Texas eyes to defend home court in Longhorn Invitational

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They say there’s no place like home. For the Longhorns, home is hopefully the place where they set the tone for the season.

“This is a great event to kick off the season at home,” head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “We’re going to get a good look at West Virginia, who is new to our conference.”

Texas hosts the Longhorn Invitational this weekend, where 12 teams, including five others from Texas, will be competing.

Coming off of her straight-sets loss in the finals last weekend at the Duke Invitational, sophomore Noel Scott looks to take first place this time around. Considering the opposition she will be going up against this weekend, the task will be a challenge.

“The tournament’s going to be full of high-level players, a lot of challenging matches,” Scott said. “I beat some really good players last week and just want to keep it up.”

Senior Aeriel Ellis, ranked No. 20, is off this weekend, while sophomore Lina Padegimaite will see action for the first time this season. The No. 18-ranked doubles tandem of Scott and Padegimaite will take the court for the Longhorns.

Scott also faces Caroline Thornton of Tulane in the first round of singles play in the Orange Bracket. Junior Elizabeth Begley joins Scott in the bracket, setting up a possible all-Longhorns semifinal.

Sophomore Annat Rabinovich squares off against Leah Fried of Rice University in the Black Bracket. She will also pair up with Victoria Parshikova of North Texas in doubles play, although they will not be playing an official match.

Junior Juliana Gajic will play in the singles’ White Bracket, matching up with UTSA’s Jacobea Junger.

Play at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center will begin each day at 8:30 a.m. starting Friday and will run through Sunday, with the finals ending around 2:00 p.m.