Texas women’s tennis dominates at ITA Kickoff Weekend with double sweep

Emma Hutchinson, Sports Reporter

Holding onto its No. 1 ranking, the Texas women’s tennis team executed again this weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend, playing Friday against Florida Atlantic and Saturday against SMU.

The Longhorns started the weekend with a 4-0 sweep against Florida Atlantic at the Texas Tennis Center. Freshman Sabina Zeynalova and sophomore Kylie Collins were a powerful duo, winning the final four games of their contest to end the match in a 6-1 victory against their opponents Martina Kudelova and Katerina Filip.

In similar fashion, sophomores Charlotte Chavatipon and Peyton Stearns won their last four games and took a 6-2 win against the Owls’ Lexi Silna and Greta Schieroni.

On court 3, the freshman pair Allura Zamarripa and Vivian Ovrootsky came away with a 6-1 success over Amber McGinnis and Millie-Mae Matthews. Texas took a 1-0 lead after winning all three doubles matches as they moved into singles.

With three unfinished games in the single rounds, Stearns, Zeynalova, and Ovrootsky led the way for the Longhorns sweep. Stearns finished with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Kudelova, moving her to a 5-0 status for the year. Zeynalova and Ovrootsky both improved to 2-0 in dual-match play, with Zeynalova clutching a 6-1, 6-0 win over McGinnis. Ovrootsky came away with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Matthews.

In Saturday’s matchup against SMU, Texas turned the weekend into a double sweep, shutting down the Mustangs 4-0.

Zeynalova and No. 40-ranked Collins took the court again and were met with the force of Claudia Bartolome and Jackie Nylander. SMU closely followed with each point the Longhorns earned, but Zeynalova and Collins’ synchronous rhythm led them to a 6-3 victory and helped Texas to a 1-0 lead with the doubles point.

After a notable success during Friday’s singles match, Stearns handled a singles match against Lexi Keberle with a 6-0 shutout in her first set. Keberle fought back with a 6-2 win in the next set, forcing a third set. Heads turned to watch Stearns on court one, but the sophomore seemed unaffected by the pressure and pushed her way to the end, as the match was soon abandoned.

Zeynalova showed her skills once more this weekend after her first appearance on the court as a Longhorn last Sunday against Texas State. The Ukrainian powerhouse snatched a 6-0, 6-3 win to finish out the match.

Ovrootsky started her first set with a 0-3 deficit against Bartolome but quickly overturned the scoreboard, winning the next six out of seven games to win the first set before the match was left unfinished.

Chavatipon put up a persistent fight against Nylander, coming away with a 6-2, 6-0 win for Texas, completing her final match for the day.

Collins, despite trailing SMU’s Hadley Doyle 1-4 in the first set, came back with a 6-4, 6-1 shutdown to prove her ranking.

The Longhorns look to continue their run Wednesday as they take on Baylor at the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center.