No. 11 Men’s Tennis preview: No. 4 Baylor
When: Friday, April 1, 2022, 6 p.m. CT
Where: Texas Tennis Center, Austin, Texas
Team Records: Texas (11-7, 0-0 Big 12), Baylor (18-2, 0-0 Big 12)
Live Video: https://hookem.at/MTN-Watch
Live Stats: https://hookem.at/MTN-Stats
-Baylor Series: Texas leads, 84-28-1
Texas leads the all-time series, 84-28-1, and has split the last 10 meeting against the Bears, including a 5-2 win in Waco last year. However, Baylor has won the last five of the last six, including one this year (6-1 in a non-conference match on Feb. 7 in Waco) and three last year, one of which was the last meeting between the teams in a Austin and resulted in a 4-1 win for Baylor. They did not meet in 2020 due to the remainder of the season being canceled prior to conference play.
-Last 10 Meetings
2022: No. 2 Baylor 6, No. 9 Texas 1 – Waco, Texas
2021: No. 3 Baylor 4, No. 2 Texas 0 – Waco, Texas (Big 12 Championship Final)
2021: No. 7 Texas 5, No. 2 Baylor 2 – Waco, Texas
2021: No. 4 Baylor 4, No. 5 Texas 0 – Champaign, Ill. (ITA National Indoors Quarterfinals)
2021: No. 6 Baylor 4, No. 4 Texas 1 – Austin, Texas (non-conference)
2019: No. 8 Baylor 4, No. 2 Texas 1 – Lawrence, Kansas (Big 12 Championship Final)
2019: No. 4 Texas 4, No. 6 Baylor 3 – Austin, Texas
2018: No. 15 Texas 4, No. 27 Baylor 2 – Austin, Texas (Big 12 Championship Final)
2018: No. 15 Texas 4, No. 23 Baylor 0 – Waco, Texas
2017: No. 10 Texas 4, No. 7 Baylor 1 – Athens, Ga. (NCAA Round of 16)
Last Five Meetings
No. 2 Baylor 6, No. 9 Texas 1
Mon., February 7, 2022 • Waco, Texas • Hawkins Tennis Center
Singles – Order of Finish (4,6,1,5,3,2)
1. Adrian Boitan (BU) def. #20 Micah Braswell (UT) 6-0, 6-3
2. Matias Soto (BU) def. Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (7)
3. Richard Ciamarra (UT) def. #48 Sven Lah (BU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Marko Miladinovic (BU) def. #105 Siem Woldeab (UT) 6-4, 6-0
5. Finn Bass (BU) def. #73 Cleeve Harper (UT) 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (6)
6. Juampi Mazzuchi (BU) def. Evin McDonald (UT) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles – Order of Finish (2,3)
1. #13 Cleeve Harper/Richard Ciamarra (UT) vs. #18 Finn Bass/Sven Lah (BU) 6-6 (5-2), unf.
2. Matias Soto/Juampi Mazzuchi (BU) def. Pierre-Yves Bailly/Siem Woldeab (UT) 6-4
3. Adrian Boitan/Tadeas Paroulek (BU) def. Chih Chi Huang/Micah Braswell (UT) 7-5
No. 3 Baylor 4, No. 2 Texas 0
Mon., April 26, 2021 • Waco, Texas • Hurd Tennis Center (Big 12 Championship Final)
Singles – Order of Finish (2,5,1)
1. #41 Adrian Boitan (BU) def. #21 Eliot Spizzirri (UT) 6-4, 6-4
2. #8 Matias Soto (BU) def. #39 Micah Braswell (UT) 6-1, 6-3
3. Nick Stachowiak (BU) vs. #85 Siem Woldeab (UT) 4-6, 6-3, 0-1, unf.
4. Sven Lah (BU) vs. #109 Cleeve Harper (UT) 6-4, 3-6, 0-0, unf.
5. Charlie Broom (BU) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT) 6-3, 6-2
6. Spencer Furman (BU) vs. Nevin Arimilli (UT) 7-5, 2-1, unf.
Doubles – Order of Finish (1,3)
1. #12 Constantin Frantzen/Sven Lah (BU) def. #8 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT) 6-2
2. #67 Matias Soto/Nick Stachowiak (BU) vs. #78 Cleeve Harper/Chih Chi Huang (UT) 4-4, unf.
3. Finn Bass/Charlie Broom (BU) def. Micah Braswell/Payton Holden (UT) 6-4
No. 7 Texas 5, No. 2 Baylor 2
Thurs., April 15, 2021 • Waco, Texas • Hawkins Tennis Center
Singles – Order of Finish (6,1,3,2,5,4)
1. #20 Eliot Spizzirri (UT) def. #53 Adrian Boitan (BU) 6-3, 6-4
2. #16 Matias Soto (BU) def. #26 Micah Braswell (UT) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
3. #81 Siem Woldeab (UT) def. Nick Stachowiak (BU) 6-4, 6-4
4. #124 Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Sven Lah (BU) 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-3
5. Chih Chi Huang (UT) def. Charlie Broom (BU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Spencer Furman (BU) def. Evin McDonald (UT) 6-0, 6-3
Doubles – Order of Finish (1,2,3)
1. #10 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT) def. #19 Constantin Frantzen/Sven Lah (BU) 6-3
2. #67 Nick Stachowiak/Matias Soto (BU) def. #76 Cleeve Harper/Chih Chi Huang (UT) 7-6 (4)
3. Micah Braswell/Payton Holden (UT) def. Charlie Broom/Finn Bass (BU) 7-6 (0)
No. 4 Baylor 4, No. 5 Texas 0
Sat., Feb. 12, 2021 • Champaign, Ill. (ITA National Indoors Quarterfinals)
Singles – Order of Finish (6,5,1)
1. #46 Adrian Boitan (BU) def. #57 Siem Woldeab (UT) 6-3, 7-5
2. #56 Matias Soto (BU) vs. #120 Eliot Spizzirri (UT) 7-6 (3), 2-5, unf.
3. #43 Sven Lah (BU) vs. #78 Micah Braswell (UT) 6-2, 2-6, 2-3, unf.
4. #74 Nick Stachowiak (BU) vs. Cleeve Harper (UT) 7-6 (6), 1-2, unf.
5. #103 Charlie Broom (BU) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT) 6-3, 6-4
6. Spencer Furman (BU) def. Evin McDonald (UT) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles – Order of Finish (1,2,3)
1. Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT) def. #10 Sven Lah/Constantin Frantzen (BU) 6-4
2. Matias Soto/Charlie Broom (BU) def. Payton Holden/Chih Chi Huang (UT) 6-4
3. Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (BU) def. Micah Braswell/Cleeve Harper (UT) 7-6 (7)
No. 6 Baylor 4, No. 4 Texas 1
Sat., Jan. 30, 2021 • Austin, Texas • Texas Tennis Center
Singles – Order of Finish (2,4,6,5)
1. #57 Siem Woldeab (UT) vs. #46 Adrian Boitan (BU) 6-4, 5-7, 2-2, unf.
2. #56 Matias Soto (BU) def. #120 Eliot Spizzirri (UT) 6-4, 6-2
3. #78 Micah Braswell (UT) vs. #43 Sven Lah (BU) 6-4, 5-7, 2-1, unf.
4. #74 Nick Stachowiak (BU) def. Cleeve Harper (UT) 6-4, 6-3
5. #103 Charlie Broom (BU) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Spencer Furman (BU) def. Evin McDonald (UT) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
Doubles – Order of Finish (3,2,1)
1. Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT) def. #10 Sven Lah/Constantin Frantzen (BU) 6-4
2. Chih Chi Huang/Payton Holden (UT) def. Adrian Boitan/Nick Stachowiak (BU) 6-3
3. Charlie Broom/Matias Soto (BU) def. Cleeve Harper/Micah Braswell (UT) 6-2
-Texas vs Baylor in 2021-22 tournament play
ITA Texas Regionals (Oct. 14-19)
Micah Braswell (UT) def. Jacob Brumm (BU), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
-ITA Team Rankings
Texas is ranked No. 11 in the latest 2022 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Top 25 Coaches Poll released on March 30. The No. 14 ranking on Feb. 9 marked first week Texas had been outside of the top 10 after 43-straight weeks in dating back to the beginning of the 2019 season. However, the Longhorns have remained in the top 15 for 57-straight weeks going back to April 17, 2018. Baylor is No. 4 in the poll, which had been voted on by the ITA National Ranking Committee until Feb. 23 when it shifted to computerized rankings.
-ITA Individual Rankings
Texas has nine listings in the most recent ITA individual rankings that were released March 23 with six in singles and three doubles pairs.
No. 19 Pierre-Yves Bailly
No. 24 Micah Braswell
No. 47 Richard Ciamarra
No. 66 Eliot Spizzirri
No. 85 Siem Woldeab
No. 124 Chih Chi Huang
No. 23 Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper
No. 58 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab
No. 59 Eliot Spizzirri/Chih Chi Huang
No. 15 Adrian Boitan
No. 31 Sven Lah
No. 50 Matias Soto
No. 30 Finn Bass/Sven Lah
Micah Braswell has won 12 of his last 13 singles decisions with his only losses coming to Adrian Boitan of Baylor, who was unranked at the time but is now No. 15, and No. 7 Stefan Dostanic of USC, along with only one unfinished match in that stretch. That match was even at 3-3 in the third set against No. 44 Luc Fomba of TCU, but Braswell also registered several wins against ranked opponents, including No. 8 Cannon Kingsley of Ohio State, No. 47 Tristan McCormick of Georgia, No. 51 Melios Efstathiou of Wake Forest, No. 87 Hugo Hashimoto of Columbia, and defending NCAA Singles National Champion Sam Riffice of Florida, who was ranked No. 92 at the time. Eleven of his last 12 matches have come at No. 1.
Ciamarra played primarily at No. 3 through the first part of his first dual match season with the Longhorns, he played four matches at No. 2 where he was 2-2 with wins over No. 98 Raphael Perot of Texas A&M and Wojtek Marek of USC before moving to No. 4 against Oklahoma. He has also registered ranked wins against No. 48 Sven Lah of Baylor, No. 53 Herman Hoeyeraal of Arizona, No. 79 Philip Henning of Georgia, No. 107 Andy Andrade of Florida, and No. 118 Max McKennon of Arizona State. Prior to an injury to Cleeve Harper, Ciamarra and Harper had become a staple in the Texas doubles lineup, rising to No. 12 in the ITA rankings. However, an injury for Harper forced Ciamarra into a number of different spots with different partners, including Eliot Spizzirri, Siem Woldeab and Micah Braswell. He and Harper reunited in the last two matches against Pepperdine and Oklahoma at No. 1 and were first off the court with a 6-4 win against the Sooners with an unfinished match against the Waves. In the fall, he and Harper had made a run to the finals of the ITA Texas Regionals and have twice defeated the duo of Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel of UCF, first when they were ranked No. 3 there, and later when they were No. 22 at the Miami Spring Invite.
Eliot Spizzirri is beginning to regain his form after being hampered by a wrist injury on his left non-racket hand since September. He did not play singles in the fall and has missed singles play in four matches as he has made his way back into the lineup with his last nine matches coming at either No. 4 or No. 3. However, he has now won his last six singles decisions, including over No. 30 Peter Makk of USC and No. 44 Trent Bryde of Georgia. His only action this fall was doubles play at the ITA All-Americans and he has seen limited time doubles in dual match play with several different partners and the Longhorns have had to mix and match doubles due to a number of injuries. Most recently, he paired back up with his traditional partner Siem Woldeab for a 6-0 sweep at No. 2 against Pepperdine and a 7-6 (5) clinch versus Oklahoma. He has also partnered with Chih Chi Huang to defeat No. 3 James Trotter and Justin Boulais of Ohio State, and with Richard Ciamarra for a 6-3 victory over No. 19 Ben Draper and Robert Maciag of Wake Forest. He additionally has paired with Pierre-Yves Bailly and Evin McDonald in dual matches this year.
Siem Woldeab has won four of his last five singles matches, with four of those coming at No. 4, including wins over No. 48 Andrew Rogers of Pepperdine and No. 116 Bradley Frye of USC, and the other at No. 5 where he defeated No. 125 Jordan Hasson of Oklahoma. He also came up just short in his only loss in that stretch, falling in three sets to No. 11 JJ Tracy of Ohio State. Against Frye, Woldeab rallied after losing his first set 6-1, to take the second set 6-1 and then play a tiebreaker in the third where he came up with clutch play to overcome a 3-1 deficit for an 8-6 win that helped Texas to a 4-3 win on the road against the No. 9 Trojans. Much like everyone in doubles, due to several injuries in the lineup Woldeab has played with a number of different partners. With Spizzirri out, Woldeab had seemed to find a consistent partner in Pierre-Yves Bailly, but after Bailly was also injured, he then paired with Richard Ciamarra and Evin McDonald before most recently reuniting with Spizzirri for a 6-0 sweep against Pepperdine and a 7-6 (5) clinch against Oklahoma at No. 2.
Chih Chi Huang
Chih Chi Huang missed all of fall play due to injury, however he returned for dual match play and was slotted first at No. 6 and then at No. 5 as the lineup shifted due to injuries. His biggest win of the season has come against No. 26 James Trotter of Ohio State, while he also contributed a clutch performance against Ryder Jackson of USC, clinching the match for Texas in a 4-3 comeback on the road. Huang has been part of the most stable doubles pair for the Longhorns, partnering with Micah Braswell for all but two dual matches, although they have spent time at all three positions due to other shifts in the doubles lineup. In one of the two matches he didn’t play with Braswell, he and Spizzirri paired for a 6-1 win over No. 3 James Trotter and Justin Boulais of Ohio State.
True freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly arrived at Texas in January and made an immediate impact. Playing at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 at various times, Bailly rose as high as No. 17 in the singles rankings, including wins over No. 3 Ben Shelton of Florida, whom he also took to three sets in an earlier defeat, and No. 50 Trey Hilderbrand of UCF. However, he missed four dual matches due to injury and just returned in the last match against Oklahoma. In doubles, with Eliot Spizzirri limited with an injury, Bailly was paired with Siem Woldeab and played eight out of his 10 doubles contests with him before his injury forced him from the lineup.
Cleeve Harper had played a majority of his singles matches at No. 5 this season before missing the last five with an injury. He had just won five of his last six matches before that. He missed the contest with UCF and attempted to return for ITA Indoors where he played two of the three before again sitting against Wake Forest. Since then he has only played against Georgia, but made his return to the doubles lineup versus Pepperdine and Oklahoma. In doubles he has played every dual match with Richard Ciamarra with seven out of 10 coming at No. 1. In the fall, he and Ciamarra had made a run to the finals of the ITA Texas Regionals and have twice defeated the duo of Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel of UCF, first when they were ranked No. 3 there, and later when they were No. 22 at the Miami Spring Invite.
Evin McDonald has entered the singles lineup at No. 6 on several occasions, but none bigger this season than when he clinched the match against Pepperdine with a three-set win. The clinch came at 4-1 on the way to a 5-2 win for Texas, but the remaining two matches had the potential to go either way. McDonald has also seen spot time in doubles, pairing with Siem Woldeab on three occasions and Eliot Spizzirri once in dual match play.
Nevin Arimilli had greatly improved his level of play over the fall and early spring, even playing at No. 5 at Arizona State and taking a 6-4, 6-4 victory that helped Texas to the team win. However, he suffered a wrist injury after the Columbia match on Jan. 29 and has not yet returned.
-Berque at the Helm
Bruce Berque is in his fourth season as the head coach at Texas having taken over midway through the 2019 season. From there, he has led the Longhorns to a 63-18 overall record (.778) that includes 24-6 last season with an appearance in the Final Four and a share of the Big 12 regular season title, 13-3 in a season shortened by the pandemic in 2020, and 15-2 in 2019 en route to the guiding Texas to its first team National Championship. The Longhorns also earned the Big 12 regular season championship that year. Texas finished ranked in the top four in all three of the previous seasons at No. 3 in 2021, No. 4 in 2020 and No. 1 in 2019.
Primarily due to injuries, below is the number of different players who have appeared at each singles position and pairs combos in doubles this year.
No. 1 Singles: 3
No. 2 Singles: 4
No. 3 Singles: 3
No. 4 Singles: 4
No. 5 Singles: 4
No. 6 Singles: 4
No. 1 Doubles: 4
No. 2 Doubles: 7
No. 3 Doubles: 5
-Red River Victory
Texas earned a 5-2 Red River win over No. 30 Oklahoma on March 27 at the Texas Tennis Center. It was the Longhorns’ eighth-consecutive win in the series against the Sooners in what was technically a non-conference match before the beginning of Big 12 play. The two teams will meet again in Norman on April 14 for the conference match. Texas won an extremely close doubles point that saw the last two matches on the court go to tiebreakers, but had already taken a win at No. 1 before adding one of the tiebreakers at No. 2. It marked only the third time Oklahoma had lost the doubles point in 17 matches this season. The Longhorns then posted singles wins from No. 24 Micah Braswell at No. 1, No. 85 Siem Woldeab at No. 5, and No. 66 Eliot Spizzirri at No. 3 to clinch, along with No. 124 Chih Chi Huang at No. 6 for the fifth point.
-Woldeab Earns First Big 12 Player of the Week Honor
Siem Woldeab was named Big 12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for the week ending March 20. It marked Woldeab’s first conference weekly honor of the season and the third time a Longhorn has earned the award this year, along with Richard Ciamarra and Micah Braswell. Woldeab helped lead Texas to a 2-0 record on a west coast trip that included wins at No. 9 USC and No. 21 Pepperdine. For the week, Woldeab posted a 3-1 record overall, registering two ranked singles wins over No. 116 Bradley Frye of USC and No. 48 Andrew Rogers of Pepperdine, his highest-ranked win in dual match play this season.
-Spring Break West Coast Sweep
The Longhorns swept their two-match west coast trip with a 5-2 win over No. 21 Pepperdine in Malibu on March 18. Texas won the doubles point and then received singles wins from Siem Woldeab at No. 4, Micah Braswell at No. 1, Evin McDonald at No. 6, who clinched it for the Longhorns at 4-1, and Eliot Spizzirri at No. 3.
-Comeback in L.A.
Texas rallied from a 3-1 deficit to top No. 9 USC, 4-3, in Los Angeles on March 15. During the comeback, the Longhorns captured three-straight singles matches in which they started down a set. Trailing, 2-0, Richard Ciamarra got the Longhorns on the board with a win at No. 2. After USC extended its lead to 3-1, the Texas victories came from Siem Woldeab at No. 4, who won his match in a dramatic third-set tiebreaker, Eliot Spizzirri at No. 3, and junior Chih Chi Huang, who clinched it at No. 5.
-Just Edged by No. 2
Texas was edged by No. 2 Ohio State, 4-3, at the Texas Tennis Center on March 12. The Longhorns pushed the Buckeyes to the third set of the final singles match in attempting to rally from a 3-0 deficit, but came up just short in the comeback attempt. Texas collected singles wins from Eliot Spizzirri at No. 3, Micah Braswell at No. 1 and junior Chih Chi Huang at No. 5, after falling in an extremely close deciding match of the doubles point. The Longhorns continued to be shorthanded, missing Pierre-Yves Bailly, Cleeve Harper and Nevin Arimilli due to injury.
-SEC Road Trip
The Longhorns played consecutive road matches against SEC opponents, coming up just short, 4-3, at No. 15 Georgia on March 1, and then topping No. 28 Texas A&M by the same score on March 9. The Longhorns had clinched the match against the Aggies at 4-1 by taking the top four singles matches by Micah Braswell at No. 1, Richard Ciamarra at No. 2, Eliot Spizzirri at No. 3 and Siem Woldeab at No. 4. At Georgia, Texas posted singles wins from Spizzirri at No. 4, Braswell at No. 2 and Ciamarra at No. 3, along with having two match points by Woldeab at No. 6 that the Bulldogs fended off before winning at No. 1 to take the match.
-ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Texas appeared in the ITA Indoor Nationals for the fourth-straight season, and the seventh in the last nine, only missing in 2016 and 2018 in that stretch. The Longhorns topped fourth-seeded No. 5 Florida, 4-3, on Feb. 18 to reach the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years before falling to fifth-seeded No. 4 TCU, 4-0, on Feb. 19, and eighth-seeded No. 6 Wake Forest, 4-2, in a consolation match on Feb. 20. Texas reached the semifinals of the tournament in 2019 and the quarterfinals in 2020.
-Texas and Wake Forest Meet Again
Texas and Wake Forest met at this year’s ITA Indoors for the first time since the 2019 NCAA Championship final. The Longhorns opened with a strong doubles point despite Cleeve Harper being out of the lineup. They then received a singles win from Micah Braswell, while Wake Forest posted four singles victories at Nos. 3-6 to take the match. Trailing 3-2 overall, Texas had an opportunity to overcome the deficit down to the end with Eliot Spizzirri attempting to break at No. 4 to get his third set back on serve, but a final deuce point went to the Demon Deacons to clinch. The remaining match that went unfinished had Pierre-Yves Bailly just beginning a third set at No. 2.
-Big 12 Foe in Seattle
The Longhorns fell 4-0 to fifth-seeded No. 4 TCU in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Championship on Feb. 19. Despite the score, Cleeve Harper and Siem Woldeab were leading their matches when play stopped, while Micah Braswell was even in his. Richard Ciamarra also came close to winning a second-set tiebreaker that would have extended both his match and the overall one, but fell just short.
-Texas Avenges Loss to Florida
Texas and Florida squared off for the second time this season after Florida won, 4-3, on Jan. 16 in Austin. The Longhorns returned the favor with a 4-3 win of their own on Feb. 18 at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Seattle. Texas won the doubles point and recorded singles wins by Micah Braswell at No. 1 and Richard Ciamarra at No. 3, along with the clincher by freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly at No. 2 that broke a 3-3 overall tie. Bailly’s win came over No. 3 Ben Shelton, while Braswell topped defending NCAA Singles Champion Sam Riffice.
-Sweeping Up Rice and UCF
Texas completed its second sweep of the weekend with a 4-0 victory over UCF on Feb. 13 at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns won the doubles point and followed with singles victories by Pierre-Yves Bailly at No. 2, Siem Woldeab at No. 5, and Micah Braswell at No. 1. Bailly returned to the lineup after not playing in the previous match and picked up a top-50 win with a 6-1, 6-4 decision over No. 50 Trey Hilderbrand. Texas had opened the weekend with a 7-0 sweep of Rice on Jan 11. The Longhorns used the doubles point and four straight-sets singles wins from Woldeab at No. 4, Cleeve Harper at No. 5, Braswell at No. 1, and Chih Chi Huang at No. 6, along with two more third-set superbreaker wins from Richard Ciamarra at No. 3, and Eliot Spizzirri at No. 2.
-Non-Conference in Waco
The Longhorns traveled to Waco to face No. 2 Baylor on Feb. 7 in a match that had originally been scheduled for Feb. 4 but was rescheduled due to travel conditions with winter weather. Richard Ciamarra won his singles match and the Longhorns were close in two other singles matches by Pierre-Yves Bailly and Cleeve Harper that went to superbreakers, along with the doubles point, but ultimately fell 6-1.
-Braswell Makes It Back-to-Back Big 12 Players of the Week for Texas
Micah Braswell was named Big 12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for the week ending January 30, the conference. It marks Braswell’s first conference weekly honor of the season and the second of his career. It was also the second-straight week a Longhorn earned the award after senior Richard Ciamarra did so the week before.
-Sweeping the ITA Kickoff Weekend
Texas hosted the ITA Kickoff Weekend for the eighth-straight year going back to the 2014 season when the Longhorns traveled to Nashville. The Longhorns produced 4-0 sweeps in both of their matches against Columbia and Oregon and have advanced in the ITA Indoor Nationals in each of the last four seasons, and seven out of the last nine, only missing in 2016 and 2018 in that stretch.
-Ciamarra Earns First Big 12 Player of the Week Honor
Richard Ciamarra picked up his first Big 12 Player of the Week honor since joining the Longhorns this season as a graduate transfer. Ciamarra went 4-0 with two ranked singles wins against No. 14 Arizona and RV Arizona State after having to move up in the lineup due to injuries. That also included two doubles victories with partner Cleeve Harper. It was also the first weekly honor for the Longhorns this season after two weeks of play.
The Longhorns dropped their first match of their Arizona road trip to No. t-14 Arizona, 4-3, in Tucson on Jan. 21. It was the first road dual match of the season for Texas, which rallied for three singles victories following the Wildcats’ clinch. The wins came from Cleeve Harper at No. 5, Richard Ciamarra at No. 4 and Pierre-Yves Bailly at No. 3. However, they rebounded for a 6-1 win over Arizona State two days later, sweeping all six singles matches from Micah Braswell at No. 2, Harper at No. 4, Nevin Arimilli at No. 5, Evin McDonald at No. 6, Ciamarra at No. 3, and Bailly at No 1.
-So Close Against No. 1
Texas posted singles wins at Nos. 1, 2 and 4 against No. 1 Florida, but were edged, 4-3, by the defending champion Gators on Jan. 16 at the Texas Tennis Center. The singles victories included Eliot Spizzirri at No. 1, Micah Braswell at No. 2 and Richard Ciamarra at No. 4 after Florida had won the doubles point in a tiebreaker of the deciding third match in which they led by three points.
-25th-Straight Season-Opening Win
The Longhorns took their season opener over UTSA, 6-1, on Jan. 14 at the Texas Tennis Center. It marked the 25th-straight season-opening victory for the Longhorns dating back to 1998. Texas used the doubles point and five singles wins from Pierre-Yves Bailly at No. 2, Richard Ciamarra at No. 3, No. 105 Siem Woldeab at No. 4, No. 73 Cleeve Harper at No. 5, and Chih Chi Huang at No. 6. Eliot Spizzirri did not play singles, but did partner with Woldeab at No. 1 doubles for a win to help secure that point.
-Miami Spring Invite
The Longhorns began the spring season with individual play against opponents from No. 9 Georgia, No. 11 UCF and Miami. The tournament had been designed for round robin competition, however only two members of the Hurricanes were available to play. Additionally, weather cancelled a majority of the singles matches on the second day. For Texas, the results were highlighted by freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly picking up a win over No. 16 Trey Hilderbrand of UCF in his first singles match as a Longhorn, along with the No. 13 pair of Richard Ciamarra and Cleeve Harper topping the No. 22 duo of Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel of UCF.
-Challenging Non-Conference Schedule
The Longhorns had 14 non-conference dual matches scheduled this season against teams that appear in the top-40 of the ITA national rankings, including home matches with No. 1 Florida (L, 4-3, Jan. 16), RV Columbia (W, 4-0, Jan. 29), No. 3 Ohio State (L, 4-3, Mar. 12) and No. 30 Oklahoma (W, 5-2, Mar. 27), road contests at No. t-14 Arizona (L, 4-3, Jan. 21), RV Arizona State (W, 6-1, Jan. 23), No. 2 Baylor (L, 6-1, Feb. 7), No. 15 Georgia (L, 4-3, Mar. 1), No. 28 Texas A&M (W, 4-3, Mar. 9), No. 9 USC (W, 4-3,Mar. 15), and No. 21 Pepperdine (W, 5-2, Mar. 17), and neutral site matches against No. 5 Florida (W, 4-3, Feb. 18), No. 4 TCU (L, 4-0, Feb. 19) and No. 6 Wake Forest (L, 4-2, Feb. 20) at the ITA Indoors. Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma were prior to Big 12 play and non-conference.
-Back from the Final Four
In the fourth season under head coach Bruce Berque, Texas returned almost all of its regular singles and doubles lineups from a team that reached the Final Four of last year’s NCAA Championships. Of the retuning players, Eliot Spizzirri earned All-America honors in both singles and doubles last season, while Siem Woldeab did so in doubles and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in singles. Micah Braswell was also second-team all-conference in singles and named the unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year, while Cleeve Harper shared the Big 12 Individual Championship at No. 4 singles. Chih Chi Huang and Evin McDonald return after playing majority of the matches at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively, as do Nevin Arimilli and Eshan Talluri.
-Two New Faces
Texas added two new faces in graduate transfer Richard Ciamarra (Notre Dame), who arrived in the fall, and freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly, who joined the team thi spring. Ciamarra was a 2020 ITA All-American in singles and a three-time All-ACC selection and ranked as high as No. 6 in singles and No. 28 in doubles in 2021. Bailly has been the top junior player in Belgium and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Juniors, along with the second round of the Roland Garros Juniors, in 2021.
Eliot Spizzirri and Chih Chi Huang both missed all of fall singles play due to injury with Huang also missing doubles, but Spizzirri played in limited doubles at the ITA Fall Nationals. Richard Ciamarra and Siem Woldeab were also working through injuries in the fall. However, over the summer, Spizzirri won the singles title of the ITF Futures in Decatur, Ill. for his first pro singles title, along with winning the doubles title at the ITF Futures in Champaign, Ill., the week before. He then earned a singles qualifying wild card to the U.S. Open and advanced to the second round with a win over ATP No. 163 Alejandro Tabilo. After that, he received a doubles main draw wild card at the U.S. Open. Later in the fall, Spizzirri and Woldeab reached the quarterfinals of the ITA Fall Nationals, and Spizzirri later paired with former Longhorn Colin Markes to make the semifinals of the DropshotLLC Pro Tennis Open in Austin.
Micah Braswell posted eight singles wins in the fall, including reaching the semifinals of the ITA Texas Regionals where he came up just short in three sets to No. 18 Juan Carlos Aguilar. Cleeve Harper picked up his first pro title, taking the M15 Cancun with partner Liam Draxl. Prior to that, Harper and Ciamarra reached the finals of the ITA Texas Regionals shortly after advancing to the round of 16 at the ITA All-American Championships. January enrollee Pierre-Yves Bailly also captured his first pro singles title at the Monastir 15K in Tunisia and additionally reached the doubles final there in November 2021.
-Year Five at the Texas Tennis Center
Texas opened its fifth year of play at the Texas Tennis Center this year and is 6-2 so far with the only losses coming by 4-3 scores against No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Ohio State, giving the Longhorns a 54-7 (.885) overall record in its history. Texas posted a 14-2 mark in 2021, which included wins over No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 9 Florida and No. 15 Arizona. In a shortened season in 2020, UT recorded a 9-0 record that featured wins against No. 8 Stanford, No. 18 Georgia and No. 21 Florida State. The Longhorns finished 2019 with a 15-1 mark, including wins over No. 1 Ohio State, No. 6 Baylor and No. 12 Columbia, along with three NCAA Tournament victories. The lone loss that year came to No. 15 USC. During its inaugural season, Texas posted a 10-2 record, including winning the 2018 Big 12 Tournament.