Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

No. 6 Texas women’s tennis takes down No. 12 Auburn 4-1 at home

Darby Tippit
Graduate student Tanya Sasnouskaya prepares to hit the ball during singles play against Ariana Arseneault of Auburn University on February 18, 2024. Her match was tied when play stopped as the Longhorns clinched the win.

After losing in the quarterfinals round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Women’s Team Indoor Championship last weekend in Seattle, Texas women’s tennis returned home and went straight back to winning. 

The Longhorns led the series 2-0 before Sunday after defeating the Tigers 4-1 in 2022 and 2014. Despite a slow start in doubles, the Longhorns recovered and sailed through the singles, with four Longhorns coming up with wins. 

Texas fell short in doubles with Auburn winning all three matchups. Junior Sabina Zeynalova and senior Taisiya Pachkaleva lost 6-1 against Tigers Ariana Arseneault and DJ Bennett. In a closer match, senior Malaika Rapolu and graduate student Tanya Sasnouskaya held their own before Auburn’s Selin Ovunc and Carolyn Ansari defeated them 6-4. Longhorn senior Charlotte Chavatipon and redshirt sophomore Vivian Ovrootsky fell 5-4 to Ava Esposito Cogan and Adeline Flach, giving Auburn the first point.

Texas regrouped and dominated in singles. Four out of six Longhorns defeated their Tiger opponents in their first sets, with Sasnouskaya losing 6-3 to Arseneault and Rapolu falling to Bennett 5-5. Pachkaleva beat Flach in a strong 6-1 and 6-0 showing, taking the match and tying Texas and Auburn 1-1. 

“It was tough,” Pachkaleva said. “The girls played very well in doubles. There were a couple (of) unlucky moments for us, but I knew that my point counted, and I had to do everything for the team, so it was pretty easy to regroup because I just knew I had to do it.” 

No. 120 Chavatipon defeated No. 104 Ovunc and went 6-3 in both sets, and added another point to Texas’ tally. 

“I think it was a good opportunity that we got to play Auburn, who’s a pretty good ranked team,” Chavatipon said. “And then (be) back at home and get some good momentum for Stanford next weekend.”

Zeynalova also triumphed 6-3 in both sets over No. 13 Ansari, and put up Texas’ third straight singles win. 

Ovrootsky won her first set 6-3 against Cogan, but lost 5-7 in the second. She battled her way back and fought through the third set 6-1, giving Texas the fourth point over Auburn and clinching the match.

Head coach Howard Joffe said he liked his team’s recovery against Auburn after the doubles loss, especially because his players had to make what he said was a difficult switch from indoor to outdoor tennis after the ITA National Indoors tournament. 

“We did a very, very good job of bouncing back because it wasn’t that we lost the doubles point,” Joffe said. “It was the manner in which we lost the doubles point. It wasn’t competitive, really. And so we were able to flip the energy … (I’m) incredibly proud of our group.” 

Texas is now 7–2 and will face No. 3 Stanford on Feb. 23 in California. 

“The good news is we got a win today, which always feels better than a loss,” said Joffe. “I’m sure come Friday, we’ll be ready to take on Stanford with vim and vigor.” 

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