Women’s tennis looks for big win against Stanford

Yazmin Dominguez

The spring season has been kind to the Texas women’s tennis team. 

The Longhorns have been riding a victory wave in the spring season thus far with eight wins, a four-game win streak and an unblemished record at home.

Coming off of Sunday’s win over Brown at the Texas Tennis Center, the Longhorns’ focus shifted to preparation for their next match against No. 12 Stanford on Saturday. On Tuesday, extra stakes were added to the highly ranked matchup. 

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its latest rankings, which dropped Stanford down to No. 12 from No. 3. This new ranking worked in Texas’ favor, who advanced to the vacated No. 3 spot, its highest rank since the 2006 season when it held the same position.

Now placed eight spots above in the rankings, Texas still has reason to take the competition just as seriously as before, especially given the history between the two teams.

Since 1999, Texas and Stanford have gone head-to-head in eight matches. Stanford leads the series 17–5. The last time the two teams met up was last year in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship quarterfinals, which resulted in a close-fought 4-3 loss for Texas.

Despite this matchup, Texas and Stanford did not have the opportunity to play each other in a nontournament outdoor match last season due to weather. That could be a big factor in this year’s matchup, said junior Fernanda Labraña, one of the few familiar faces Stanford will be up against.

“I’m super excited,” Labraña said. “I’ve been waiting for this match for a year, basically, because last year we couldn’t play because of the rain. So I think it’s gonna be a great challenge, and I think we’re ready.”

Texas brings three new athletes to the matchup, including freshman Lexi Ryngler, who ranks No. 61 in singles. Seniors Anna and Bianca Turati join Ryngler in ITA’s singles rankings at third and 26th respectively.

Stanford has four ITA-ranked athletes on their own nine-person roster, led by No. 9 junior Michaela Gordon, No. 66 senior Emily Arbuthnott, No. 111 freshman Angelica Blake and No. 115 junior Janice Shin round out the rest of the talented ranked players.

While the Longhorns await Stanford’s arrival in Austin, the team knows a victory over Stanford would serve as a true testament to the team’s potential. 

“We have a pretty good team, but if we’re able to perform to the level that Stanford brings, I think we can do great things this year,” redshirt sophomore Marta Perez Mur said. “So I think it’s going to be a great match, and I’m just looking forward to it.”

The stakes are high for Texas to defend their newfound ranking against its previous holder. The match between the two begins 1 p.m. Saturday at the Texas Tennis Center.