Begley gives Women's Tennis competitive 'backbone'
March 29, 2012
Gaby Moran, Texas Media Relations
The Texas Women's Tennis team is currently ranked 10th in the country and undefeated in Big 12 Conference play. But with seven more league matches still to play, sophomore Elizabeth Begley aims to be one point her team can count on each time the Longhorns take the court.
"I really want to finish undefeated in the conference," Begley said. "Hopefully (my wins) will help the team win conference and go on to win the conference tournament as well."
After fracturing her foot in two sections during her first freshman semester, Begley used last spring and summer to get back into the shape, and return to the player she was when starring at the the international junior level.
"I took a lot of time in the summer to get back and focus on what got me here," Begley said. "After a lot of work with the coaches, I was able to excel since last year."
Begley won her first collegiate title at the Cougar Fall Draw last November. Begley defeated Auburn's Jen Pfeifler (6-4, 3-6, 6-4), Arkansas State's Tamara Slijepcevic (6-2, 6-2) and Auburn's Emily Flickinger (6-1, 7-5) during the three-day tournament.
"I think all of her hard work has been paying off, but tennis is one those things that everyday you have to go out and prove yourself," head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. "I think she is one of those unique characters who understands that really well and isn't trying to hold the lead or hold on to her success. She keeps moving forward everyday and stays in the moment."
Beginning the spring season, Begley started at No. 6 singles but two weeks ago she moved up to No. 5. After three matches at line five and only losing one set, Begley has proven to be a strong competitor and dependable teammate.
"The most I can do for my team is be a supporter and put points up," Begley said. "I have done all that I can to do, and it makes me really happy that I have been able to accomplish that for my team."
Begley has won eight of nine matches this season, and her lone loss came against Valeria Pulido (6-2, 6-1) from Southern California, the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
"That loss really hurt because we lost (the dual match) 4-3, and I knew if I would've won my match we could've won the overall match," Begley said. "I just wasn't on that day, but it takes a whole team to get together and find the opportunities to win the match."
Begley has helped secure UT wins in three close, 4-3 matches against No. 8 North Carolina, No. 13 Alabama and No. 23 Clemson.
"She has been a rock down there," Fendick-McCain said. "She never gives an inch and having that kind of backbone in your lineup is very helpful."
Begley and the rest of the Longhorns continue Big 12 play against Kansas on Friday at 2 p.m. UT also hosts Kansas State at noon Sunday. Both matches are held at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.