Men's Tennis preview: No. 1 USC
March 12, 2012
WHAT: No. 11 Texas (12-4) welcomes No. 1 USC (15-0), a three-time defending NCAA champion. The Trojans have won 35 consecutive contests heading into Tuesday’s match.
Free hot dogs will be available to fans attending Tuesday’s match, while quantities last. Admission is free.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 13 – 6 p.m. Central
WHERE: Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas
LIVE SCORING: TexasSports.com
SERIES HISTORY: USC holds an 18-6 advantage all-time against Texas. Texas head coach Michael Center holds a 3-4 record against the Trojans while at the helm of the Longhorns’ program.
LAST MEETING VS. USC: The Trojans claimed a 5-2 victory over the Longhorns on March 11, 2011 in Los Angeles.
LAST TIME OUT: Texas defeated Florida State by a 4-2 count on Saturday, March 10 in Houston.
ITA RANKINGS UPDATE:
CENTER NEARS 400-WIN MILESTONE
The Manhattan, Kan., native was the 2007 USPTA National College Coach of the Year. He is a five-time ITA Regional Coach of the Year and an eight-time conference coach of the year.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
In the last six seasons, Texas has played for the national title (2008), reached the NCAA semifinals twice more (2006, 2009), captured three Big 12 regular-season titles (2006, 2008, 2010) and won two Big 12 tournament titles (2006, 2010). In addition, eight players have collected 13 ITA All-America honors.
YOUTH IS SERVED
HESS-OLESEN HOLDING DOWN TOP SPOT
Hess-Olesen enjoyed a solid start to his collegiate career last fall, when he reached the finals at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Southwest Shootout. Hess-Olesen fell to teammate Daniel Whitehead in the finals of both events.
Hess-Olesen won his first three dual matches and notched a breakthrough win at No. 17 North Carolina (Feb. 5), where he knocked off the Tar Heels’ 30th-ranked Jose Hernandez to help the Horns to a 5-2 win in Chapel Hill. Hess-Olesen added a key victory last month at the ITA National Team Indoors, where he defeated Texas A&M’s 19th-ranked Alexis Klegou in straight sets to help Texas to a 4-1 win over the Aggies.
WHITEHEAD MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY
Whitehead knocked off a top-25 opponent in January when he overpowered Texas Tech’s 23rd-ranked Gonzalo Escobar by a 6-1, 6-4 count in the Horns’ 4-0 win over the Red Raiders. His 57 career singles wins rank him 42nd on UT’s all-time career singles wins list.
SITARAM ENJOYS SOPHOMORE SURGE
One of his defeats in dual-match play came at the hands of the nation’s top-ranked player, Virginia’s Mitchell Frank, who needed a third-set match tiebreak to fend off Sitaram last month on the Cavaliers’ home courts.
Since then, Sitaram has won his eight of his last nine decisions. He posted a three-set win over Esben Hess-Olesen (identical twin brother of UT’s Soren Hess-Olesen) in the Horns’ 5-2 win on the Tar Heels’ home indoor courts. Sitaram notched two wins over Texas A&M’s 104th-ranked Junior Ore in a span of eight days. Sitaram won in three sets on Feb. 10 at the Texas Cup and defeated Ore once more at the ITA National Team Indoors, where he won in straight sets to help Texas to victory. Sitaram added a key straight-set victory over Auburn’s Daniel Cochrane last month in the Horns’ 4-2 victory over the Tigers at the ITA National Team Indoors.
GLASSPOOL MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Head coach Michael Center inserted Glasspool into the opening-day lineup at No. 5 singles, and Glasspool emerged with a straight-set win over SMU’s Joe Hattrup in the Horns’ 5-2 road win over the Mustangs. Glasspool added a straight-set win at No. 5 singles over Rice’s Philipp Seifert the following week before moving up to No. 4 singles the following week in UT’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches.
Glasspool has taken ownership of the No. 4 singles slot, where he holds a 7-3 record. He defeated Texas Tech’s Francisco Zambon (6-3, 6-1) in UT’s win over the 21st-ranked Red Raiders before taking Virginia senior Drew Courtney to a third-set tiebreaker the following week on Courtney’s home indoor court.
Glasspool followed that effort with a three-set win over North Carolina’s Joey Burkhardt to help Texas to a 5-2 road win over the Tar Heels. Glasspool defeated Texas A&M’s 73rd-ranked Jeremy Efferding in straight sets last month at the Texas Cup. He rallied for a three-set win in the Horns’ 4-2 win over No. 16 Auburn at the ITA National Team Indoors.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
Holiner holds an 8-3 mark in dual-match play. The redshirt sophomore posted victories over Texas A&M’s Jackson Withrow in both of the Longhorns’ matches against the Aggies. Camillone registered a 6-4, 6-3 win over North Carolina’s Oystein Steiro at No. 5 singles in Texas’ 5-2 road win over the Tar Heels, and Hilliard chipped in a three-set win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Fernando Llorens.
Lewis scored his first career dual-match victory in straight sets against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Andrew Maingot, while Swaysland, a January arrival from Australia, defeated the Islanders’ Nathan Robinson in straight sets.
THE 2011-12 LONGHORNS: Texas returns six letterwinners from the 2010-11 squad that reached the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships and the semifinals of the Big 12 Championships.
Whitehead posted a key victory at No. 2 singles against North Carolina (Feb. 5), as he helped spark Texas’ 5-2 road victory over the 17th-ranked Tar Heels. Junior Ben Chen returns after posting a 6-5 fall singles record, and sophomore David Holiner tallied an 8-3 fall singles record.
Sophomore Sudanwa Sitaram registered a 9-6 fall singles record. At Virginia (Feb. 3), Sitaram took the Cavaliers’ top-ranked Mitchell Frank to a third set match tiebreak, where he fell by a 10-3 count. He returned to defeat North Carolina’s Esben Hess-Olesen, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (2) in the Horns’ victory in Chapel Hill.
Junior Chris Camillone notched a 6-5 fall singles record and posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over North Carolina’s Oystein Steiro in UT’s win over the Tar Heels. Texas also welcomes the return of junior Alex Hilliard, who won a pair of matches last month at the Key Biscayne Invitational.
Freshmen Soren Hess-Olesen posted a 10-4 fall singles record while reaching the singles finals at a pair of fall events, the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Southwest Shootout. Hess-Olesen posted a 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-2 win over North Carolina’s 30th-ranked Jose Hernandez in Texas’ 5-2 win over the Tar Heels. Freshman Jacoby Lewis won four fall singles matches and won the consolation draw at the Southwest Shootout.
Newcomer Lloyd Glasspool posted a pair of singles victories in his collegiate debut in January at the Key Biscayne Invitational. The Englishman notched a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over North Carolina’s Joey Burkhardt at fourth singles before adding a victory against Texas A&M (Feb. 10). Texas also welcomes Australian freshman Joey Swaysland, who made his collegiate debut at Rice and picked up his first win last month at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.