Longhorns secure sixth consecutive berth into the ITA National Team Indoor Championship at The University of Virginia.
AUSTIN – No. 17 Texas (4-0) rallied to win the doubles point and picked up singles wins from freshman Lloyd Glasspool, sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram and junior Daniel Whitehead to secure a 4-0 non-conference win over No. 21 Texas Tech (3-1) Sunday in the final round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The win delivers Texas its sixth consecutive berth to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship to be contested next month.
The duo of freshman Jacoby Lewis and Sitaram won their second doubles match of the weekend, as they posted an 8-6 win over Texas Tech’s Jeff Bryan and Gabriel Wanderley at third doubles. The Red Raiders won at first doubles, leading the outcome of the doubles point to come down to the second doubles slot.
The No. 2 doubles match, featuring UT’s David Holiner and Whitehead, progressed into a tiebreaker after Holiner and Whitehead fought back from a 7-4 deficit. Holiner and Whitehead trailed 3-1 in the tiebreaker before digging deep to claim the next four points and a 5-3 lead off of a big Holiner forehand. The duo finished off the tiebreaker, 7-4 to clinch the doubles point for Texas.
“We were hanging in there. We got a service break and saved a match point with really aggressive play,” said UT head coach Michael Center of the fiery Holiner/Whitehead tandem. “It was one of those moments where you have to step up and make a play. I thought our guys did that today.”
Freshman Lloyd Glasspool won the No. 4 singles match, 6-3, 6-1 to keep the scoring going for the Longhorns, putting them up 2-0.
UT took a 3-0 lead over with Sitaram’s 6-2, 6-2 convincing win over Texas Tech’s Rafael Garcia at third singles.
The 112th-ranked Whitehead clinched the match for Texas with a 6-1, 6-4 win at the No. 2 singles spot over the Red Raiders’ 23rd-ranked Gonzalo Escobar. Whitehead won both singles and both doubles matches he played in this weekend.
“[Whitehead] is the energy of our team,” Center said. “He is not only really athletic and can make great plays, but he has that persona that makes people want to follow him. He has been fantastic. He has really taken ownership of being a captain this year.”
Texas will head to Charlottesville, Va., next weekend to take on No. 2 Virginia (Feb. 3) before finishing off the road swing on Feb. 5 at No. 18 North Carolina.
No. 17 Texas 4, No. 21 Texas Tech 0
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Carvalho/Garcia (TTU) def. Hess-Olesen/Hilliard (UT) – 8-3
2. Whitehead/Holiner (UT) def. Escobar/Manzini (TTU) – 9-8 (4)
3. Lewis/Sitaram (UT) def. Bryan/ Wanderley (TTU) – 8-6
Singles – Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2
1. Soren Hess- Olesen (UT) vs. Raony Carvalho (TTU), – 4-6, 2-4, susp.
2. Daniel Whitehead (UT) def. Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) – 6-1, 6-4
3. Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Rafael Garcia (TTU) – 6-2, 6-2
4. Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. Francisco Zambon (TTU) – 6-3, 6-1
5. David Holiner (UT) vs. Vitor Manzini (TTU) – 1-6, 3-5, susp.
6. Alex Hilliard (UT) vs. Raphael Pfister (TTU) – 7-6 (5), 3-0, susp
Head Coach Michael Center
On the team’s play throughout the two ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches: I thought it was really good. I was really pleased from start to finish. I thought we competed really well and we played well under pressure. I thought today when we got ahead, we kept pushing and we finished the matches. I think we improved even from yesterday. Texas Tech has a great team. That was a great win for us today. I am very happy with what I saw.
On the fiery attitudes of the underclassmen: I thought I saw a little more emotion out of the younger guys, and I saw it out of Lloyd Glasspool. I think he started to see what college tennis is all about. I saw a few fist pumps and a little more emotion. I think it helped his play and he really played well today. I think he will continue to grow. The more tennis he sees at this level, the better he’ll get.