Longhorns Falter in Finals after great start to weekend

Chris Caraveo

The Longhorns set the tone for the weekend on Friday. Adversity set in for the longhorns after a weekend of play.

Sophomores Noel Scott and Lina Padegimaite began a strong day for the Texas players. The pair won their opening match versus LSU then defeated UTSA’s Isabelle Jonsson and Jacobea Junger 8-4.

“Lina and Noel were dominating today in doubles and it was fun to see them back on the court together,” Head Coach Patty Fendick-McCain said.

Three other Longhorns claimed victory Friday. Sophomore Annat Rabinovich evaded a third set in her match against Leah Fried of Rice University, winning in straight sets, 6-1 and 7-5.

Juniors Elizabeth Begley and Juliana Gajic each won their opening matches, eliminating Jonsson and Junger.

Coach Fendick-McCain was impressed with the performance of Begley, attributing her success to her overall improvement.

“She’s adding a whole new dimension to her game. She’s stretching the court out, her volleys are improving dramatically and she’s getting comfortable finishing at the net,” Fendick-McCain said.

Despite the success on day one, Gajic and Begley were ousted from doubles play 8-4 by Houston. Scott had to retire from singles down 1-4 because of illness.

On Saturday, Begley and Rabinovich dominated as each collected a pair of wins in their respective brackets, gaining slots in the finals on Sunday.

With Scott back on the court, she and Padegimaite were eliminated 8-3 in the semifinals by SMU. Gajic lost in straight sets to Barbora Vykydalova of North Texas.

In the Orange bracket final on Sunday, Begley fell to SMU’s Aleksandra Malyarchikova in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. She had the chance to push the first set to 5-5, but lost after a couple of rounds of deuces.

Rabinovich had her hands full in the Black bracket final, splitting the first two sets with Tulane’s Ipec Birol, including a tough 7-6 loss in the first set. Birol would claim the final set 6-4 and the match as Longhorns lose in the finals for a second straight week.

The Longhorns head to Los Angeles Sept. 29 for the week long ITA All-American Championship.