No. 6 Texas got back into its groove Tuesday after a hard-fought 4-2 win over No. 15 Michigan, breaking its two-game losing streak.
Things were looking bright for Texas when seniors Anna and Bianca Turati clinched the doubles point just moments after freshman-sophomore duo Adri Nagy and Tijana Spasojevic earned a victory over their opponents.
“Obviously I’m super happy, and the girls are happy to get the win,” head coach Howard Joffe said. “Michigan is a good team, a very good team. The challenge given to the girls is that they’re all doing such a good job with the substance. It’s just challenging them with getting a ‘W,’ and I think today was a very good example of that.”
The Longhorn-to-watch was redshirt sophomore Marta Perez Mur, who clinched Texas’ win after the success of her singles. It was Perez Mur’s first time facing Michigan, as she redshirted her freshman year due to an injury.
“You want to be the last match because you want to clinch, but whenever you lose, it’s also tough,” Perez Mur said to Longhorn Network after the match. “But honestly, it’s something every tennis player should experience. You feel a different kind of support. Also, with the crowd it’s just different, and I’m super honored to represent the University of Texas and to be able to clinch matches like this one today.”
Perez Mur’s success was a testament to her work in her first full season in the lineup. Perez Mur’s match-clinching win was key in snapping the losing streak.
“Today the person that clinched the match was Marta, and that makes it very satisfying,” Joffe said. “That’s (going to) help our team, because the more we get wins across the board, the more of a danger we are when we get to the NCAA Tournament.”
In the first two matches against ranked opponents, the Longhorns fell to No. 12 Stanford and No. 17 Pepperdine by a combined score of 11-3. Tuesday’s home victory over the Wolverines was a welcome sight.
“I think it’s really positive for us,” Perez Mur told Longhorn Network. “We’ve been playing highly competitive teams, and so I think this is giving us a good, positive impact to start our regular season on Friday. I think it gives us motivation knowing that we’re one of the best teams in the country, and we can play amazing tennis.”
The win over Michigan serves as a confidence boost for the Longhorns as they jump headfirst into Big 12 play against West Virginia on Friday.
“I think our team is not accustomed to losing, and we lost two in a row against Stanford and Pepperdine, so this is a quality win,” Joffe said. “I think it is going to give everyone confidence as we step into conference play.”