Austin, Texas - The No. 2 seed Nebraska women's tennis team was edged 4-2 by No. 1 seed Texas on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers (24-5, 9-2 Big Ten) battled close with the Longhorns (19-7, 7-2 Big 12) throughout the match but were unable to pull out a win in singles play at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin.
Former conference foes Nebraska and Texas took to the doubles courts to begin the afternoon, where NU took the first win in No. 1 doubles. The Huskers' top duo of Madeleine Geibert and Stefanie Weinstein (NU) downed Texas' Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott (UT), 8-5. Geibert and Weinstein will close the season with 25 total wins as a pair, good for third all-time at Nebraska. Weinstein will also finish with 28 doubles wins as an individual, tied for first all-time for NU.
Texas pushed back in No. 2 doubles as Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Krista Damico (UT) squeaked past Mary Weatherholt and Patricia Veresova (NU), 9-8 (2). The Longhorns then wrapped up the doubles point with a narrow win at the No. 3 position. Janine Weinreich and Izabella Zgierska (NU) took Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis (UT) to extra games but were edged by a final score of 9-7.
Nebraska and Texas moved to singles play, where the Longhorns pushed their lead to 2-0 with a victory in No. 1 singles. NU's 47th-ranked Weatherholt fell by a score of 6-2, 6-1 to Texas' 40th-ranked Ellis.
The Huskers battled back with two consecutive victories, tying up the score at 2-2. Nebraska's 100th-ranked Veresova took the first singles victory for NU at the No. 2 position, toppling UT's Damico in straight sets at 6-3, 6-4. Veresova will finish the season with 28 singles victories and 52 combined victories, good for third all-time at NU.
Weinstein added the next victory for the Huskers. The junior snapped up a quick 6-3, 6-2 victory over Texas' Scott to tie up the score on the afternoon. Weinstein ended her junior season with 53 combined victories, second in the record books for the Huskers and trailing only teammate Weatherholt's 56 this season.
Texas picked up a win in No. 3 singles to move the score to 3-2 on the afternoon. Nebraska's Geibert was downed by the Longhorns' Padegimaite, 6-3, 6-2. UT then posted the match-clinching fourth win in No. 5 singles, where NU's 109th-ranked Weinreich was edged in three sets by Gaytan-Leach, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Although the loss eliminates Nebraska from NCAA competition, the Huskers will finish as one of the most successful teams in NU program history. The 2012 Huskers posted a program record of 24 team victories this season while adding the second-fewest losses in program history (5). The team also finished their spring with a winning percentage of .828, another new Nebraska program record. In addition, three Husker athletes finished the team season with over 50 combined wins in 2011-12: Mary Weatherholt (56), Stefanie Weinstein (53) and Patricia Veresova (52).
One Husker athlete's season is not quite over. Redshirt junior and Big Ten Women's Tennis Athlete of the Year Mary Weatherholt will compete as an individual in the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships in singles play after receiving an at-large bid. Individual competition at the NCAA Championships will take place on May 23-28 in Athens, Ga.
No. 2 (17) Nebraska - 2
No. 1 (10) North Texas - 4
Penick-Allison Tennis Center
1. No. 40 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. No. 47 Mary Weatherholt (NU) 6-2, 6-1
2. No. 100 Patricia Veresova (NU) def. Krista Damico (UT) 6-3, 6-4
3. Lina Padegimaite (UT) def. Madeleine Geibert (NU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Stefanie Weinstein (NU) def. Noel Scott (UT) 6-2, 6-3
5. Cierra Gaytan-Leach (UT) def. No. 109 Janine Weinreich (NU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Izabella Zgierska (NU) vs. Elizabeth Begley (UT) 1-6, 7-5, 2-1 (suspended)
Order of finish (1, 2, 4, 3, 5)
1. No. 45 Madeleine Geibert/Stefanie Weinstein (NU) def. Lina Padegimaite/Noel Scott (UT) 8-5
2. Cierra Gaytan-Leach/Krista Damico (UT) def. Mary Weatherholt/Patricia Veresova (NU) 9-8 (2)
3. Elizabeth Begley/Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Izabella Zgierska/Janine Weinreich (NU) 9-7
Order of finish (1, 2, 3)