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No. 1 Women’s Tennis preview: North Texas, SMU, Tulane

No. 1 TEXAS (0-0) vs. North Texas

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When: Friday, Jan. 20 (12 p.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

No. 1 TEXAS vs. SMU

When: Saturday, Jan. 21 (12 p.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

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No. 1 TEXAS vs. Tulane

When: Sunday, Jan. 22 (11 a.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

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Team Rankings: Texas is No. 1 in the latest ITA Collegiate Tennis rankings sponsored by Tennis-Point (Jan. 18). This marks the third consecutive poll that the Longhorns have held the top spot in the rankings. UT earned the No. 1 spot in last year’s final poll and was tabbed No. 1 in the preseason poll this year on Jan. 4. Texas has finished each of the last five years in the Top 10 of the final ITA national polls. UT earned a No. 6 ranking in 2018, No. 9 in 2019, No. 4 in 2020 and No. 1 in both 2021 and 2022.

Individual Rankings: Two UT players are included in the current ITA national Top 125 singles rankings (Nov. 16): Malaika Rapolu (No. 85) and Marlee Zein (No. 87).

Back-to-Back NCAA Team Championships: Texas posted a 26-4 dual-match record during the 2022 season and captured their second-straight and fourth NCAA team title in program history with a 4-1 victory against Oklahoma in the championship match. UT previously won NCAA Championships in 1993, 1995 and 2021. The Longhorns joined Stanford and Florida as the only schools to repeat as NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis national champions since 1982.

Solid Start in Miami: Texas recorded a total of 22 combined singles and doubles wins during the three-day Miami Invitational (Jan. 13-15) in Coral Gables, Fla. Marlee Zein posted a perfect 5-0 record at the Miami Invitational, including a 3-0 mark in singles play and a 2-0 slate in doubles.

Host Site for ITA Kickoff Weekend: Texas will once again host a regional site for the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns will face Fresno State on Friday, Jan. 27 (11 a.m. CT) and either Baylor or Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Jan. 28 (2 p.m. CT). The winners of each regional site advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 10-13 (Friday-Monday) in Seattle, Wash.

Big 12 Preseason Favorite: Texas is picked to win the Big 12 Conference title in a preseason vote of the league coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. UT was selected as the preseason Big 12 favorite for a fifth-consecutive year and sixth time in the poll’s history. Texas received eight of a possible nine first-place votes and 80 points in polling for the upcoming 2023 season. Oklahoma ranked second with 73 points and two first-place votes, while Oklahoma State was tabbed third with 61 points. Rounding out the poll in descending order are Iowa State (59), Kansas (46), Baylor (43), Texas Tech (33), TCU (29), Kansas State (16) and West Virginia (10).

Home Success at the TTC: The Longhorns are beginning their sixth year at the Texas Tennis Center. UT has registered a 50-4 (.926) mark in dual matches at the TTC, including a perfect 18-0 record in Big 12 regular-season matches. During its inaugural season in 2018, Texas went 13-0 at home (5-0 in Big 12 play). The Longhorns went 8-2 at the TTC in 2019 (3-0 Big 12) and 7-1 in the shortened 2020 season (2-0 Big 12). UT posted a perfect 13-0 mark at the TTC in 2021 (5-0 Big 12) and went 9-1 (3-0 Big 12) in 2022.

Joffe in Year Eight: Head Coach Howard Joffe is in his eighth season leading the UT program. Under Joffe’s leadership, Texas claimed back-to-back NCAA team championships in 2021 and 2022 and has finished each of the last five years in the top 10 of the final ITA national polls, earning year-end rankings of No. 6 in 2018, No. 9 in 2019, No. 4 in 2020 and No. 1 in both 2021 and 2022. The Longhorns also have captured three Big 12 regular-season championships (2018, 2019 and 2021) and three Big 12 postseason tournament titles (2018, 2021 and 2022) in the last five seasons. The 2021 ITA Division I Women’s National Coach of the Year, Joffe has registered a 141-36 (.797) mark in his first seven years at Texas. During his 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has tallied a 272-97 (.737) dual-match record. Peyton Stearns claimed the Honda Sport Award for Tennis and the ITA National Player of the Year in 2022. Joffe has helped five Longhorns earn a total of seven ITA All-America honors in singles (Breaunna Addison in 2016, Bianca Turati in 2018, Anna Turati and Bianca Turati in 2020, Stearns in both 2021 and 2022 and Kylie Collins in 2022) and two duos earn ITA All-America accolades in doubles (Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun in 2021 and Stearns and Allura Zamarripa in 2022). Stearns became the first player in program history to win the NCAA Singles Championship in 2022, while Collins and Sun reached the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship in 2021. In addition, 14 players have registered a combined 19 All-Big 12 singles and 18 All-Big 12 doubles selections in Joffe’s tenure in Austin.





story by The Texas Tribune Source link

No. 1 TEXAS (0-0) vs. North Texas

When: Friday, Jan. 20 (12 p.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

No. 1 TEXAS vs. SMU

When: Saturday, Jan. 21 (12 p.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

No. 1 TEXAS vs. Tulane

When: Sunday, Jan. 22 (11 a.m. CT)

Where: Texas Tennis Center (Austin, Texas)

Team Rankings: Texas is No. 1 in the latest ITA Collegiate Tennis rankings sponsored by Tennis-Point (Jan. 18). This marks the third consecutive poll that the Longhorns have held the top spot in the rankings. UT earned the No. 1 spot in last year’s final poll and was tabbed No. 1 in the preseason poll this year on Jan. 4. Texas has finished each of the last five years in the Top 10 of the final ITA national polls. UT earned a No. 6 ranking in 2018, No. 9 in 2019, No. 4 in 2020 and No. 1 in both 2021 and 2022.

Individual Rankings: Two UT players are included in the current ITA national Top 125 singles rankings (Nov. 16): Malaika Rapolu (No. 85) and Marlee Zein (No. 87).

Back-to-Back NCAA Team Championships: Texas posted a 26-4 dual-match record during the 2022 season and captured their second-straight and fourth NCAA team title in program history with a 4-1 victory against Oklahoma in the championship match. UT previously won NCAA Championships in 1993, 1995 and 2021. The Longhorns joined Stanford and Florida as the only schools to repeat as NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis national champions since 1982.

Solid Start in Miami: Texas recorded a total of 22 combined singles and doubles wins during the three-day Miami Invitational (Jan. 13-15) in Coral Gables, Fla. Marlee Zein posted a perfect 5-0 record at the Miami Invitational, including a 3-0 mark in singles play and a 2-0 slate in doubles.

Host Site for ITA Kickoff Weekend: Texas will once again host a regional site for the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns will face Fresno State on Friday, Jan. 27 (11 a.m. CT) and either Baylor or Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Jan. 28 (2 p.m. CT). The winners of each regional site advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 10-13 (Friday-Monday) in Seattle, Wash.

Big 12 Preseason Favorite: Texas is picked to win the Big 12 Conference title in a preseason vote of the league coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. UT was selected as the preseason Big 12 favorite for a fifth-consecutive year and sixth time in the poll’s history. Texas received eight of a possible nine first-place votes and 80 points in polling for the upcoming 2023 season. Oklahoma ranked second with 73 points and two first-place votes, while Oklahoma State was tabbed third with 61 points. Rounding out the poll in descending order are Iowa State (59), Kansas (46), Baylor (43), Texas Tech (33), TCU (29), Kansas State (16) and West Virginia (10).

Home Success at the TTC: The Longhorns are beginning their sixth year at the Texas Tennis Center. UT has registered a 50-4 (.926) mark in dual matches at the TTC, including a perfect 18-0 record in Big 12 regular-season matches. During its inaugural season in 2018, Texas went 13-0 at home (5-0 in Big 12 play). The Longhorns went 8-2 at the TTC in 2019 (3-0 Big 12) and 7-1 in the shortened 2020 season (2-0 Big 12). UT posted a perfect 13-0 mark at the TTC in 2021 (5-0 Big 12) and went 9-1 (3-0 Big 12) in 2022.

Joffe in Year Eight: Head Coach Howard Joffe is in his eighth season leading the UT program. Under Joffe’s leadership, Texas claimed back-to-back NCAA team championships in 2021 and 2022 and has finished each of the last five years in the top 10 of the final ITA national polls, earning year-end rankings of No. 6 in 2018, No. 9 in 2019, No. 4 in 2020 and No. 1 in both 2021 and 2022. The Longhorns also have captured three Big 12 regular-season championships (2018, 2019 and 2021) and three Big 12 postseason tournament titles (2018, 2021 and 2022) in the last five seasons. The 2021 ITA Division I Women’s National Coach of the Year, Joffe has registered a 141-36 (.797) mark in his first seven years at Texas. During his 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has tallied a 272-97 (.737) dual-match record. Peyton Stearns claimed the Honda Sport Award for Tennis and the ITA National Player of the Year in 2022. Joffe has helped five Longhorns earn a total of seven ITA All-America honors in singles (Breaunna Addison in 2016, Bianca Turati in 2018, Anna Turati and Bianca Turati in 2020, Stearns in both 2021 and 2022 and Kylie Collins in 2022) and two duos earn ITA All-America accolades in doubles (Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun in 2021 and Stearns and Allura Zamarripa in 2022). Stearns became the first player in program history to win the NCAA Singles Championship in 2022, while Collins and Sun reached the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship in 2021. In addition, 14 players have registered a combined 19 All-Big 12 singles and 18 All-Big 12 doubles selections in Joffe’s tenure in Austin.





story by The Texas Tribune Source link

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