Texas men’s tennis finishes road stretch with 6-1 win over Rice

Ross Fisher

The No. 6-ranked Texas men’s tennis team capped off a perfect four-match road stretch with a win at Rice, following victories at Tulane, then-No. 26 Oklahoma State and then-No. 28 Oklahoma. 

Texas dominated Rice 6-1 in Houston on Friday, closing out five singles matches in straight sets and only dropping two sets on the day. 

The Longhorns had already clinched the match 4-0, but they played out the remaining matches after quickly taking three singles matches in straight sets. 

With some guys banged up, today’s match provided head coach Bruce Berque the opportunity to experiment with the doubles pairings. 

With his usual partner, sophomore Siem Woldeab, still out with shin splints, sophomore Eliot Spizzirri played with sophomore Jacob Bullard for the first time this season. It also marked the first occasion this season that No. 120 Spizzirri did not play at No. 1, dropping to No. 2 following his recent uncharacteristic struggles. 

It was Spizzirri and Bullard at No. 2, and junior Chih Chi Huang and redshirt sophomore Cleeve Harper at No. 1, who won the doubles point convincingly for Texas. 

After being the hero against Oklahoma, sophomore Evin McDonald was the first off the court in singles, winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5. 

Texas clinched the match 4-0 after true freshman Micah Braswell won at No. 2 singles and Harper won at No. 3, both in straight sets. Spizzirri at No. 1 and Huang at No. 4 both won tiebreakers in their respective second sets to defeat their opponents in straight sets as well. 

Junior Nevin Arimilli was the only Longhorn to drop a set, falling to Rice freshman Trinity Grear in straight sets.

Texas will finally head back home to Austin to take on No. 16 Arizona next Friday, at the Texas Tennis Center.