Texas downs Northwestern
Ellis wins both matches in showdown of top-10 teams
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 9 Texas (5-3) won its first match as an ITA top-10 team this season, as the Horns posted a 6-1 victory against No. 8 Northwestern (5-5) on Friday.
The Longhorns clinched the doubles point and took a 1-0 lead with wins at the first and second doubles slots. UT's Aeriel Ellis and Cierra Gaytan-Leach never trailed at the No. 2 doubles spot before winning the match, 8-4 against the Wildcats’ Veronica Corning and Brittany Wowchuk. In the No. 1 doubles match, the freshman-duo of Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott defeated the fourth-ranked doubles team in the nation, Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton 8-6.
Krista Damico continued the scoring for Texas by defeating NU’s 51st-ranked Brittany Wowchuck 6-2, 6-3, at the second singles slot to give Texas a 2-0 lead. With the victory, Damico improved to 5-1 on the dual-match season, and 3-0 against ranked opponents.
The Longhorns took a commanding 3-0 lead against the Wildcats with a 6-1, 6-3 win by Elizabeth Begley in the No. 6 singles match. The UT sophomore’s victory against Hamilton was her fourth consecutive win of the dual-match season and improved her dual-match record to 6-1.
UT’s Padegimaite clinched the win for Texas at the fourth singles slot. Padegimaite, who never trailed in either set, defeated Northwestern’s Corning by a 6-3, 6-4 count.
Texas pushed its lead to 5-0 with a victory at No. 5 singles. Gaytan-Leach won the first set 6-4, before dropping the second set 5-7 to Northwestern’s Abu Mushrefova. Gaytan-Leach finished off Abu Mushrefova 10-7 in a super-tiebreaker and clinched the win with an ace on match point.
Texas earned its sixth point of the night when 30th-ranked Aeriel Ellis defeated 20th-ranked Kate Turvy 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles match. Northwestern earned its only point of the night in a three-hour and one-minute match at No. 3 singles, where the Wildcats’ 118th-ranked Belinda Niu edged UT’s 87th-ranked Scott 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(2).