Texas junior All-American Aeriel Ellis (Hayward, Calif.) has earned a third consecutive berth to compete in the 64-player singles draw at the NCAA Championship. Ellis has qualified to compete in all nine national championship events contested during her three seasons as a Longhorn. The other two national championship events, which are administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), are the ITA All-American Championships and the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Ellis, who has held down the No. 1 singles slot in the Texas dual-match lineup since her freshman season, will enter the postseason with a 17-16 overall record. Ellis posted a 9-6 mark in fall tournament play that included a win over Duke’s Beatrice Capra, the nation’s second-ranked player.
Ellis opened the dual-match season with a win over North Carolina’s 31st-ranked Lauren McHale that helped Texas to a 4-3 victory over the fourth-ranked Tar Heels in New York City. Ellis added a win over Georgia’s sixth-ranked Chelsey Gullickson at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in February. Ellis also notched victories over Northwestern’s 19th-ranked Kate Turvy and Michigan’s 12th-ranked Emina Bektas during UT’s dual-match season.
Last season as a sophomore, Ellis became UT’s first ITA All-American since 1999 when she advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship with wins over Duke’s Nadine Fahoum and Washington’s Denise Dy. Ellis registered her top finish at a national championship event as a sophomore at the 2010 ITA National Indoor Championship, where she reached the semifinals.
The singles competition at the NCAA Championship gets underway on May 23 at The University of Georgia. Ellis and the Longhorns, who earned a No. 11 national seed in the 64-team NCAA Championship, will begin play in the NCAA tournament on Friday, May 11 when they host Missouri Valley Conference champion Wichita State.