THIS WEEKEND: The No. 5 seed Texas men's tennis team (11-8, 2-5) will face No. 4 seed Texas Tech (23-2, 5-2) in the quarterfinal round of the 2005 Big 12 Tennis Championships on Friday, April 29 at 3 p.m. (Central). The University of Texas will serve as this year's tournament host and all matches will be played at Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin. Semifinal action is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, while the championship match is set for Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m.
TEXAS AT THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Texas is 13-6 all-time in its previous eight appearances at the Big 12 Championships. The Longhorns have won the tournament title twice (1997 and 1999) and have advanced to at least the semifinals in seven of the previous eight tournaments. Last year, No. 3 seed Texas fell to No. 6 seed Texas Tech, 4-1, in the quarterfinals. The loss marked the first time in Big 12 Tournament history that Texas did not make it past the first round of competition. Additionally, UT earned the No. 5 seed in the 2005 Big 12 Championships, which snaps an eight-year streak of entering the tournament with a No. 3 seed or higher. The Longhorns have been the No. 1 seed three times (1997, 1998 and 1999), the No. 2 seed twice (2002 and 2003) and the No. 3 seed three times (2000, 2001 and 2004). Texas is 4-4 in the Big 12 Championships under the direction of coach Michael Center.
SERIES VS. TEXAS TECH: This will be the 38th meeting between Texas and Texas Tech. The Longhorns hold a 34-3 advantage in the series dating back to a 9-0 Texas win on March 25, 1975, in Austin. The last meeting between the two teams was April 8, 2005, when Texas fell to the Red Raiders, 5-2, in Austin. In the Big 12 Championships, UT is 2-1 all-time against Texas Tech. The Longhorns recorded a pair of 4-1 wins over the Red Raiders in both 1998 and 2000 quarterfinal action, but dropped a 4-1 decision in the quarterfinals of the 2004 tournament.
TEXAS AND THE ITA RANKINGS: Texas is ranked No. 38 in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national team rankings, released on April 26. Earlier in the season, the Longhorns cracked the top 25 (on Feb. 15) for the first time since March 9, 2004, when they appeared in the poll at No. 22. In addition, UT has been ranked as high as No. 12 by the ITA on March 15, 2005, which was their highest showing since a No. 9 ranking on Feb. 12, 2003.
PLAYERS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: Three Longhorns are ranked in the national singles poll: junior Callum Beale is 42nd, freshman Travis Helgeson is 54th and junior Roger Gubser is 78th. Beale carries a 22-12 overall record and is 12-7 in dual matches, while Helgeson boasts records of 23-9 overall and 13-6 in dual matches. Gubser is 27-11 in singles action overall and 11-6 in dual matches.
CONFERENCE HONORS: Junior Callum Beale received his first career Big 12 Player of the Week honor on March 14 for his play at the top of the lineup in both singles and doubles. In singles, Beale defeated consecutive top-10 opponents in No. 8 Doug Stewart of Virginia and No. 5 Ludovic Walter of Duke. He then teamed with freshman Travis Helgeson for a 1-1 doubles record against national powers Virginia and Duke.
ACADEMIC SUCCESS FOR TEXAS: Sophomore Hubert Chodkiewicz and junior Roger Gubser were named to the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 first team. Chodkiewicz, an undeclared liberal arts major, received his first honor, while Gubser, an economics major, garnered the accolade for the third straight year. An athlete must have a 3.2 or higher GPA to be recognized as a first-team selection. Gubser also recently earned The Lan Hewlett Award, which recognized him as having the highest cumulative GPA on the men's tennis team.
NEW FACES IN THE CROWD: The 2005 version of the Texas men's tennis team looks very different from last year's squad. With only three returnees from 2004, head coach Michael Center brought in seven newcomers that have changed the face of the program. The team Center has put together is younger and has more of an international flare. New to this year's roster are: juniors Callum Beale (Adelaide, Australia) and Jeremy Hubbard (Lindale, Texas) and freshmen Luis Diaz Barriga (Cordoba, Mexico), Bernhard Deussner (Vienna, Austria), Travis Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan.), Brian Hull (Southlake, Texas) and Milan Mihailovic (Nis, Serbia).
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: Three regular-season matches were cancelled this season due to inclement weather. Texas' two home matches against Minnesota and Abilene Christian and an away match against USC were unable to be played because of the rain.
TEXAS' WINNING WAYS: UT has been recognized by the ITA as the winningest men's tennis program in the country. Texas' 1,325 wins makes the school one of only seven Division I programs that have reached the 1,000-win milestone. Georgia is second in all-time victories with 1,098, followed by USC (1,088), Stanford (1,048), UCLA (1,039), Notre Dame (1,013) and Michigan (1,006).