UT junior All-American Aeriel Ellis concludes her season with a loss to California’s sixth-seeded Jana Juricova at the NCAA Championship.
Ellis Falls in Round of 16 at NCAA Championship
ATHENS, Ga. – Texas junior All-American Aeriel Ellis was unable to stave off elimination from the women’s singles draw Friday at the NCAA Championship, but the Californian will leave the event with her second consecutive ITA singles All-America honor.
California’s sixth-seeded Jana Juricova eliminated Ellis from the round of 16 by a 7-6 (4), 6-2 count. Ellis finishes her junior season with a 20-17 overall singles record. She boasts an 81-44 career singles record as a Longhorn.
Juricova broke Ellis’ serve to open the match, but Ellis later broke back to even the set at two games apiece. Both players held serve in the next two games, but neither player held serve in any of the following six games, as the set progressed to a tiebreaker. Ellis and Juricova were knotted at three in the tiebreaker before Juricova claimed four of the next five points to win the first-set tiebreaker, 7-4.
Juricova broke Ellis to assume a 4-2 second-set lead, and she held serve to extend her lead to 5-2. Ellis saved two match points in the following game, but Juricova managed to break Ellis to take the set, 6-2 and close out the match.
For the second consecutive year, Ellis concludes her year with a round-of-16 finish in the singles draw at the NCAA Championship. Ellis opened play in the singles draw on Wednesday with a three-set win over Georgia’s Maho Kowase. She followed a similar blueprint and won in three sets once more on Thursday when she defeated South Carolina’s Anya Morgina.
Aeriel Ellis’ 2011-12 Season Honors/Accomplishments
· ITA All-American (singles)
· All-Big 12 (singles)
· National recipient of the ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship
· Texas Region recipient of the ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship
· Reached the round of 16 in the singles draws at all three national championship events – the ITA All-American Championship, the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship and the NCAA Championship
· Helped Texas to its third round-of-16 team finish at the NCAA Championship in the last five seasons
· Helped Texas win its first Big 12 Championship since 2005
· Helped Texas crack the top-10 in the ITA team rankings for the first time since the 2006 season
NCAA Championship – Singles Round of 16
(6) Jana Juricova (California) def. #40 Aeriel Ellis (Texas) – 7-6 (4), 6-2
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