Longhorns fall short in doubles play at All-American Championship

Kathryn Thiel

The doubles success seen by the Longhorns last tournament fell short during competition in the ITA All-American Championship this week. While both Texas doubles teams did move past the first pre-qualifying round of the tournament in an efficient fashion, their progress did not continue in following matches.

Sophomore Cierra Gaytan-Leach and freshman Noel Scott began this competition with the confidence of claiming the doubles title of the Longhorn Invitational the week before. However, traveling to Los Angeles this week left them without their home-court advantage.

The Longhorns seemed to be on their way to the main draw after a decisive victory against Memphis’ Courtney Collins and Kelsey Gray, winning 8-3. But Clemson’s Monika Kochanova and Klara Vyskocilova clearly took control over Texas in the next match, taking the set 8-1.

With the fairly consistent effort made by the young team of Gaytan-Leach and Scott, Texas has shown the depth of its lineup. Although senior Krista Damico and junior Aeriel Ellis did not have the doubles success some might have anticipated, falling in the second pre-qualifying round, Damico still hopes to show her leadership on and off the court.

“We have a very young team this year with four freshmen and three sophomores,” Damico said. “But they are all so willing to work and are so dedicated that I feel like if I can be a positive role model to these girls, and be there for them when they need me, then this team will be capable of great things.”

Texas did not follow its doubles triumph in previous competition this week, but the Longhorns are still in the tournament with Ellis advancing to the singles main draw playing No. 8 seed Clemson’s Josipa Bek.