AUSTIN (KXAN)– In the span of two days, the UT men’s tennis team lost its head coach Michael Center, who was dismissed after being named in the college admission scandal, to beating the No. 1 team in the nation, Ohio State.
The response to that week sums up how focused this team has been this entire season. While ranked No. 2 in the country behind the Buckeyes right now, they have also occupied the top spot for several weeks this season.
“Very proud of the team,” said Bruce Berque, who was named interim head coach right after Center was arrested on March 12. “Obviously our preference is to be No. 1 at the end rather than during the season, but most proud of the way they go about their business.”
Texas (22-2) is the only team in the nation with two singles players ranked in the top 10 with junior Yuya Ito ranked seventh and junior Christian Sigsgaard ranked ninth.
“We’ve been very close the whole year,”said Sigsgaard. “But since that happened we’ve had to be more close. We’ve had a lot of meetings and we did a lot of stuff together and talked through things. At the end of the day, it’s about tennis and that’s why we’re here.”
After going 5-0 during the Big 12 regular season schedule, Texas is the top seed at this weekend’s Big 12 tournament in Lawrence, Kansas. Texas earned a first round bye, so they will take on the winner of Texas Tech and Okalahoma in the semfinals Saturday.
UT’s only losses this season was their first meeting with Ohio State and their second meeting with USC on March 24th. Texas beat then 5th-ranked USC in Chicago right before their loss to Ohio State in the same ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The NCAA tournament begins with Regionals May 3, followed by the Super Regional before the NCAA Championships in Orlando, Florida. Texas will be looking for their first men’s tennis national championship. They’ve reached the national semifinals three times with the latest coming in 2009.