The No. 25 Longhorns battle seventh-seeded Kansas State today in their first match of the 2011 Big 12 Championship at Baylor Tennis Center in Waco.
Kansas State ousted No. 10 seed Kansas in the opening round on Thursday. The Longhorns have yet to play in the tournament, as their 9-2 conference record earned them a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Texas beat Kansas State 5-2 in their last meeting on March 25 in Manhattan, Kan.
A Texas win on Friday would mean a rematch against either third-seeded Oklahoma or sixth-seeded Texas Tech in the semifinals on Saturday. Texas beat the rival Sooners 5-2 in its last home match of the season on April 10. The Longhorns fell to Texas Tech 4-3 on April 1 in Lubbock.
UT brings several highly ranked players to the tournament, including No. 26 sophomore Aeriel Ellis and the 54th-ranked doubles tandem of senior Amanda Craddock and freshman Cierra Gaytan-Leach.
Texas lost to Baylor in the final round of the Big 12 Championship in Austin last season. However, the Longhorns have made it to the finals in 13 of 14 tournament appearances. They have won the event seven times, achieving their most recent Big 12 tournament title in 2005.