Texas Men's Tennis Preview: ITA National Team Indoor Championship
Longhorns head to Chicago as the second seed in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
WHAT: No. 2 Texas (5-0) will make its third consecutive appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 13 – Monday, Feb. 16 – Texas, the tournament’s second seed, will take on 15th-seeded Michigan on Friday at 9 a.m. Central. The Longhorns will play additional matches on Saturday and Sunday and will participate in Monday’s championship match if they win their previous three matches.
THE TOURNAMENT FIELD: Joining Texas in Chicago, will be host Illinois, top-seeded Ohio State, Pepperdine, Tennessee, Baylor, UCLA, Virginia, Tulsa, Mississippi, USC, Florida State, Georgia, Stanford, Florida and Michigan.
LAST YEAR AT THE ITA NATIONAL INDOORS: Texas opened with a 4-0 win over Alabama to give UT coach Michael Center his 300th career win in the opening round of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash. UT fell by a 4-2 count to Georgia in the quarterfinals before knocking off USC, 4-1 in the consolation round.
LAST TIME OUT: Texas defeated Texas A&M by a 7-0 count on Friday, Feb. 6 in the Texas Cup in Houston.
THE 2009 LONGHORNS: Ninth-year head coach Michael Center and assistant coach Ricardo Rubio, the 2008 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, welcome four singles starters – each of whom have earned All-America honors as Longhorns - from last year’s NCAA runner-up squad. Junior Dimitar Kutrovsky returns after holding down the No. 1 singles slot in his first two seasons. The native Bulgarian clinched UT’s 2008 NCAA quarterfinal win over Ohio State and its NCAA semifinal win over UCLA.
Sophomores Kellen Damico and Ed Corrie earned ITA doubles All-America honors a season ago and earned a spot on the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 1 doubles. Senior Miguel Reyes Varela, who earned ITA doubles All-America honors as a freshman, was selected to the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 6 singles and at No. 2 doubles with former Longhorn Luis Diaz Barriga.
Junior Josh Zavala teamed up with Kutrovsky to land the No. 3 doubles slot on the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team. UT welcomes junior Olivier Sajous, a top-50 standout who played the last two seasons at Florida Atlantic University.