Texas’ tough stretch begins with North Carolina

Wes Maulsby

Texas is beginning a brutal part of its schedule. Three of its next four opponents are ranked in the top 30. Two of them are currently in the top 10. Following the stretch, Big 12 play starts, featuring five teams in the top 30. It begins today as Texas hosts North Carolina (4-4) at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

North Carolina is coming off a win at Vanderbilt after having dropped three consecutive matches. North Carolina, which began the season at No. 20, has slipped to No. 30. It will be looking for a signature win to get its season back on track, and a win on the road against a top-five team will give it the perfect opportunity to do just that. North Carolina should provide a challenge for Texas in both aspects of the match. The Tar Heels feature two players ranked in the top 125 nationally, and have a doubles pair ranked in the top 15.

Texas should still hold the advantage in this matchup. The duo of senior Ed Corrie and junior Jean Andersen checks in as the No. 4 team nationally, headlines a strong Texas doubles game that has three pairs ranked in the top 35 and has only lost one doubles point this season. The singles aspect has been Texas’ Achilles heel so far this season with the Longhorns’ only loss of the season emerging from the woes of singles play. But as the season goes on, Texas continues to improve its game with Corrie cracking the top 30 nationally this week. Fellow senior Kellen Damico has lost two games in as many matches recently and will be looking to continue his dominance today.

This match will be just the first of many that will prove whether or not Texas deserves its top-five ranking.