Women's Tennis preview: NCAA Championship Round of 16
WHAT: No. 19 Texas (20-6, 10-1 Big 12) continues play in the 2008 NCAA Championship when it meets second-seeded Georgia Tech (21-5) in the NCAA round of 16.
WHERE: Michael Case Tennis Center - Tulsa, Okla.
WHEN: Thursday, May 15 - 6 p.m. Central; should Texas defeat Georgia Tech, it would play on Saturday, May 17 against either sixth-seeded Florida or 11th-seeded Vanderbilt.
THE ROAD TO TULSA: Texas advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship by defeating South Florida and Florida State in the tournament's opening rounds in Tallahassee, Fla. The Longhorns blanked the Bulls, 4-0 on May 9 before eliminating host Florida State by a 5-2 count on May 10. Texas took the doubles point from the Seminoles and clinched its victory with simultaneous three-set wins from sophomore Stephanie Davison at second singles and freshman Caroline Larsson at fourth singles.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Texas is making its 26th appearance at the NCAA Tennis Championships. A two-time NCAA champion, UT holds a 38-23 overall record in the event. The Longhorns captured NCAA team championships in 1993 and 1995 under coach Jeff Moore.
Texas finished as the NCAA runner-up in 1992 and 2005 and as a semifinalist in 1990, 1994 and 1997. Texas opened the 2007 NCAA Championship with a 4-0 win over UC-Irvine in Los Angeles. The Longhorns were eliminated from the NCAA round of 32 by USC, 4-0.
Texas it making its first appearance in the NCAA round of 16 since making its run to the NCAA championship match in 2005.
SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH
Texas and Georgia Tech last went head-to-head on Feb. 2, 2006 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Madison, Wis., where the Longhorns dealt the Yellow Jackets a 5-2 defeat in the round of 16 on its way to the finals where they met Stanford.
Texas and Georgia Tech also meet at the 2005 NCAA Championship in a familiar place -- the round of 16. The 11th-seeded Longhorns upended the sixth-seeded Yellow Jackets by a 4-3 count before defeating Kentucky in the quarterfinals and Florida in the semifinals to reach the NCAA title match.
The defending NCAA team champion, Georgia Tech joins Stanford, California and UCLA as the only schools with six players featured in the ITA singles rankings and is the only school with two top-10 student-athletes. The Yellow Jackets feature seventh-ranked sophomore Amanda McDowell and 10th-ranked senior Kristi Miller along with 38th-ranked Maya Johansson, 46th-ranked Kirsten Flower, 51st-ranked Whitney McCray and 77th-ranked Christy Striplin.
Georgia Tech, who earned an NCAA at-large bid out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, reached the NCAA round of 16 with victories over Alcorn State and Tennessee last weekend in Atlanta.
THE 2008 LONGHORNS: Texas heads into the NCAA Championship with victories in 12 of its last 14 matches. The 19th-ranked Longhorns totaled an 15-5 regular-season mark and took second in the Big 12 Conference with a 10-1 league record. Texas reached the finals of the Big 12 Championship on Sunday, April 27 and fell to Big 12 regular season champion Baylor by a 4-1 count in College Station.
The Horns feature All-Big 12 singles selections Vanja Corovic and Courtney Zauft and return six letterwinners from the 2007 squad that totaled an 18-12 record, reached the NCAA round of 32 and claimed a share of the Big 12 Conference regular season championship.
Corovic, the 2007 Big 12 Conference Freshman and Newcomer of the Year, who earned a berth in the 64-player singles draw at the 2007 NCAA Championship and will join junior Marija Milic in the 32-team doubles draw at the 2008 NCAA Championship.