Women's Tennis preview: UNLV Fall Invitational
Sept. 23, 2010
WHAT: Texas resumes fall tournament play this week at the UNLV Fall Invitational after competing last weekend at the Duke Invitational.
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 26
WHERE: Fertitta Tennis Complex – Las Vegas, Nev.
WHO: Texas will join teams from UNLV, Illinois, Illinois State and Northern Arizona. The Longhorns will send all 10 players on their active roster.
On juniors Maya Zein-El-Abdin and Julia Wiegand: Maya and Julia have been training hard and hitting the ball well. I’m excited to get them into some competition and get them playing. Maya ended up traveling with us some later in the year and made the travel squad. Julia trained hard all summer and played a bunch of tournaments. She’s looking really good.
On junior Krista Damico: Krista had a good opening day last weekend at Duke. There are some things she’s looking to do a little bit better this weekend. She has been consistent in her training and her mental demeanor, which has been great.
On freshmen Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Elizabeth Begley: Cierra and Elizabeth have been training really hard. They’ve had amazing stamina and great attitudes. Elizabeth played well all summer and has had a chance to work on some technical things and train hard this fall. I’m excited to see her in action in her first college tournament, and same thing with Cierra. She has been playing well. I’m excited to see her get out there this weekend.
On sophomore Aeriel Ellis: Aeriel won’t play singles this weekend. She and Elizabeth Begley are ranked No. 50 in doubles, and we will have them play doubles and get ready for the upcoming ITA All-American Championships. We want her out there competing in doubles she can continue to hone her skills and be competitive.
THE 2010-11 LONGHORNS: Texas returns four regular singles starters from the 2009-10 squad that reached the finals of the Big 12 Championship and the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships.
The Horns are led by sophomore Aeriel Ellis, the 2010 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and ITA Texas Region Rookie Player of the Year. The Californian played in all three national championship events last season – the ITA All-American Championships, ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships and the NCAA Championships – on her way to totaling a 32-14 overall singles record.
Junior Krista Damico posted 28 singles wins during a standout sophomore campaign and registered a 15-8 mark in dual matches. Senior Maggie Mello compiled a perfect 11-0 mark in conference play last season, and senior Caroline Larsson finished with a 15-4 record last season in dual matches. Seniors Amanda Craddock and Abby Liu and juniors Carlene Leyden, Julia Wiegand and Maya Zein-El-Abdin also return for the 2010-11 campaign. They are joined by a pair of freshmen in Elizabeth Begley and Cierra Gaytan-Leach.