Let’s all shout it out loud – National Champions! Our Texas Rowing program had to wait an extra year for that glorious feeling, but talk about carpe diem, Texas Fight and the pride and winning tradition of the Texas Longhorns! This team, Coach O’Neill and the entire staff never ceases to amaze us, but the culmination of Sunday’s final and seeing our ladies dig deep to surge to victory in the home stretch of the day’s final race to seal the deal was just a sight to behold. The work Coach O’Neill has put in building us into a national power in just seven seasons on the Forty Acres has been so special. For years he’s been steadily turning the attention of the collegiate rowing world to Austin, going from eighth, to fourth, third, second and now No. 1! All I can say is when a team rows a boat together, great things happen. So let’s Light the Tower Orange because we are the Champions, my friends!
Puff your chests out Longhorn faithful because that is the 58th National Championship (54th NCAA title) in our illustrious athletics program’s history! And that’s three, count ’em, THREE National Championships this year alone. Rowing taking the top of the podium marks the first time since 1989-90 that we’ve claimed three Natties in a single year, so kudos to Rowing, Women’s Tennis and Men’s Swimming and Diving. Top that off with Softball finishing in a tie for ninth at the NCAA Championships, and we now have 10 of our teams that have finished in the Top 10 at nationals in 2020-21. And, there’s so much more yet to compete for with No. 2 Baseball heading into regionals right here at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, and NCAA Track & Field just around the corner for our men’s and women’s squads that both rank fifth nationally. We know all of our spring sports went through a challenging year with the cancellation of the 2020 championships, but what better way to celebrate their return and all of our success than with a packed house of the best fans in America at the Disch this weekend?! Can’t wait to see y’all there!!
Before we get into the rest of another exciting week of Texas Athletics, we must take time to pay our respects. This week began with gratitude and appreciation as we honored those who have served our great nation on Memorial Day. It is a day to reflect, remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. It’s also a time to share and cherish what makes our country great and the values these national heroes defended and upheld. We are so grateful.
Last week was a big one for Coach Flo and our Track and Field program as the NCAA West Prelims in College Station were the critical next step to the NCAA Championships. Despite battling some weather challenges, delays and schedule changes, outstanding performances on the track and in the field were plentiful for our Longhorns. All totaled, we secured 24 total bids — evenly spread among our men and women — to the national meet in Eugene from June 9-12. And talk about teamwork, both our men’s and women’s 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams punched their tickets to Oregon. Now they have some time to rest up and prepare as they take dead aim on the National Championship in a little over a week.
Coach Pierce and No. 2 Baseball made a nice run in the Big 12 Tournament last week, and this week we get to business as the Road to Omaha will start right here in Austin for our Big 12 regular season champion Longhorns. We know what this team is capable of and have had a blast watching them all year, and how cool is it that with our exceptional resume and body of work, we’re entering the tourney with a ton of respect as the No. 2 national seed?! We will be hosting Southern, Fairfield and Arizona State at UFCU Disch-Falk Field with our opener on Friday at 1 p.m. CT versus Southern. Man, did we miss this last year, and the timing couldn’t be better with the recent clearance for a full house at the Disch. I can’t wait to see all of you rowdy fans out there all weekend bringing that Texas Fight, your Longhorn spirit, and cheering on our Longhorns as they launch a promising NCAA postseason run! It sure is gonna be a ton of fun, and it’s a joyous time to be a Longhorn, so let’s get ready to Hook ‘Em Horns!!
Speaking of postseason play, what a run it was for Coach White and our Texas Softball squad. They had a year of incredible performances, including their thrilling regional title in Austin early last week. Over the weekend, we took it down to the last out of the final game of the Super Regional at No. 5 Oklahoma State and came up just short in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tourney. So close to getting to the Women’s College World Series, but there’s no shame in finishing tied for 9th nationally and with a 43-14 record. There is definitely a lot to be proud of, and the future is extremely bright for our Softball program that is on the rise!
And midway through last week, Coach Murphy and Women’s Golf made an exhilarating run to the NCAA Championship Match Play quarterfinals in Scottsdale, Ariz. It didn’t quite end the way we wanted as our Horns lost in an epic match to eventual National Champions Ole Miss, but wow, did they take us on a thrilling ride with two of the deciding matches going more than 20 holes. We came up just short, but this season along with tying for fifth place nationally provided a whole lot to be proud of. It also was great to be back on the course, as with the 2020 championship being cancelled, it matched our fifth-place showing in 2019. And congratulations are certainly in order for our three of our Longhorns who were tabbed All-America by the WGCA – second-teamers Agathe Laisne and Kaitlyn Papp and honorable mention selection Sara Kouskova.
Finally, a huge “Hook ‘Em” to our Women’s Tennis freshman duo of Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun! Two days after helping our team earn that dramatic 4-3 win over Pepperdine to claim the NCAA team title, Kylie and Lulu returned to the courts at the USTA National Campus in Orlando and took us on another wonderful ride last week, advancing all the way to the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship. By winning their first four matches in the 32-team bracket, they became the first pair of ITA All-Americans in doubles at Texas since Cristina Moros and Sandy Sureephong in 1998, and the first UT duo to reach the NCAA doubles final since Moros and Farley Taylor in 1996. Kylie and Lulu showed tremendous Texas Fight in the 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) heart-breaking loss in the title match and followed that up by displaying great poise and class in the post-match press conference. Such great representatives of our University!
And in closing, I want to take a moment to welcome all of our student-athletes who arrived on campus this weekend to begin summer workouts and summer session classes. It was awesome seeing all of the smiling faces and families swelling with pride as these bright and talented men and women officially joined the Longhorn Family. Can’t wait to see y’all on campus soon!
Keep those Football Season Ticket Renewals and New Season Ticket Holder Deposits Coming:
We recently recognized 100 days until 100 percent capacity at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, and we’re even closer at 95 days as of Tuesday. We are so looking forward to hanging out with more than 100,000 of you at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium when we host the greatest Longhorn Family Reunion ever! And some of the game times and updates were announced last week, as well. Many of you have renewed or purchased season tickets, but we need all of you to fill the boat, so for you great fans who have not yet renewed, let’s do this! It’s just a click (online at TexasSports.com/Renewals) or phone call (512-471-3333) away to secure your spot to celebrate alongside us and cheer on the Horns. Don’t forget, this will be the final season to lock in annual required seat-related gift amounts for as long as you maintain your season tickets and seats. This applies to any renewed or new season tickets in 2021. And as a reminder, fans waiting until 2022 to purchase season tickets will be subject to periodic increases in their seat-related gift.
One of the keys to the success we’re having across all sports is your commitment and support of Texas Athletics, and Football season ticket revenue is a huge piece of that. Your investment helps us provide the best resources possible to train and prepare all of our student-athletes to reach their greatest heights. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
That of course includes all of you making deposits to become new season tickets holders, too. The response has been tremendous, and that Longhorn pride and passion you’re bringing to the table is truly inspiring. Welcome to the Longhorn season ticket family, and we can’t wait to see you in the fall. For those of you who want to join in, as well, come on aboard! Season ticket deposits are on sale now at TexasSports.com/deposits for $199 per seat and give you first chance to select seats after current season ticket holders.
We’ve got three National Championships, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, we tied the Big 12 record with 13 conference titles in 2020-21, and we’re not done yet! Let’s keep the good times rolling, Longhorn Nation. What an awesome time it is to be a Longhorn, we are grateful for each and every one of you, and thank you for always being the wind beneath our wings! We’re in the home stretch of 2020-21, so let’s finish it off in style!
Stay safe, be healthy and Hook ‘Em Horns,
Chris Del Conte
P.S. — This will never get old! I just keep hittin’ refresh … Texas Fight at its finest!!
P.S. II – Alright, alright, alright! Love this support from the M.O.C. himself!!
P.S. III – Congratulations Coach Sark!
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Your weekly South End Zone sneak peek and insider information.
Women’s Golf places three on WGCA All-America teams
Kaitlyn Papp and Agathe Laisne collected second-team honors while Sara Kouskova received honorable mention.
Women’s Golf Lose Heartbreaker in NCAA Match Play Quarterfinals
The Longhorns fell to eventual National Champion Ole Miss, 3-2, but finished in a tie for fifth-place at NCAA Championship.
Coody named Jack Nicklaus Award Finalist
The Men’s Golf standout is the first Longhorn to earn the honor since Doug Ghim in 2018.
Men’s Golf concludes play at NCAA Championships
The Longhorns finish in a tie for 25th place in the team standings.
Women’s Tennis No. 1 in final Oracle/ITA rankings
The Longhorns posted a 31-1 dual-match record and won the third NCAA team title in program history.
Men’s Tennis No. 3 in final Oracle/ITA Rankings
The Longhorns close the season equaling their second-highest final ranking since the poll began in 1981.
Eight Longhorns selected to USA Diving 2021 High Performance Squad
Prestigious squad is comprised of divers who most exhibit the potential, skill and determination to become future U.S. Olympic Team members.