Men's Tennis climbs to No. 4 in ITA rankings
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas men's tennis team has moved from No. 5 to No. 4 in the March 4 release of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) team rankings.
The team rankings change from a voting format to a computer-based format for the rest of the season, and the Longhorns moved up a spot thanks to wins over top-25 foes Southern California, Duke, Michigan, Alabama, Rice and Texas A&M. Texas enjoys its highest rank since the May 26, 2006 team rankings, when UT ended the season at No. 3 after reaching the NCAA semifinals.
Freshman Kellen Damico, named the Big 12 Player of the Week on March 3, ranks 22nd in the new ITA singles rankings, and sophomore Dimitar Kutrovsky vaulted from No. 54 to No. 33. Freshman Ed Corrie ranks 36th, and senior Luis Diaz Barriga moves from No. 88 to No. 74.
Damico and Corrie move into the doubles rankings at No. 12, and Damico and Diaz Barriga hold a No. 14 ranking after posting impressive results last fall. Diaz Barriga and junior Miguel Reyes Varela enter the doubles rankings at No. 44.
Texas-USC start time changed
MEN'S TENNIS PREVIEW: OLD DOMINION
THE 2008 LONGHORNS: Under head coach Michael Center, the 2007 USPTA National College Coach of the Year, Texas returns all 10 letterwinners from the 2007 squad that registered a 20-9 record and reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship. Texas reached the finals of the Big 12 Championship for a second consecutive season after defeating Texas Tech and upsetting Oklahoma State in the opening rounds.
Newcomers Kellen Damico and Ed Corrie have excelled early on in their Longhorn careers. Damico won singles titles at the HEB Baylor Fall Invitational and the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in his first semester, and Corrie claimed the Texas Invitational in November.
Texas opened the 2008 season with home victories over SMU, Clemson, Texas-Arlington and Texas-San Antonio. UT hit the road on Friday, Feb. 1 and tallied a 7-0 win at Arkansas. Texas defeated No. 22 Texas A&M by a 4-0 count on Friday, Feb. 8 in the Texas Cup, a series of non-conference, neutral-site matches between the two schools.
Texas went on to take two of three matches at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle. UT opened with a 4-0 win over No. 10 Alabama before falling to No. 2 Georgia in the quarterfinals, 4-2. Texas ended its tournament run with a decisive 4-1 victory over No. 6 USC. The Longhorns defeated 24th-ranked Rice by a 4-3 count on Sunday, Feb. 24 in Houston.
Texas dealt Michigan a 6-1 defeat on Feb. 26 in Austin before suffering a 5-2 loss at No. 1 Virginia on Feb. 29. The Longhorns rebounded with a 6-1 win over No. 10 Duke on March 1 in Durham, N.C.
Texas coach Michael Center collected his 300th career victory against Alabama. Now in his 17th year as a head coach, Center holds a 304-122 (.714) overall record and a 145-54 (.729) mark at Texas.