Men's Tennis preview: Florida State
WHAT: No. 4 Texas (12-2) hosts No. 16 Florida State (9-1)
WHERE: Penick-Allison Tennis Center - Austin, Texas
WHEN: Saturday, March 8 - 1 p.m. Central
LAST MEETING WITH FLORIDA STATE: Texas defeated Florida State by a 5-2 count on March 17, 2001 in Tallahassee, Fla. UT owns a 3-0 lead in its series with the Seminoles.
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 2 in Durham, N.C. and defeated Old Dominion by a 6-1 count on Wednesday, March 5 in Austin.
Texas coach Michael Center collected his 300th career victory against Alabama. Now in his 17th year as a head coach, Center holds a 305-122 (.714) overall record and a 146-54 (.730) mark at Texas.