Texas women's tennis team looks to defend national title
AUSTIN, Texas - The 8th-ranked and two-time defending national champion Texas Longhorns women's tennis team is looking to get to the final eight and go for a three-peat.
The team was forced to take on 9th-ranked Pepperdine indoors due to the weather.
Longhorns jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a doubles win and made it 2-0 after UT junior and Pepperdine transfer Taisiya Pachkaleva from Russia won her match in straight sets 6-1 6-2.
Pepperdine didn't give up and it turned into a battle with things tied up at 3-3.
It all came down to Cedar Park product Malaika Rapulo's match, and she came through despite losing the first set to help Texas win 4-3.
"All the matches. Every single spot was so close. I think like to win this match means everything to me. It was amazing, and I'm so excited to go to Orlando and play in this Elite 8 match," Rapulo said after her win.
Head coach Howard Joffe said, "To see this team turn lemons, excuse the cliche, into lemonade is something I couldn't be more proud of them about. And of course now we get to go to Orlando. And we get to play more tennis which is just like a cherry on the top."