Women’s tennis heads to LA

Kathryn Thiel

Beginning this Saturday, the Longhorns will participate in the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, California. This tournament is one of three national collegiate competitions of the year, drawing in the top athletes from across the country.

“This is a really good opportunity for our players to get wins on the national stage,” said head coach Patty Fendick-McCain.

While Texas possesses considerable depth in its talent, spanning all grade levels, one noticeable addition to the Longhorn lineup is freshman Noel Scott. So far this season, Scott has won a total of six matches in the two previous tournaments.

“Noel Scott will play in the pre-qualifying singles draw after getting off to a very good start,” Fendick-McCain said. “Now, she will be exposed to an even higher level of competition, and that is great for her.”

Sophomore Cierra Gaytan-Leach joined Scott in her wins after the duo claimed the doubles title at the Longhorn Invitational this past weekend. Texas has shown that besides its noteworthy singles talent, the Longhorns have also racked up several doubles wins this season.

“It’s a great opportunity for Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Noel to do some damage in the doubles draw,” Fendick-McCain said. “Krista Damico and Aeriel Ellis make up a solid doubles team and they have a chance to get through the main draw.”

But Texas’ best player might be Ellis. This competition this weekend will mark her seventh consecutive national championship event playing in the singles draw. Fendick-McCain focuses heavily on preparing her players, including Ellis, for this top tier of collegiate tennis.

“We talk about paying attention to the little things and letting them add up,” Fendick-McCain said. “Aeriel has done it, taking care of things day-to-day. We’re starting to see benefits of hard work and attention to detail.”

Printed on September 30, 2011 as: Scott leads team with six victories