Men's Tennis preview: Notre Dame, Texas Southern and SMU
AUSTIN, Texas -- In the midst of an 11-match home stand, No. 5 Texas plays host to three opponents this weekend at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The Longhorns welcome No. 15 Notre Dame on Saturday, March 25 at 1 p.m. CST before taking on Texas Southern at 6 p.m. UT wraps up its busy weekend on Sunday, March 26 against SMU at 4 p.m. Admission is free for all UT regular season home matches.
UT invites all of its men's tennis alumni to its "Alumni Day" this Saturday. Lunch will be served at the courts beginning at noon, prior to the Notre Dame match.
The Longhorns are coming off of a 7-0 victory over Texas-San Antonio Wednesday evening in Austin. Texas has won seven consecutive matches and counts only a 5-2 loss at No. 4 Duke as its only setback. UT features three student-athletes in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles rankings in No. 20 Travis Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan.), No. 30 Callum Beale (Adelaide, Australia) and No. 36 Roger Gubser (Laredo, Texas).
Notre Dame brings a 13-5 record and a No. 15 national ranking to Austin. The Fighting Irish feature four student-athletes in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles rankings in No. 14 Stephen Bass, No. 34 Sheeva Parbhu, No. 106 Brett Helgeson and No. 115 Ryan Keckley. Notably, the freshman Helgeson is the younger brother of UT's Travis Helgeson.
Notre Dame boasts victories over such ranked foes as No. 7 Ohio State, No. 23 Boise State, No. 24 Florida State and No. 30 Michigan. Texas claimed the last meeting between the two schools, winning by a 4-3 count on Feb. 4, 2005 in South Bend, Ind. UT owns a 9-2 lead in the all-time series.
Texas Southern brings a 4-4 record into its match with the Longhorns. TSU won its most recent match, scoring a 4-0 victory over Prairie View A&M on March 18. Saturday's match marks the first meeting between UT and TSU in 30 seasons. Texas defeated Texas Southern by an 8-1 margin on Feb. 26, 1976 in the only meeting between the two schools.
SMU currently holds a 10-3 overall record and will play Cornell and Baylor before meeting Texas on Sunday. The Mustangs are ranked No. 60 in the latest ITA team rankings. SMU features 56th-ranked senior Peter Oredsson.
Texas owns a 66-22-2 series lead against its former Southwest Conference rival. UT opened the 2005 season with a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs in Dallas.