No. 9 Women's Tennis victorious after battle with Arizona State
AUSTIN, Texas -- Behind the resilient play of freshman Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas), the ninth-ranked University of Texas women's tennis team was able to avoid an upset in its home opener on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The Longhorns were swept in doubles, but put together four hard-fought singles victories en route to a 4-3 decision over Arizona State.
"ASU is currently playing doubles how we want to be playing them in April," head coach Jeff Moore said. "Despite the losses, I felt that throughout the entire match we had a gargantuan effort on everyone's part."
Down 1-0 after doubles play, the Longhorns knew they had to regroup and come back in singles. Junior Katie Ruckert (Vienna, Va.) was the first to respond as she handled Jessica Leitch 6-0, 6-3 at the No. 3 position. Sophomore Ristine Olson (Missoula, Mont.) followed with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Rebeca Rankin at No. 6.
Arizona State's Sabrina Capannolo and Kady Pooler answered with victories at the No. 1 and No. 4 spots. Capannolo defeated junior Kendra Strohm (Tucson, Ariz.) 6-1, 7-5, and junior Kelly Baritot (Allison Park, Pa.) was defeated by Pooler 6-4, 6-4.
With Arizona State ahead, 3-2, sophomore Petra Dizdar (Spilt, Croatia) rallied from being down in the first set to record an emotional 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Joslynn Burkett at the No. 2 position. The win by Dizdar evened the score with one singles match remaining.
After losing the first set to Wendy Pilecka, Zauft battled back to claim the second. The two players traded games back and forth in the third set until Zauft was able to win the last two games and clinch the match 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
"Courtney (Zauft) was awesome today," Moore said. "She has been working hard on consistency and building the point, and that's what helped her in the end."
The Texas women's tennis team returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 12 when it travels to Ames, Iowa, for a conference match against Iowa State.
No. 9 Texas 4, No. 38 Arizona State 3