Women's Tennis preview: William & Mary
March 7, 2012
WHAT: No. 9 Texas (5-3) resumes dual-match play this Thursday when it hosts William & Mary.
WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, March 8 – 2 p.m. Central – Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas
LIVE SCORING: Available at TexasSports.com
TELEVISION: The match will air tape-delayed on Longhorn Network on Friday, March 9 at midnight and again at 11:30 a.m. Central.
LAST TIME OUT: Texas defeated then-No. 8 Northwestern by a 6-1 count on Friday, March 2 in Austin. The Longhorns won the doubles point and claimed five of six singles matches in the victory over the Wildcats.
LAST MEETING VS. WILLIAM & MARY: Texas fell to William & Mary by a 4-3 count on Jan. 31, 2009 in Williamsburg,Va.
LONGHORNS CRACK THE ITA TOP-10
Under seventh-year head coach Patty Fendick-McCain, the Longhorns hold a 5-3 mark in dual-match play with neutral-site victories over North Carolina, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Clemson, each of whom have been ranked in the ITA top-20 this season. Notably, Texas opened the season in January with a 4-3 win over the then-No. 3 Tar Heels in New York City.
Additionally, Texas' only three defeats have come against ITA top-10 foes - No. 4 Georgia, No. 6 Virginia and No. 10 Miami - all at neutral sites. Junior All-American Aeriel Ellis ranks 30th in the ITA singles rankings, while freshman Noel Scott comes in at No. 87.
THE 2011-12 LONGHORNS: Texas returns four regular singles starters from the 2010-11 squad that reached the finals of the Big 12 Championship and the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships.
The Horns are led by junior Aeriel Ellis, who last season became UT's first ITA All-American since 1999. The Californian has qualified to compete in all eight of the previous national championship events contested during her two-plus seasons as a Longhorn. She reached the round of 16 of the singles draw at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Senior Krista Damico totaled a 21-16 overall singles record last season while playing primarily at No. 2 singles. The Colorado native is off to a solid start in dual-match play with victories over Alabama's 104th-ranked Courtney McLane and Vanderbilt's 110th-ranked Marie Casares.
UT returns a talented sophomore class who saw significant time in the dual-match lineup last season. Juliana Gajic totaled a 13-6 dual-match record, primarily at No. 5 singles, and Cierra Gaytan-Leach totaled a 9-3 dual-match record. Elizabeth Begley has won eight of her last nine decisions, including a win over Virginia's 89th-ranked Caryssa Peretz in January. Begley added two wins last month at the ITA National Team Indoors.
Freshman Noel Scott defeated two ITA-ranked opponents in the Horns' two victories at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event. Scott defeated Vanderbilt's 69th-ranked Lauren Mira by a 6-0, 6-2 count one day after toppling Alabama's 43rd-ranked Alexa Guarachi, 6-2, 6-4.