Texas finishes regular season with solid wins

Dawson Hinkley

Junior Dani Wagland sent a backhand strike down the left side of the court Friday afternoon. Kansas’ Tatiana Nikolaeva stretched to return the hit, but her racket fell a few inches short as the ball flew past to seal Texas’ victory.

The No. 25 Longhorns  (11–7, 5–3 Big 12) took down the No. 27 Jayhawks (12–8, 4–4) on senior night for a 4-1 victory in the first match of the weekend.

The match began with a slight twist as Kansas only had five available players. The Jayhawks were forced to forfeit one of the three doubles matches.

However, the Jayhawks’ lack of players did not slow them down in the doubles competition. Kansas won two doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead.

The Jayhawks had to forfeit a singles match, which brought the score back to even.

The Longhorns went on to earn three victories in singles play by 72nd-ranked freshman Petra Granic, 79th-ranked senior Neda Koprcina and Wagland to cap off the victory.

“There’s no question for this young team that the fight, the effort and the resilience are there,” head coach Howard Joffe said.

Koprcina was honored after the match for her career and dedication to the team throughout her four years in Austin.

“I’m tearing up, the water works are going,” Joffe said. “This girl has more willpower than I ever will.”

Texas finished its regular season Sunday against Kansas State (11–14, 2–7).

The Longhorns showed complete dominance across the board with a victory in the doubles competition, followed by singles wins by freshman Anna Turati, Granic and Wagland to earn a shutout victory, 4-0. 

“The singles have been good, but I think we can improve on it,” Joffe said. “The doubles will need a major overhaul if we’re going to do something in the postseason.”

Next up for the Longhorns is the Big 12 Championships starting April 27 in Norman, Oklahoma.