No. 8 Texas overpowers California, 4-0

No. 8 Texas (3-0) came out aggressively in doubles play and tacked on three singles victories in a decisive 4-0 win over California Sunday afternoon at a frigid Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the UT campus.

Coupled with its win on Saturday over Middle Tennessee State, Texas’ win over California sends the Longhorns to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for a fourth consecutive season. The Longhorns earned one of the 16 team bids up for grabs in the event scheduled for Feb. 12-15 at The University of Virginia.

At second doubles, Texas juniors Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico broke California’s Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt for a 3-1 lead and never looked back en route to an 8-3 victory. Texas sophomore Jean Andersen and freshman Daniel Whitehead broke California’s 49th-ranked duo of Bozhidar Katsarov and Riki McLachlan to assume a 5-3 lead, and the Texas tandem took the next three games to win the match, 8-3 and nail down the doubles point for the Longhorns.

Texas quickly put away the Golden Bears in the singles session with victories at the first, fourth and second positions. Texas’ fifth-ranked Dimitar Kutrovsky broke Cal’s Pedro Zerbini early on at the first set and never lost control of the match in a 6-3, 6-3 win that gave UT a 2-0 lead.

UT senior Josh Zavala overpowered California’s Katsarov from the start at fourth singles and cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win that staked Texas to a 3-0 lead. Soon after, UT’s Corrie finished off the Golden Bears’ 33rd-ranked Dahan by a 6-2, 6-2 count at the second slot to nail down the victory for Texas. The remaining matches were abandoned with the match’s outcome secured.

Texas will go head-to-head with Texas A&M on Friday, Feb. 5 in Houston at the Texas Cup, a non-conference, indoor series between the two schools. First serve is set for 6 p.m. at The Downtown Club at The Met.

Texas head coach Michael Center
On the team’s overall performance
“I thought our guys played really well today. The conditions were tough for both teams. This was the coldest dual match I’ve coached in at Texas. I’m not sure it got above 35 degrees today. I thought our guys did a great job and beat a very good California team. That’s a really good team we beat today.”

On the Horns’ doubles effort
“There were a couple of mistakes on key points. I thought Ed (Corrie) and Kellen (Damico) played a great match at No. 2. They were in control from the beginning. At No. 3, there were several breaks to start, but they kind of settled in and really played well. I was impressed. Daniel Whitehead and Jean Andersen are both tremendous athletes.”

On the singles winners
“We’ll go as far as those guys can take us. Dimitar Kutrovsky is a warrior and a winner. He came out and jumped on top of his guy. He finished the match and served it out really well. Ed Corrie was solid all day long. He was relentless and took it to another level. Josh Zavala is a flat-out winner. He just knows how to get it done.”

On the program earning its fourth consecutive trip to the ITA National Team Indoors
“You’ve got to earn your way to this tournament. I think we will see some fresh faces that weren’t getting the opportunity to be there at this event. We feel like we’re one of the top teams, and our goal is to be the top team. We can’t prove that if we don’t play in events like the ITA National Team Indoors. We had a lot on the line today, and we feel we belong in that top group. These guys wanted the opportunity to play in Virginia (at the ITA National Team Indoors), and the guys wouldn’t let that get away from them.”

ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas (outdoors)
Championship Match
#8 Texas 4, California 0 (Time of Match: 2:20)
Doubles – Order of Finish: 2, 3
1 #22 Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) vs. Dahan/Zerbini (Cal) – 3-7, susp.
2 Corrie/Damico (UT) def. #49 Andrews/Konigsfeldt (Cal) – 8-3
3 Andersen/Whitehead (UT) def. Katsarov/McLachlan (Cal) – 8-3

Singles – Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2
1 #5 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. Pedro Zerbini (Cal) – 6-3, 6-3
2 #9 Ed Corrie (UT) def. #33 Jonathan Dahan (Cal) – 6-2, 6-2
3 Kellen Damico (UT) vs. Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) – 6-4, 3-6, susp.
4 #38 Josh Zavala (UT) def. #98 Bozhidar Katsarov (Cal) – 6-2, 6-3
5 Jean Andersen (UT) vs. Nick Andrews (Cal) – 6-4, 3-4, susp.
6 #104 Vasko Mladenov (UT) vs. Riki McLachlan (Cal) – 6-3, 3-0, susp.

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