Texas heads to quarterfinals as Camillone, Holiner top No. 1 seed
URBANA, Ill. -- Texas advanced to the quarterfinals of both the NCAA singles and doubles championships on Friday as Soren Hess-Olesen defeated Marcos Giron of UCLA and Chris Camillone and David Holiner defeated No. 1-seed Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee.
Camillone and Holiner’s straight-set win against the top-seeded team in the tournament earned the duo ITA All-American status.
Texas is the only school remaining in the quarterfinals of both the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship and NCAA Men’s Doubles Championship this week. It is the fourth time in program history that Texas has representatives in the quarterfinals of both the NCAA’s singles and doubles draws.
Hess-Olesen fought his way to his second three-set victory of the tournament after losing the first against Giron 6-3 on Friday. Hess-Olesen responded with a 6-3 second-set win and a commanding 6-2 win in the third set.
“Soren [Hess-Olesen] stayed with it [on Friday]. There was no panic in him at all,” head coach Michael Center said. “He played more physical as the match went on. At the end, I thought he was pushing Giron around and played with great aggressiveness. When you play a guy like that, he is not just going to give it to you -- you have to earn it. Soren really earned it.”
Hess-Olesen’s seventh consecutive victory sets up a rematch against Virginia’s Jarmere Jenkins in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The then-No. 5 Jenkins defeated Hess-Olesen in straight sets on March 15 this season in Austin. Jenkins is the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Camillone and Holiner also had a rematch of their own on Friday. Their first win as a team against a nationally ranked opponent was against No. 1 Libietis and Reese in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships on Nov. 3, 2011. The Texas duo used Friday’s opportunity to prove again that they belong among the nation’s elite.
“[Libietis and Resse of Tennessee] were the No. 1 seed in the tournament, but Chris and David had actually beaten them before,” Center said. “I don’t think they were intimidated by the moment at all -- they felt pretty confident that they would have a good chance to win.”
The teams went back and forth through both sets, with Camillone and Holiner taking the first 7-6 after a tiebreaker. The duo took another second set by a score of 7-5 to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals.
“It was obviously really close,” Center said. “There were moments where both teams could have gone away, but they both hung in there. We just made a few more plays at the end. We returned the ball particularly well. We made some big returns in key moments. Overall it was a really good effort.”