Longhorns sweep Hawaii, Rice at home

Wes Maulsby

Texas had a busy yet successful couple of days at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend in Austin. The Longhorns swept Hawaii 4-0 on Saturday and blanked Rice by the same score on Sunday.

The Hawaii meet started with another strong showing in doubles. Senior Ed Corrie and junior Jean Andersen jumped out of the gates with an 8-3 win, followed by a win by a pair of sophomores, Daniel Whitehead and Alex Hilliard.

With the double point in hand, Texas moved onto singles where senior Kellen Damico struck first with a two-set win. Whitehead and freshman Sudanwa Sitaram both won in straight sets as well.

Whitehead and Hilliard were down 3-0 before winning four out of the next five games for UT to take the doubles point.

“The doubles was in question for the first 25 or 30 minutes, and then we made some plays and got that point,” said Texas head coach Michael Center. “I was really pleased with the mental toughness and the attitude we had out there today.”

Rice was more competitive in singles play, but UT drew first blood for Texas when Sitaram won the opening match. Andersen followed with another straight set win. Sophomore Vasko Mladenov finished off the Owls with another two-set win to give Texas the 4-0 sweep. Texas has now qualified for the championships in Seattle next month.

“We want to play in the tournament,” Center said. “That’s where the best teams are, and we feel like we’re one of those best teams.”