• Men, women’s tennis head to ITA Texas Regional Championships

    Texas looks to solidify its place as the top tennis program in the state at this weekend’s ITA Texas Regional Championships, hosted by TCU.

    The four-day tournament includes a singles and doubles draw and features players from every Division I program in the state. The winners qualify for next month’s USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York, where they’ll match up with the victors from the remaining regional events.

    For the men, freshman Christian Sigsgaard is the only Texas player to have already earned a place in the New York tournament, after advancing through the round of 16 at the ITA All-American Championships in early October. The newcomer lost in the semifinals but finished the event with a stellar 11–1 record.

    At last year’s regional, sophomore Harrison Scott fell in the round of 16 to Texas Tech’s Alex Sendegeya, marking the furthest any Texas player advanced. The Longhorns are expected to have a far more favorable showing this time around, with promising new additions and a more experienced roster.

    The Longhorn women also bring a talented team to the event. Senior Neda Koprcina is ranked No. 82 in singles, while junior Dani Wagland sits at No. 113.

    This tournament comes two weeks after a disappointing showing for the women at the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, California. Koprcina won her first match against Mississippi State’s Anastasia Rentouli in a sweep, but was unable to clinch a spot in the qualifying rounds with a three-set loss in her second match to Michigan’s Kate Fahey.

    The tournament begins Thursday and concludes Monday.


  • Longhorns valued at nearly $700,000

    The average football player at Texas is worth roughly $670,000 to the University per year according to Business Insider. 

    The publication calculated the athlete’s “Fair Market Value” using data from the Department of Education, which stated that Texas rakes in $121.4 million in football revenue per year. Then, it used the NFL’s revenue sharing model to determine the monetary value of each player. NFL players receive a collective 47 percent of all revenue made by the league. 

    Texas’ athletes are over $100,000 more valuable than players at the next most profitable school, the University of Alabama. There, players are worth just over $530,000. The burnt orange’s greatest competition in the Big 12 comes from Oklahoma, where players are worth an average of just over $435,000. No other school in the conference falls in the top 20 of revenue generation.

    Revenues at Texas far outpace that of any other athletic program in the nation. The average division-one college football program makes just over $29 million in revenue each year for its respective school, falling $92 million behind Texas. 

  • Sports Briefly: Texas soccer shut out by Iowa State

    Iowa State took a page out of Texas’ book Friday night in Ames. 

    The Cyclones (8-5-1, 2-3-1 Big 12) fired a shot into the back of the net in the first five minutes of play. The Longhorns (7-7-1, 0-4-1), who are usually the first on the board, found themselves down early. 

    Iowa State midfielder Hannah Cade got the ball in the middle of the 18-yard box and gave her team the 1-0 lead. That proved to be all Iowa State needed. 

    The Longhorns had a few dangerous looks. They had 20 shots — four on goal — but nothing to show for it. Senior goalkeeper Paige Brown also recorded a career-high seven saves.

    Iowa State kept Texas off the board and finished the game with nine shots on goal. The Cyclones extended their lead with 20 minutes left in regulation when midfielder Taylor Wagner received a cross and easily fired a shot from seven yards out.

    The 2–0 lead proved to be too much for Texas. The Longhorns kept shooting, but the tenacious Iowa State defense denied the Longhorns’ attack.

    Texas, which is still winless in conference play, will return to action this weekend when Texas Tech comes to town on Friday. The team will then host West Virginia on Sunday in the last home game of the season.

  • Longhorns prepare for Oracle ITA Masters

    The future is bright for Texas men’s tennis prior to the second annual Oracle ITA Masters beginning on Thursday. 

    Freshman Yuya Ito heads to Malibu, California, to represent Texas as the No. 1 seed and heavy favorite, the first time a Longhorn has done so at the event. 

    The tournament comes less than a week after he and freshman teammate Christian Sigsgaard completed deep runs through the singles draw at the ITA All-American Championships — both overcame multiple top-50 ITA-ranked opponents.

    The Oracle Masters features a single participant from each Division I conference in both male and female categories. It includes a 32-player singles draw, up from 16 in 2015, as well as a rarely-seen mixed doubles draw. The selection criteria follows closely that of the NCAA tournament.

    Ito’s first match begins Thursday against Kei Ezaka of Quinnipiac University. Other notable competitors are No. 27 Nick Crystal of USC, as well as No. 28 Ryotaro Matsumura of Kentucky. The two are seeded No. 5 and No. 2 respectively.

    At last weekend’s All-American event, Ito notched five wins in both the qualifying and main draws before losing in the top-16 in a three-set match to No. 37 Alfredo Perez of Florida. The victory that landed Ito in the round of 16 came against No. 48 Logan Smith of USC.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the Longhorn roster ramps up for the ITA Texas Regional Championships, which is held next weekend in Fort Worth. The event features every NCAA Division I men’s tennis program in the state, with the winners advancing to the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, New York. 

    Led by a stout freshman class, Texas hopes to solidify a standing as the state’s top tennis program. Play begins on Oct. 21.

  • Sigsgaard falls in semifinals at ITA All-American Championships

    Texas freshman Christian Sigsgaard notched 12 consecutive wins on his way to the singles semifinals at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The newcomer from Denmark played with poise far beyond his years as he defeated multiple ITA-ranked veterans, including No. 13 Florian Lakat of California in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

    But a weekend worth of nonstop action took its toll. The fatigue plagued Sigsgaard during the quarterfinal match as he dropped a hard-fought set against No. 33 Hugo Di Feo of Ohio State, 7-6, only to lose the next set and a spot in the finals by a 6-0 margin. Regardless, the Texas freshman concluded his first collegiate national championship event with a stellar 11-1 record. 

    Another Texas newcomer also continued to make a name for himself at the championship tournament. Freshmen Yuya Ito advanced to the Round of 16 with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over USC’s Logan Smith. There he met No. 37 Alfredo Perez of Florida, who claimed the first set after a lengthy tiebreaker, 8-6. Ito managed to even the match at a set apiece after a strong 6-1 win, but he fell short in the final set, dropping by the same 6-0 margin that ousted his teammate in the semifinals.

    Over in Houston, the third round of qualifying draws came to a close Monday at the Houston Futures. Two Texas players fell a round short of the singles main draw at the first professional tennis tournament of the fall season, hosted by the International Tennis Federation in Houston. The event features players from around the world competing for a chance to qualify for professional ATP Challenger Tours and World Tours, as well as the $25,000 grand prize.

    After fighting through the first two rounds, sophomore Rodrigo Banzer dropped the first set on Monday, 1-4, before retiring against professional circuit veteran Jolan Cailleau from Belgium.

    Meanwhile Texas sophomore Julian Zlobinsky went up against another longtime pro player, 28-year-old Evgeny Korolev of Russia. After forcing the tiebreaker in the first set, Zlobinsky lost by a slim 5-7 margin. But the age and experience proved too much for the native of New York, and he lost in the next set, 2-6.

    The Futures event continues through Sunday, but no Longhorn players remain. Instead the team turns its attention to Thursday’s upcoming event, as Texas freshmen Ito and Leonardo Telles begin play at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, California.