Whitehead clinches victory for No. 15 Men's Tennis over Michigan
AUSTIN, Texas – No. 15 Texas men’s tennis topped No. 30 Michigan in the first collegiate match played at the new Melanie O. and Edgar A. Weller Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. Senior Daniel Whitehead clinched the 4-3 victory for the Longhorns (9-4) in a third-set tiebreaker.
Due to inclement weather, the match was moved indoors to the newly dedicated facility at the UT Golf Club.
“Today was why we need this facility so badly,” said head coach Michael Center. “For us to come out and play in this incredible facility, and have people come out too, it was a great opening match.”
Michigan (4-6) won at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to claim the lone doubles point and a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
At No. 3 doubles Michigan’s Shaun Bernstein and Barrett Franks topped UT’s Jacoby Lewis and Nick Naumann, handing the pair their first loss of the dual match season. Michigan’s Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu went up a break and defeated Ben Chen and Daniel Whitehead in a close 8-6 decision at No. 2 doubles. No. 1 singles was suspended after the doubles point was afforded to Michigan.
Sudanwa Sitaram claimed the Longhorns’ first match point with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Zhu at No. 4 singles, tying the match score at 1-1. With the win, Sitaram improved to 2-0 this season at the fourth singles spot.
At No. 1 singles, Michigan’s 16th-ranked King dealt 50th-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen a 6-4, 6-1 blow to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. Holiner tied it back up for UT at 2-2 by defeating Bernstein 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets at No. 6 singles.
The Wolverines regained the lead at 3-2 when despite UT forcing a third set, Michigan’s Franks topped Naumann 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Lloyd Glasspool, in his first match this season at No. 2 singles, kept the match alive for the Horns by defeating 67th-ranked Petrone 7-5, 6-3 and tying the match at 3-3. With the victory, Glasspool is now 9-2 in dual match play.
No. 3 singles proved to be the deciding match, as Michigan’s Vlad Stefan took the first set 6-2, and 80th-ranked Whitehead took the second set 6-1. The two traded games in the third set, and with Stefan leading 5-4 in the third, Whitehead fought back from a 15-40 deficit to win four straight points and tie the match at 5-5. Stefan held serve to win the next game, before Whitehead served to force a tiebreaker at 6-6.
In the tiebreaker, the duo battled back and forth to 2-2, before Whitehead broke away to win four straight points and take a 6-2 lead. Stefan would win one more point before Whitehead won the tiebreaker 7-3, clinching the 4-3 Longhorn victory. His teammates, who had been cheering him on from the adjacent court, stormed the court in celebration of their senior’s big win.
“There’s nothing better than that in college tennis. That’s why you play,” said Whitehead. “I was happy to be in that situation because that’s why you play. That’s what you want. This is obviously a great team and my family right now, so it was great.”
No. 15 Texas returns to action Tuesday night when it faces North Carolina at 6 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on the Longhorn Network.
No. 15 Texas 4, No. 30 Michigan 3
1. No. 11 Chris Camillone / David Holiner vs. No. 30 Alex Buzzi/Evan King ()UM) 5-7, susp.
2. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (UM) def. Ben Chen / Daniel Whitehead (UT) 8-6
3. Shaun Bernstein/Barrett Franks (UM) def. Jacoby Lewis / Nick Naumann 8-3
Order of finish: 3, 2*
1. No. 16 Evan King Evan King (UM) def. No. 50 Soren Hess-Olesen (UT) 6-4, 6-1
2. Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. No. 67 Alex Petrone (UM) 7-5, 6-3
3. No. 80 Daniel Whitehead (UT) def. Vlad Stefan (UM) 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(3)
4. Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Michael Ahu (UM) 6-4, 6-2
5. Barrett Franks (UM) def. Nick Naumann (UT) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
6. David Holiner (UT) def. Shaun Bernstein (UM) 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 1, 6, 5, 2, 3*