Strong doubles play contributes to a 4-1 Longhorns victory in Nashville over the Commodores.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 15 Texas (3-1) took the doubles point and added singles wins from freshmen Noel Scott and Lina Padegimaite and senior Krista Damico, as the Longhorns posted a 4-1 win at No. 17 Vanderbilt (1-1) Sunday in the final round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The win qualifies Texas for next month’s ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va. It will mark the Longhorns’ first appearance in the event since 2006.
The Longhorns took two doubles matches to claim the doubles point and assume a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Elizabeth Begley and Damico won convincingly at the No. 3 doubles slot, as they notched an 8-3 victory over Vanderbilt’s duo of Lauren Mira and Nelly Radeva. An 8-5 win by junior Aeriel Ellis and sophomore Cierra Gaytan-Leach at No. 2 doubles clinched the doubles point for the Longhorns.
“Getting the doubles point today was huge,” UT head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “We’ve been close to getting it and have played well in doubles. It was nice to get that and get a little breathing room.”
Scott kept the scoring going for UT with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 win at the No. 2 singles spot over Lauren Mira, putting Texas up 2-0.
“It was unbelievable how well Noel played,” Fendick-McCain said. “Noel completely dictated every single point.”
Vanderbilt registered a win at fourth singles to cut the Texas lead to 2-1, but Padegimaite’s 6-3, 6-3 win at fifth singles over Vanderbilt’s Ashleigh Antal earned another point for Texas and gave the Horns a 3-1 lead.
“Lina was trailing every game, it seemed, all match long,” Fendick-McCain said. “She got down 3-0 in her second set but came up with some great shots to get back into the match. Lina was so determined. She just battled out there.”
Damico clinched the victory and the ITA National Team Indoor Championship berth for Texas with her 7-5, 6-3 win over Marie Casares at third singles.
The ITA National Team Indoor Championship kicks off on February 10 at The University of Virginia.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend
No. 15 Texas 4, No. 17 Vanderbilt 1
Doubles: Order of Finish: 3, 2
1. Lina Padegimaite/Noel Scott (Texas) vs. Jackie Wu/Alex Leatu (VU) 7-5, susp.
2. Aeriel Ellis/Cierra Gaytan-Leach (Texas) def. Ashleigh Antal/Marie Casares (VU) 8-5
3. Krista Damico/Elizabeth Begley (Texas) def. Lauren Mira/Nelly Radeva (VU) 8-3
Singles: Order of Finish: 2, 4, 5, 3
1. #23 Jackie Wu (VU) vs. #47 Aeriel Ellis (Texas) 7-6(-7), 2-1, susp.
2. #119 Noel Scott (Texas) def. #69 Lauren Mira (VU) 6-0, 6-2
3. Krista Damico (Texas) def. #110 Marie Casares (VU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Alex Leatu (VU) def. Cierra Gaytan-Leach (Texas) 6-4, 6-3
5. Lina Padegimaite (Texas) def. Ashleigh Antal (VU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Nelly Radeva (VU) vs. Elizabeth Begley (Texas), 3-1, susp.