First tourney in Austin since 2005 gives tennis team chance to shine

Kathryn Thiel

Beginning today, Texas will host the Longhorn Invitational, the first fall tournament the school has hosted since Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain arrived in 2005. The Longhorns, including No. 3 seed freshman Noel Scott and No. 6 seed senior Krista Damico, will face competition from San Diego and their neighbors Rice and UT-Arlington.

“This is sort of a fledgling tournament in that it will grow to be a much deeper field in the future,” Fendick-McCain said. “We wanted the ladies to have an opportunity to play at home in the fall.”

This past weekend, the Longhorns fared well against tough national competition at the Duke Invitational. While Texas did put several doubles and singles wins on the board, most were in the consolation draw of the tournament.

“The Duke tournament was a very big opportunity for players to get wins over nationally ranked opponents,” Fendick-McCain said. “Some took advantage, some were not able to.”

There are certainly high hopes for the Longhorns after competitive results as a finalist in the Big 12 Championships last season. And while Texas possesses the home-court advantage, that aspect alone will not be enough to give it the wins this weekend.

“They need to be able to play plenty of matches to get ready for their next tournament, whether that be the [Intercollegiate Tennis Association] All-American Championships or the ITA Texas Regional Championships,” Fendick-McCain said.