Texas begins Big 12 play with impressive victories

Matt Warden

Spring break saw a bittersweet symphony play an impressive but tough tune for the Longhorns.

Despite a close loss to No. 4 ranked USC, the team claimed victories over No. 16 Michigan, and conference foes Iowa State and Missouri.

Against Michigan, All-American Aeriel Ellis played a hard-fought match with the No. 10 ranked player in the nation, but eventually came away with the win after dropping the first set. Great performances by Cierra Gaytan-Leach, Krista Damico and Elizabeth Begley produced three more points for the Longhorns.

In their next match, USC proved to be too much as the Longhorns fell in all three doubles matches to give the Trojans the deciding match point. The women split the singles matches as Gaytan-Leach, Lina Padegimaite and Damico all emerged victorious in three sets, respectively.

“USC is a very tough team with a lot of good players, but for the girls who were on the court to get those wins was great,” head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “We get on a plane tomorrow and go to Iowa State and Missouri, and we are looking forward to getting out there and starting conference play.”

In their first Big 12 match of the season, the duo of Padegimaite and Noel Scott won their doubles match in straight sets against Iowa State. In singles competition, Scott, Padegimaite and Damico each claimed victory as the women took five out of six from the Cyclones.

To close out the break the Longhorns topped Missouri by sweeping all three doubles matches on their way to a decisive 5-2 win. In singles play Damico, Padegimaite, Gaytan-Leach and Begley all won their matches.

With two notable victories to begin Big 12 play, the Longhorns look to be a tough opponent for any conference foe.