ITA National Team Indoor Championships notes: Feb. 12
Feb. 12, 2009
If a spirited morning workout is any indication, the second-ranked Texas men's tennis team is more than ready to kick off its third consecutive appearance at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.
More accustomed to balmy tennis conditions in Austin, the chilly Windy City weather was a bit of a nuisance for a few Longhorns who stepped out into the cold before heading to the Midtown Tennis Club for a morning practice. But, the weather couldn't dampen the Longhorns' spirits Thursday morning once they moved indoors for a vigorous two-hour, climate-controlled workout.
"The guys were excited this morning at that workout," UT coach Michael Center said. "They're excited to see where they stand this weekend. They don't mind beating each other around in practice. We had a good practice this morning, and I expect us to play well tomorrow."
Fifteenth-seeded Michigan, a team accustomed to playing many indoor matches in any given season, awaits Texas in Friday's tournament opener. The teams' last indoor meeting two seasons ago went the way of the Wolverines. Texas has fared well indoors early on in 2009 with victories at Tulsa and against Texas A&M in Houston.
"Michigan is well coached, and they do a lot of things really well," Center said. "They play good, fundamental doubles. They are a big team. Being from Michigan, they feel comfortable playing inside, so I expect to see a good performance out of them tomorrow. We've had some close results over the years, and they beat us in 2007. This will be a good test for us on Friday."
Stanford or Florida up next for Texas
Regardless of the outcome of Friday's match, Texas is certain to meet either seventh-seeded Florida or 11th-seeded Stanford in its next match on Saturday, Feb. 14 at the ITA National Indoors. If Texas defeats Michigan, it will meet the Florida-Stanford winner on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Texas topped Florida by a 4-0 count in the round of 16 at the 2008 NCAA Championship in the teams' most recent meeting. The Longhorns and the Cardinal have not met since the 2004 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, where Stanford dealt Texas a 4-3 opening-round defeat.