Longhorns get break from road atmosphere, host key early-season tournament Saturday

Wes Maulsby

Texas has shown that it can win away from Austin and in hostile environments — and now they get a chance to show their own fans how good they are. The ITA Kick-Off Weekend begins Saturday, and the Longhorns will be at home for a match against Hawaii.

As part of the ITA Kick off Weekend, Texas will play host to Hawaii, Rice and Alabama this weekend. If the Longhorns are able to get past Hawaii, they would then play the winner between Rice and Alabama for the right to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle next month. This weekend presents yet another chance for Texas to prove that they belong among the nation’s elite.

“A lot of people around the country don’t think we’ve been as good as we’ve been,” said head coach Michael Center. “I feel like, and I think the team feels like we have a lot to prove this year.”

Despite a top-5 national ranking, Texas still feels like they are not receiving the kind of respect they deserve, and are looking to prove those doubters wrong this weekend.
It should feel good for the Longhorns to be back at home for the first time this season, especially after coming off a tough road match against Michigan last week.
“Overall, against Michigan, we didn’t play particularly well in certain spots,” Center said, “I hope that we can improve with our play.”

Look for Texas to tweak its lineup as it continues to look for the best combination that can compete and win.

The Longhorns are expected to continue dominating the doubles aspect of the matches. In all three matches this season, Texas has won the doubles point, and that is exactly how Center wants it.

“We’ve always taken a lot of pride in our doubles,” he said. “I think we expect to win the doubles point.”

The matches this weekend should present a good opportunity for Texas, and expect the Longhorns to make a statement to all the doubters with a strong performance.