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No. 4 Men’s Tennis closes NCAA Championship play

May 25, 2021
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Orlando – No. 4 Men’s Tennis closed NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship play and completed their 2020-21 season, falling in their two individual matches on Monday at the USTA National Campus in Orlando. Sophomore No. 23 Eliot Spizzirri dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Aleksandar Kovacevic of Illinois in […]

Click here to view original web page at texassports.com


Orlando – No. 4 Men's Tennis closed NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship play and completed their 2020-21 season, falling in their two individual matches on Monday at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

Sophomore No. 23 Eliot Spizzirri dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Aleksandar Kovacevic of Illinois in the Second Round of singles, while later in the day the No. 11 duo of Spizzirri and sophomore Siem Woldeab came up just short against No. 24 Rithvik Bollipalli and Jacob Wojcik of South Florida, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8), in the First Round of doubles.

Spizzirri finishes his season 25-11 overall in singles, including a 17-9 mark in dual match play. He was named first-team All-Big 12 in both singles and doubles, partnering with Woldeab for the doubles honor with the pair compiling a 21-11 overall record and 14-10 in dual matches. Meanwhile, Woldeab was second-team All-Big 12 in singles with a 15-15 overall record and 10-10 mark in dual matches.

The singles match for Spizzirri came down to deuce points as Kovacevic claimed all four in the contest, which accounted for four of his five breaks against Spizzirri. The first two of those deuce point wins came on Spizzirri's first two serves and set Kovacevic up with a 5-0 lead. Spizzirri got one game back on serve, before Kovacevic closed the frame with a hold. Spizzirri also won his next service game to open the second set, however Kovacevic struck again with another deuce point break in the next game for a 2-1 lead that he extended to 3-1 on serve. The following two games were both holds before Kovacevic secured the fourth of his deuce point breaks for a 5-2 lead. Spizzirri broke back to cut it to 5-3, but Kovacevic finished with one more break to take the match.

The same held true in doubles for Spizzirri and Woldeab, as Bollipalli and Wojcik won seven of the eight deuce points in the match. Despite a stretch of three out of four early games going to deuce, with one for Texas and two for USF, the first set stayed on serve starting with South Florida up to 4-4. However, the Longhorns then picked up the break they needed for a 5-4 lead and held for the set. In the second, the first seven games stayed on serve even though three of them went to deuce with the Bulls winning those at 1-0, 2-2 and 4-3. The last of those was also the start of three straight deuce point wins for USF as they finished the set on a 3-0 run. That sent the match to a third-set superbreaker where Spizzirri and Woldeab took a 1-0 lead on serve, but Bollipalli and Wojcik grabbed a mini-break for a 3-2 edge that started them on a 3-0 run for a 5-2 advantage. The next five points remained on serve for a 7-5 USF lead, but the Bulls then used a break and a hold for 9-5. The Longhorns made a one last push with a 3-0 run to get within 9-8, but South Florida took the final point on serve for the win.

Texas, which returns all but one senior from its regular singles and doubles lineups next season, finished 2021 team play with a 24-6 record, an appearance in a second-straight NCAA Tournament Final Four, and a share of a second-straight Big 12 regular season title.

NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship

Singles
Second Round – Monday, May 24
Aleksandar Kovacevic (ILL) def. #23 Eliot Spizzirri (UT), 6-1, 6-4

Doubles
First Round – Monday, May 24
#24 Rithvik Bollipalli/Jacob Wojcik (USF) def. #11 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8)

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