A year makes all the difference for Ed Corrie
May 7, 2010
Texas junior Ed Corrie remembers it like it was yesterday.
The deciding point of the 2009 Big 12 Championship came down to Corrie and Baylor’s Jordan Rux. With the match knotted at three points apiece on a blustery day in Norman, Okla., Corrie had broken Rux’s serve to assume what appeared to be a comfortable 4-2 lead in the third set. But, Rux won the next four games, two on Corrie’s serve, to win the match.
“I had a lead in the third set, and I was so disappointed I lost it,” Corrie recalled. “It was incredibly windy that day, and it made the match unpredictable. I lost the lead and it irritates me to this day.”
Corrie redeemed himself in the finals of the 2010 Big 12 Championship on May 2 in Austin. Texas and Texas A&M were tied at three in the finals, and the winner of the last match between Corrie and Texas A&M’s Jeff Dadamo would decide the tournament champion. Corrie held serve for a 4-3 lead, and when the opportunity to break Dadamo’s serve presented itself in the next game, Corrie jumped on it.
“He double-faulted the first point of the game, and he’s got such a class serve that I think he only had one double-fault in the two sets prior to that,” Corrie said. “I felt that if I could get the ball in a difficult position for him that it might produce a few errors. He had been leading 40-15, but I was able to come back and break him.”
So, here Corrie was again, up a service break with a chance to seize control of the match and put away the match-clinching victory. A year older and a year wiser, Corrie was ready for the task at hand.
“I knew I had to take my time in between points, and that was probably another difference in how I handled the situation against Baylor last year,” Corrie said. “I had a bit more of a plan between points. I went back to my towel and dried off and made sure the noise and commotion died down before each point. I wanted to keep it simple and make a lot of my first serves and play my game from there.”
Corrie took a 30-15 lead off of a netted forehand from Dadamo, and Dadamo smacked the next serve from Corrie into the net to set up match point. Corrie fired his first serve wide of Dadamo’s reach to clinch the victory and the Big 12 title for the Longhorns.
“I think Ed was really prepared for that moment, having been in that situation several times,” said UT head coach Michael Center. “I saw him play with poise and a lot of confidence at the end of that match. I certainly was confident that he was prepared for that moment, because he trains for it. It does not guarantee success, but if gives you a sense of confidence that if he gets the opportunity, he will take it.”
It was not the first time Corrie delivered on a chance to produce a big win for the Longhorns. With the Longhorns holding a 3-2 lead on No. 1 USC at the ITA National Indoors in February, Corrie finished off a three-set, come-from-behind win over the Trojans’ top-ranked Steve Johnson to give the Horns their second of six top-10 wins this season.
“A moment like that one in February gave me confidence and made me understand that when it comes down to me again with a lot of guys watching and a big crowd on hand that I could handle the situation,” Corrie said. “Those results I produced earlier in the season convinced me that I could be one of the best players in the country. Playing against a great player like Jeff (Dadamo) last Saturday, I needed that to know I could come out on top.”
A seasoned, battle-tested Corrie will go a long way in determining the Horns’ success this month at the NCAA Championships. The journey starts Friday, May 14 when Texas opens play in the first round against UTSA in Austin.