Women's Tennis looks toward NCAA Regionals after Big 12 Championship finale
Fresh from competing in the finals of the Big 12 Conference Championships during the last weekend of April, Coach Patty Fendick-McCain and the Women's Tennis team have their eyes on a bigger prize:
The NCAA Championship.
Having ridden a streak of eight victories in their final nine matches of the season to finish second during the regular season, the Longhorns raced past Kansas State and Texas A&M en route to the conference finals where Baylor prevailed, 4-1. It was UT's third consecutive loss to the Bears in the Big 12 Conference Championships.
"Baylor played a little too well for us," said Fendick-McCain, who took the reins of the UT program in July 2005. "They (Baylor) are a tough team. I thought our players fought really well."
This was the fourth straight year that Texas had met Baylor in the Big 12 Championship finale.
Of the upcoming NCAAs, Fendick-McCain said, "I'm extremely excited."
Sophomore Vanja Corovic is one of the reasons Fendick-McCain is excited and confident that the Horns can improve on their NCAA Round of 32 finish last spring.
Corovic, the 2007 Big 12 Conference Freshman and Newcomer of the Year last season, was one of six letterwinners who returned this season for Fendick-McCain.
Corovic's play was strong in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Big 12 Championships, as she recorded singles victories against Kansas State and Texas A&M.
In late March against then top-ranked Northwestern, Corovic defeated Maria Mosolova, who was the Wildcats' No. 1 singles player and the No. 3-ranked player in the nation.
Freshmen Maggie Mello and Abby Liu have played well. Mello and Courtney Zauft, the lone senior on the 2008 team, have combined for some stunning doubles victories this season.
"The ladies have pulled together and done a phenomenal job," said assistant coach Darija Klaic.