Tennis roundup: Men’s and women’s teams struggle on the road

Henry Corwin and Logan Harvill

After losing a shocker, Texas women rally to beat No. 23 Northwestern

The women’s tennis team fell to its first opponent of the season on Friday. Coming in as the favorites to beat unranked Illinois, No. 11 Texas surprisingly lost 2-4, after dropping three straight singles matches.

The Longhorns have struggled to win the opening doubles point all season, and those struggles appeared again on Friday after the Longhorns lost the first available point and went down 0-1. After a pair of dominant wins from sophomore twins Anna and Bianca Turati, the Longhorns took a 2-1 lead. But that didn’t stop Illinois from winning three straight singles matches and taking the match.

“We were outplayed, outfought, outcoached and out of sorts from the beginning,” head coach Howard Joffe. “It’s no secret that we have a very young team, and the hope is that we can all profit and learn some lessons as we move forward.”

After their first loss of the season, Texas returned to beat No. 23 Northwestern on Sunday.

To open the match against Northwestern, the Longhorns again lost the opening doubles point, setting them at a disadvantage and going down 0-1. But much like the Longhorns have done the entire season, Texas proceeded to dominate singles play and come out with a 4-2 victory.

“Today was a vicious match,” Joffe said. “More than anything, the ladies’ victory says a lot about the character and fabric of such a young group.”

Ohio State takes care of the Longhorn men with a 4-0 victory

College tennis’ No. 2-ranked team in the nation proved to be too much for the Longhorns on Saturday.

The men’s team headed to Columbus, Ohio, to take on second-ranked Ohio State this weekend, looking to avenge its disappointing ITA Kickoff Weekend last week where the Longhorns were upset by Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Texas Regional.

Unfortunately for the Longhorns, their desire for redemption simply couldn’t match the talent of Ohio State. In the doubles pool, the Longhorns’ third doubles team of sophomore Yuya Ito and junior Harrison Scott had no answer for Ohio State’s team of Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert, losing 6-0. Ohio State eventually clinched the doubles point.

The singles pool was conquered by Ohio State as well. Fifth-ranked Mikael Torpegaard handled Scott with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Ohio State increased its lead to 3-0 when sophomore J.J. Wolf impressively dominated No. 37-ranked Leonardo Telles of the Longhorns with a 6-1, 6-0 win.

The Buckeyes went on to take the match, 4-0. Head coach Michael Center acknowledged after the match just how good the Buckeyes were, but he still saw no reason why the Longhorns couldn’t have made things closer.

“Ohio State was too good for us today,” Center said. “(They’re) very good, but we need to compete better moving forward to be competitive with the best teams. We have a lot of work to do.”