Texas clinches spot in Round of 16 with 4-1 victory against Mississippi State
AUSTIN, Texas -- The final tennis match ever to be played at Texas' Penick-Allison Tennis Center ended in a 4-1 victory for the Longhorns against Mississippi State in the NCAA second round on Saturday afternoon.
"It feels great. This was one of our goals -- to win a conference championship and to advance to Athens," head coach Michael Center said. "By no means are we settling on this, but it feels good to return to the round of 16 and close this facility on a good note. It was a pretty emotional and long doubles point that we ended up losing. For our guys to come back and not lose a set in singles speaks volumes to our determination."
Texas (22-5) improves to 20-0 in NCAA championship matches played in Austin and 13-0 at home this season.
Mississippi State (19-11) won the doubles point, despite a strong showing from the Longhorns' team of Lloyd Glasspool and Søren Hess-Olesen. The NCAA-bound duo earned an 8-3 win against Mississippi State's Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp. After the No. 1 position completed, the Bulldogs won doubles at position Nos. 2 and 3 to clinch the doubles point.
The Longhorns responded by not losing a set in all six singles matches.
Junior Lloyd Glasspool was the first singles match to finish, defeating Malte Stropp in straight sets at the No. 2 position. Glasspool closed out his 12th win against a ranked opponent by taking a 3-3 tie in the first set and winning nine of the next 10 games for a 6-3, 6-1 final.
Junior Søren Hess-Olesen followed with an identical 6-3, 6-1 score against Florian Lakat at No. 1 singles. Hess-Olesen's ninth consecutive victory elevated his dual match record to 18-2 this season, including 13 wins against ranked opponents.
Freshman George Goldhoff then defeated Mississippi State's Zach White 6-4, 6-2, to give the Longhorns a commanding 3-1 team lead. Junior Adrien Berkowicz clinched the match for the Longhorns with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Jordan Angus at No. 3 singles.
Junior Clement Homs and senior David Holiner both won the first set of their respective matches before play was called after Texas clinched the match.
"We felt like all year long we were one of the better teams in the nation and that we belonged to be in Athens," Center said. "A new tournament starts when we arrive in Athens, so we are going to enjoy it tonight, rest tomorrow, and come back to work on Monday. We are going to be really fired up to play on Friday."