Top-10 Texas team heads into home stretch of conference play

Matt Warden

They rank No. 13 in the nation, hold a flawless conference record and perhaps have multiple All-Big 12 performers.

At this point, the Longhorns have proven that they are one of the best tennis teams in the country and one of the best athletics groups on campus. Following two dominating victories against Kansas and Kansas State, the team is in a good position in the Big 12.

“The girls really stepped up and played well,” head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “It was great to see them perform that well. We just need to stay fresh and focused.”

The women currently reside in the No. 13 spot in the ITA rankings, holding an 11-5 record, including a 4-0 record in Big 12 play. Resiliency has been the team’s motto, but consistency has defined the team’s top performers.

Senior Krista Damico has been the leader of this year’s squad all season long, earning her status as team captain. Although her 12-match win streak was snapped against Kansas State, her 12-2 record overall has earned her a spot amongst the top 70 players in the country.

After a pair of wins against the Jayhawks and Wildcats, sophomore Elizabeth Begley pushed her singles record to 10-1 on the year. Even though her impressive play has slid under the radar this year, her impact hasn’t gone completely unnoticed.

“She has been a rock down there,” Fendick-McCain said. “She never gives an inch and having that kind of backbone in your lineup is very helpful.”

Mainstays in the Longhorns’ lineup have played huge all year, but newcomers have also stepped up and proved their worth. Freshmen Noel Scott and Lina Padegimaite remained consistent all year, pushing their win totals to 15 and 10 respectively in the team’s last match.

The big women on campus and in all of college tennis will take their two-game win streak into weekend matches against Big 12 rivals Baylor and Texas Tech.

Printed on Friday, April 13, 2012 as: Undefeated in Big 12 play, Texas prepares for Baylor