Jacoby Lewis and Sudanwa Sitaram won the third, 8-7 in a tiebreaker.

“Our effort in doubles was really good,” Texas head coach Michael Center said. “We were very aggressive at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles. We were cutting a lot of points off at the net, and our energy level was really good. I was really pleased with those two doubles teams. “

Sitaram won his singles match from the third spot, freshman Lloyd Glasspool won it in the fifth and Whitehead in the second, but Texas clinched the team victory at first singles, where Hess-Olesen beat Rice’s Harry Fowler, 6-4, 6-4.

“We’ve talked about fighting and competing for every ball,” Center said. “Our top three guys did a really good job tonight. I was really pleased with their performances and the way they competed. Lloyd [Glasspool] was very good at the end of his match today, too. We’re fighting hard and have a lot to learn, but this was a good win for us.”

The Longhorns host Maryland on Saturday at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Printed on Monday, January 23, 2012 as: UT sweeps Rice on road for second win in a week

Men's Tennis

Making the transition from high school to college can be tough. Making the transition from being a high school athlete to a college athlete is even tougher. Making that transition more than 5,000 miles away from home while speaking a different language can seem flat-out impossible.

But tennis player Soren Hess-Olesen hasn’t let those challenges, or the notorious Texas heat, affect his performance out on the courts in his first fall season in burnt orange.

Hess-Olesen was recruited out of Aarhus, the second-largest city and principle port of Denmark, by head coach Michael Center to join the Longhorns. Hess-Olesen’s recruitment started with an email sent by his father to Center about his son’s skills as a player.

As it turned out, associate head coach Ricardo Rubio knew Hess-Olesen’s coach, and after some reseach Center decided to fly to Denmark to see Hess-Olesen play in the Danish National Indoor Championships. Center liked what he saw and offered Hess-Olesen a scholarship.

“He’s a very good competitor,” said Center. “I felt like he would be a guy that would come in and be a very good player for us right away and continue to develop during his time here.”

For Hess-Olesen, the decision to travel 5,000 miles to Austin to play tennis wasn’t a difficult one.

“I hadn’t seen this place before, but I knew it was a good team with a tradition in sports and tennis,” Hess-Olesen said. “[From] the things [coach Center] told me about it, I just got excited by hearing that, so I never really doubted where I wanted to go.”

Tennis came to Hess-Olesen at an early age in life. His father used to play the sport and passed it down to Hess-Olesen and his brothers.

“When we went on vacations with my family, we just played a bit just for the fun of it,” Hess-Olesen said. “Then my older brother started to play. Then my twin brother and I started to play just one or two years after my older brother.”

He started playing competitively when he was 10 years old but split his time between tennis and soccer until he decided to focus solely on tennis at the age of 15. The decision paid off, as he quickly became one of the top players in Denmark and played with the Danish national team, which toured throughout Europe.

“When I was a sophomore, I started thinking about going to college to play tennis,” Hess-Olesen said. “For me, I had two choices: I could try and play full time in Denmark or go [to UT].”

Realizing that turning professional wasn’t the most viable option, Hess-Olesen started looking at the college route.

“Coach Center came to Denmark to watch me play and convince me to choose Texas, so I chose Texas,” he said. “I know if I want to be a better tennis player, this was the best choice I could make.”

While Hess-Olesen doesn’t think the move to Austin from Denmark gave him much of a culture shock, he does admit that there’s a difference in the competition he faces here.

“It’s really about the mental game,” he said. “You can lose to anybody here if you’re not mentally prepared because there are so many good players. Every single school has one or two top players, so the competition is so much bigger. It’s a challenge, [but] a good one.”

Hess-Olesen has done pretty well with that challenge so far this season. In four tournaments, he has made it to the finals in two, but perhaps the bigger feat was his run to the quarterfinals in the ITA All-American Championships, one of three championship tournaments on the collegiate tennis circuit.

After getting his career as a Longhorn off to a strong start, Hess-Olesen is ready to continue building on that success.

“I’m looking forward to the spring, to start competing against other schools,” Hess-Olesen said. “I hope we can win the Big 12 conference title because I know that’s a very prestigious thing.”

Published on Thursday, November 10, 2011 as: Hess-Olesen adjusts to UT after leaving native land