The stakes were high on Friday when No. 4 Texas pulled off a 4-0 sweep over No. 8 Stanford, advancing Texas’s record to 10–2. The match served as another effort the Longhorns made at changing the narrative of the rivalry between the two programs.
Since 1975, the Cardinal lead the series between the two schools 13–5. When the two met earlier this month at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, the Longhorns proved to be a worthy opponent as Texas won 4-2.
“They're a great team with really good coaches and really good players, and anytime you can beat teams like Stanford, it's a really good sign for your program,” Texas head coach Bruce Berque said. “We have a lot of respect for them, and we had a great crowd, so we had that in our favor today. But I know they're a really good team, and we're proud to be able to beat them.”
Things looked positive for Texas early in the match as freshmen Jacob Bullard and Eliot Spizzirri added to redshirt freshman Cleeve Harper and sophomore Chih Chi Huang’s prior win, securing the doubles point for the Longhorns.
“I think (Harper) returned very well, and we played together in the past already, so we know each other's game, and I think that worked out good,” Huang said.
Huang also had huge success in singles, which led him to clinch Texas’ win.
“It was pretty close all the way through in the first set,” Huang said. “When I glanced over, at least to the courts beside me, it wasn't looking great. They were both down a set, so I knew that my match was going to be pretty important. And then after I got the early break in the second, I kinda held my nerve and then just served it out, and the crowd helped a lot for sure.”
No. 6 senior Christian Sigsgaard also had a big match when he made quick work of his opponent, No. 5 sophomore Alex Rotsaert.
“I've been preparing for this singles match for a while now,” Sigsgaard said. “It was against the same guy, so I was working on improving and fitting my game plan a little better so it would pay off a little more, and I think I did that pretty well.”
The weekend is just getting started for the Longhorns who will travel to Cary, North Carolina, to take on No. 9 North Carolina State on Sunday.
“Playing North Carolina State on the road is a different kind of challenge because we're not going to have close to a thousand people behind us,” Berque said. “It could be the opposite, but we're looking forward to it. Right now we're just going to try to relax and recover with our bodies and then hit the road tomorrow morning, and hopefully be ready to play another good match and compete hard again.”