Third-seeded Longhorns to meet second-seeded Texas A&M in the semifinals Saturday morning.
WACO – Third-seeded Texas (18-7) took the doubles point and added singles wins from Ed Corrie, Daniel Whitehead and Sudanwa Sitaram in a 4-1 victory over sixth-seeded Nebraska (15-12) Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big 12 Championships at the Baylor Tennis Center.
Texas will makes its seventh consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championships and will take on second-seeded Texas A&M on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Central. The semifinals previously had been scheduled to go off at noon, but the start times were moved up due to the threat of inclement weather later Saturday afternoon. Texas and Texas A&M have split the two matches between the two schools this season.
At second doubles, UT’s Ben Chen and Kellen Damico broke Nebraska’s Calin Paar and Benedikt Lindheim and assumed a 5-3 lead. UT held serve, broke Nebraska’s serve once more and held serve to close out an 8-3 win over the Huskers. At first singles, UT’s Corrie and Vasko Mladenov broke Nebraska’s 52nd-ranked duo of Christopher Aumueller and Andre Stenger to take an 8-7 lead and held serve in the next game to close out a 9-7 victory. The remaining match at third doubles featuring UT’s Chris Camillone and Whitehead was suspended.
At second singles, UT’s 33rd-ranked Corrie took a 4-0 first-set lead over Nebraska’s Paar before Paar called for a medical timeout. Corrie went on to finish off the first-set victory, 6-3. Corrie had little trouble with Paar in the second set and cruised to a 6-1 second-set win to stake Texas to a 2-0 lead.
Nebraska’s 76th-ranked Aumueller responded with a 6-1, 6-4 win over UT’s Damico at first singles, but the Horns would put the Huskers away with victories at the fifth and sixth singles slots. At 5-all at fifth singles, UT’s Whitehead broke the serve of Nebraska’s Sebastian Florczyk and assumed a 6-5 lead before holding serve in the next game to close out the first set, 7-5. Whitehead, like Corrie, had little trouble with his opponent in the second set, and he surrendered nothing on his way to a 6-0 second-set win that extended the Texas lead to 3-1.
At sixth singles, UT’s Sitaram picked up an early service break on NU’s Eric Sock and broke once more for a 5-2 lead before closing out set one, 6-2. Sitaram broke early on again in set two and closed out Sock in the second set, 6-3 to give Texas its fourth and match-clinching point. The remaining matches at third and fourth singles were suspended.
Texas head coach Michael Center
On the win
“Nebraska beat us in the doubles last time, but we got on top today. In these (windy) conditions, nothing comes easily. I was really happy with the way we finished that off. In singles, we got on top of them and got a lot of first sets. Overall it was a great effort. We’ve got a quick turnaround and we have a tough match tomorrow.”
On Saturday’s semifinal match against Texas A&M
“Texas A&M has a very good team. They have pretty much the same team they had last year, aside from adding one guy. We know them well, they know us well. We have played about three times a year for the last several years, so there won’t be any surprises. The more aggressive team will come out on top and that is what we’re hoping to do.”
Nebraska head coach Kerry McDermott
On the match
“We’ve been playing great in doubles. We actually won the double points to close out the conference season in the past four matches we played, so we felt pretty comfortable with our doubles. They just got a couple of breaks in the matches that they won so we knew it was going to be close doubles points. In the singles, they got the first sets behind them and you could just see them gaining momentum. They did a good job and they brought their game today.”
2011 Big 12 Championships – Men’s Quarterfinals
No. 14 Texas 4, Nebraska 1
Doubles – Order of Finish: 2, 1
1 Ed Corrie/Vasko Mladenov (UT) def. #52 Christopher Aumueller/Andre Stenger (NU) – 9-7
2 Ben Chen/Kellen Damico (UT) def. #89 Calin Paar/Benedikt Lindheim (NU) – 8-3
3 Chris Camillone/Daniel Whitehead (UT) vs. Taylor Boney/Robert Schulze (NU) – 6-5, susp.
Singles – Order of Finish: 2, 1, 5, 6
1 #76 Christopher Aumueller (NU) def. #45 Kellen Damico (UT) – 6-1, 6-4
2 #33 Ed Corrie (UT) def. Calin Paar (NU) – 6-3, 6-1
3 Ben Chen (UT) vs. Benedikt Lindheim (NU) – 6-3, 2-4, susp.
4 Vasko Mladenov (UT) vs. Andre Stenger (NU) – 7-6, 4-5, susp.
5 Daniel Whitehead (UT) def. Sebastian Florczyk (NU) – 7-5, 6-0
6 Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Eric Sock (NU) – 6-2, 6-3