Longhorns face challenge against Trojans

Wes Maulsby

Texas suffered its second loss of the season on Tuesday at the hands of North Carolina, and will try to right the ship tonight against USC in Los Angeles.

For the second time this season, Texas got a lead by taking the doubles point, only to lose it in the singles part of the match. Texas had taken a two-point lead after senior Kellen Damico took his point in straight sets. With every point playing close the entire time, Texas wasn’t able to take another point to lose 5-2 to the Tar Heels.

Both Texas and USC are heading into this match with two losses, and will be looking to rebound to get back among the nation’s elite.

Once again, Texas has a favorable match up in the doubles portion, but USC holds the advantage in singles, with four players ranked in the top-60, led by Steve Johnson, the No. 1 singles player in the nation. Considering that both of Texas’ losses have come from singles play, the match against USC plays right into Texas’ weakness.

Texas has four players ranked in the top-120, but it was not able to close out any of the points against North Carolina, losing five straight. Fortunately for the Longhorns, Damico continues to play well filling in for junior Jean Andersen and their doubles game has a favorable matchup against the Trojans.

Texas features three duos ranked in the top-35, while USC’s only ranked pair comes in at No. 64. It will be important that Texas continue to take the doubles point to take some pressure off a singles game that has not been among the nations elite.

For the Longhorns, this will be another chance to make a statement. Head coach Michael Center thinks that his team has the potential to surprise people this season, but they can’t have a repeat of the performance against North Carolina.

After a disappointing result on Tuesday, Texas will want to improve their game and make sure that it doesn’t let another lead get away.