AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 15 Texas will make its first appearance at the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships Thursday when the Longhorns take on second-seeded Georgia Tech. The match is slated for 9 a.m. CST at the University of Wisconsin's A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
The indoor tournament is one of two national team championship events on the 2006 schedule, the latter being the NCAA Championships in May at Stanford. Texas is one of three schools, along with Georgia Tech and TCU, making its first appearance in the tournament, although UT coach Patty Fendick-McCain has participated in the tournament in recent years while coaching at the University of Washington.
Texas last faced Georgia Tech at the 2005 NCAA Championships in one of the most memorable matches of the tournament. Georgia Tech took a 2-0 lead before Texas regrouped and rallied for a 3-2 lead. After the Yellow Jackets evened the score at three, then-UT sophomore Petra Dizdar (Split, Croatia) outlasted Georgia Tech's 12th-ranked Kristi Miller in three sets to send the Longhorns to the NCAA quarterfinals. Each team returns six of seven participants from the 2005 match.
The Yellow Jackets feature a formidable singles lineup, as four players own top-75 singles rankings. The aforementioned Miller ranks No. 7 in the nation, while Tarryn Rudman, a Mississippi State transfer, ranks No. 25. Kelly Anderson holds a No. 35 ranking, and Lyndsay Shosho comes in at No. 71. Miller and Shosho rank No. 26 in the ITA doubles rankings, and Anderson and Whitney McCray own the No. 42 ranking. Texas features 55th-ranked senior Kendra Strohm, who teams with senior Mia Marovic (Split, Croatia) for a No. 31 doubles ranking.
Texas will face Miami (Fla.) or Wisconsin on Friday, regardless of the outcome of Thursday's match. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) leads all conferences with four entries (Duke, North Carolina, Miami, Georgia Tech) in the 16-team field. Texas and Baylor represent the Big 12 Conference. Each participating team is guaranteed to play at least three matches in consecutive days.
Stanford, who has won 56 consecutive matches, won the 2005 event, defeating Kentucky in the final, 4-0.