• Texas battles Bobcats in fall-season finale

    The Longhorns (6–0) will close out the fall season on Thursday with a matchup against Texas State, heading home after a two-game series with UTSA. Texas dominated the Road Runners in San Antonio over the weekend, winning by scores of 6-0 and 13-5, respectively. 

    “I’m pretty happy with the way we played,” sophomore outfielder Reagan Hathaway said. “We’re getting better and better each game our defense has been really solid lately, so it’s all coming along for us.”

    The Longhorns faced a four-run deficit in the second game of the weekend, but never faltered. The burnt orange maintained their composure and stuck together, executing their game plan as a team to stage a comeback victory

    “Once we get it going, it’s not hard to stay locked in at all,” freshman infielder Kaitlyn Slack said. “We had to work through a little bit of adversity for the first time this fall, but we got through it together.”

    Texas hopes to cap off their fall season with one more win in front of their home crowd, but it won’t be easy. The team has had trouble with the Bobcats before, losing 6-0 in last year’s fall season and splitting the regular season series 1-1. 

    “It’s always a tough matchup,” senior outfielder Stephanie Wong said. “They’re a really good team that always brings a fight to us, so we’re all excited about it.”

    Aside from the Bobcats talented roster, Texas will also face former Longhorn Cat Osterman. The three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year helps call the shots from the Texas State dugout as an assistant coach. 

    “That’s always a fun side note that she’s coaching over there,” head coach Connie Clark said. “She’s done a really nice job with her pitching staff, so we’ll be challenged up.”

    Texas draws closer to regular-season form with every contest, but still sees room for improvement. The Longhorns will look to further polish their game on Thursday and finish the fall with a strong final performance.

    “Really, it’s about us,” Clark said. “We have to run bases better and keep making adjustments at the plate regardless of who is in the other dugout.”

  • Women’s tennis picks up 28 wins at Kitty Harrison Invitational

    The Longhorns finished up a big weekend with 28 wins in their three days at the Kitty Harrison Invitational in North Carolina.

    The Longhorns went 19-3 in singles events and 9-2 in doubles events. Even so, head coach Howard Joffe believes the team still has room for improvement.

    “The ladies performed outstandingly in singles this weekend as evidenced by the pretty dominant number of wins that were racked up,” Joffe said. “It’s clear that our doubles will need some attention as we lead into the spring.”

    All-Big 12 senior Neda Koprcina highlighted the Longhorns’ performance. Koprcina defeated Minnesota’s Camila Vargas Gomez in two sets on Sunday to finish the weekend 3-0 in singles and 1-2 in doubles.

    Junior Dani Wagland also produced a strong showing, finishing 2-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles. Sophomore Katie Poluta added a 3-0 singles and 3-0 doubles record while sophomore Chelsea Crovetti finished 2-1 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. 

    Freshman Bianca Turati also impressed in her collegiate debut with a 3-0 record in singles and a 3-0 record in doubles.

    “Bianca Turati played some very steady tennis throughout and went undefeated at the No. 1 spot,” Joffe said.  “All in all, it was a good weekend and a nice opportunity for the entire team to bond.”

    Texas begins spring tournament play on Jan. 13.

  • Longhorns top Aggies in first home meet

    The No. 7 Longhorns swam their way to a victory against No. 14 Texas A&M on Thursday. 

    Texas started off strong, winning the first nine events of the day. The team went on to top the Aggies, 166.5-128.5.

    “We won some close races today, and that makes us really happy,” head coach Carol Capitani said. “It’s a source of pride, and we did this one for the Longhorns fans. It’s nice to be on the winning side of the coin.”

    Sophomore Joanna Evans, senior Madisyn Cox and junior Rebecca Millard shined for the Longhorns. Evans picked up a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle, while Cox and Millard led Texas to a win in the 200-yard medley relay. 

    The Longhorns also took first in both diving events, where freshman Alison Gibson and sophomore Meghan O’Brien each won the 3-meter and 1-meter respectively. 

    “I’m really pleased with the way we swam today,” Capitani said. “I think it’s a testament to how hard we are working right now. We’re paying attention to little details, and for the most part, we’re doing those little things right.” 

    Senior Tasija Karosas, freshman Claire Adams and sophomore Olivia Anderson also had big days, making NCAA provisional cuts. The provisional cuts allow the three to compete at the NCAA Championships in March without having to qualify separately. 

    The women face off against North Carolina State on Friday at 5 p.m.

  • Rising stars shine in tournament play

    Head coach Michael Center has run the Longhorns’ men’s tennis program since 2000, making the Final Four three times. And following a Round of 16 loss to Ohio State in the NCAA tournament last season, Center’s group now looks to continue its success heading into the 2016-17 regular season.

    The Longhorns reached the end of tournament play last week at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Texas Regional with solid performances by freshmen Yuya Ito and Christian Sigsgaard. Ito reached the semifinals of the tournament, picking up four singles wins before falling in three sets to Texas Tech’s 95th-ranked Jolan Cailleau. 

    After the singles portion of the tournament, Texas’ doubles pair of Sigsgaard and redshirt sophomore Julian Zlobinsky won their first two matches before falling to the Red Raiders in the third round.

    Strong performances throughout the fall tournament season earned Ito and Sigsgaard spots in the USTA/ITA National Indoors Tournament in New York City. The two will be in the Big Apple from Nov. 3 through Nov. 6.

    Apart from Texas’ standout freshmen, sophomores Colin Markes and Harrison Scott have also enjoyed fall tournament success.

    The two players have combined for a 14-2 singles record on the year, building off a freshman year where they combined for 31 wins and 13 losses in singles play. 

    Poor conference records in past seasons have doomed the Longhorns, but two budding freshmen and a strong core of upperclassmen place Texas in contention for a Big 12 title.

    The Longhorns will have two months of rest before opening the regular season on Jan. 12 against UTSA. 

  • Volker places second in Las Vegas Invitational

    Officiating and weather are said to be the only things in sports in which the players and coaches have no control. No. 14 Texas experienced the latter on Monday as weather dictated play in the Las Vegas Invitational. 

    After a clear opening day in which the Longhorns ended up tied for seventh, a storm erupted stopping any play from taking place prior to the second round. Play resumed on Tuesday, but was still delayed because of fog.

    Texas ended the tournament tied for No. 4 overall. The Commodores shot 15-under-par for the tournament. 

    “We just did not get off to a good start here in Las Vegas and losing a round to weather hurt us,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “This will be a learning experience for our team. You have to be ready when they ring the bell.”

    Baylor, who led every step of the way, finished in first at 25-under par. UNLV finished second, losing by eight strokes. 

    Freshman Greta Volker led the way for Texas, finishing No. 2 overall at 8-under-par. She fell just one stroke behind Baylor’s Amy Lee. 

    “[Volker] gave herself a chance to win and came very close,” Murphy said. “The round capped a terrific fall for Greta and I could not be happier with her efforts thus far.”

    Fellow freshman Emilee Hoffman finished her two rounds at 4-under-par and tied for No. 15.  Senior Julia Beck finished one stroke behind Hoffman, tied for No. 21. 

    The Longhorns hope for clearer skies and drier fairways in February when official play begins once again. Their first tournament of the new year will be in Orlando, Florida for a tournament hosted by the University of Central Florida.