Resiliency has carried team through first half of season

Matt Warden

The Longhorns have proven all season long that they’re a team of resiliency. Following a close defeat to Illinois, the women will likely rebound in a big way.

“Illinois is a tough team who came out ready to play a great match,” head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “We were a little shorthanded, but we had people out there who we felt could do the job.”

With a 9-5 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in Big 12 play, the Longhorns are currently the No. 10 ranked team in the country. In spite of their losses, the team has looked impressive every time out.

“The team has just come together and it’s really just been a collective effort,” said senior Krista Damico. “It’s been really great to see that everyone’s hard work is paying off.”

Damico has been the constant bright spot for the Longhorns all season. She has dominated opponents, losing only one match all year, raising herself to the No. 58 position in the country. Last time out against Illinois, Damico emerged from a back-and-forth three-set battle to claim her 11th straight victory of the season.

“I’m really proud of Krista for getting that last singles win,” Fendick-McCain said. “She’s playing some great tennis.”

All that can be said about junior All-American Aeriel Ellis has been said over and over again. She is currently ranked as the No. 25 player in singles competition, boasting three wins over top 20 opponents, including one over the No. 2 ranked player.

The Longhorns have received great contributions from a couple of newcomers, which has had a great deal to do with their success as well.

Freshman Lina Padegimaite has played solid tennis this year, pushing her win total to nine after the match with Illinois. Noel Scott has proved more than ready for this level of competition as she sits at No. 122 in the country with 14 individual wins.

Adversity has presented itself again and this bodes very well for the Longhorns as they head into a couple of weekend matches with Kansas and Kansas State.