Men's Tennis preview: Rice
March 31, 2011
WHAT: No. 7 Texas (14-5) hosts No. 37 Rice (13-5) in its final non-conference match of the regular season.
WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, April 2, 1 p.m. Central - Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas
LIVE SCORING: TexasSports.com
LAST TIME OUT: Texas defeated Oklahoma State by a 6-1 margin on Sunday, March 27 in Stillwater, Okla.
LAST MEETING vs. RICE: Texas defeated Rice by a 4-0 count on Jan. 30, 2011 in Austin in the second round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
ITA RANKINGS UPDATE
THE 2011 LONGHORNS: Under 11th-year head coach Michael Center, Texas has reached the NCAA semifinals or better in three of the last five seasons. The Longhorns have taken on a challenging slate in 2011 with only nine matches played on their home courts at Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
UT opened the season on Jan. 15 with a 5-2 win over California in Tulsa, Okla. The next day, Texas defeated host Tulsa by a 6-1 count. The Horns took to the road again the following weekend and held on for a 4-3 win over host Michigan.
The Horns registered a pair of 4-0 victories over Hawaii and Rice (Jan. 28-29) during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Austin to earn their trip to The Emerald City before posting a 4-3 win over No. 10 Texas A&M in a non-conference match in Houston. Texas took to the road again in February and posted a 4-3 win over No. 25 Florida State on its home courts in Tallahassee, Fla., before venturing to Seattle for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, where it defeated Kentucky and Illinois and suffered a loss to Ohio State.
Texas returns four regular singles starters from the 2009-10 squad that won the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and reached the round of 16 for a fifth consecutive year at the NCAA Championships.
Texas ranked fifth in the preseason college tennis team poll released Tuesday, Jan. 4 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), and the Longhorns commanded five additional slots in the preseason singles and doubles rankings.
Senior Ed Corrie and junior Jean Andersen ranked fifth in the ITA preseason doubles rankings after qualifying for the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships last fall. Sophomores Ben Chen and Daniel Whitehead boasted a No. 15 ITA preseason doubles ranking after producing a stellar fall season together. Senior Kellen Damico and redshirt freshman David Holiner held a No. 25 ITA doubles ranking.
Damico and the aforementioned Corrie earned doubles All-America honors as freshmen in 2008.