FORT WORTH, Texas- The Texas A&M women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a back-and-forth 4-3 decision to the TCU Horned Frogs today at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center indoor courts.
With the loss, A&M falls to 4-1. TCU moves to 2-1.
The match, which was forced to move into the five-court indoor facility due to inclement weather, came down to the last match standing, where Idunn Hertzberg defeated Michelle Sammons (Durban, South Africa), 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 6 line.
A&M took an early 1-0 lead to begin the match, holding off TCU to win two of three doubles matches. Anna Blagodarova (Toronto, Ontario) and Sammons held a 7-2 lead against Nina Munch-Soegaard and Katariina Tuohimaa at the No. 2 line, but the Frogs rallied to win the next three games to get within 7-5. Blagodarova then held serve to clinch the win. With the victory, the A&M pair improved to 11-0 overall, 5-0 in dual matches.
Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) overcame a 7-6 deficit to defeat Maria Babanova and Kewa Nichols, 9-7, at the No. 3 line and secure the doubles point for A&M.
At the No. 1 line, A&M’s Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) and Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) gave the 18th-ranked duo of Macall Harkins and Anna Sydorska a scare, but the TCU tandem came back from a 7-5 deficit to tie the match at 8-all. TCU also was on the ropes in the tiebreaker, trailing 7-6 before reeling off three consecutive games to get the win.
Frank, who was 4-0 in singles matches, struggled indoors and dropped the first match of her career as TCU evened the score at 1-1. The freshman had lost a total of only three games in the four matches combined, but today she fell 6-3, 6-1 to Katariina Tuohimaa at the No. 5 line.
Blagodarova put A&M back up, 2-1, defeating Harkins, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 2. The lead was short-lived.
TCU took its first lead as Munch-Soegaard, ranked No. 66 in singles, came back from a 5-2 second-set deficit to defeat Elze Potgieter, 6-2, 7-5, at the No. 1 line. No. 80th-ranked Sydorska then defeated Clifford, 7-6, 6-1, at No. 3 to put the Frogs up, 3-2.
Liles evened the scored and forced the contest to be decided in the last match standing as she came back to defeat Nichols, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. Nichols broke Liles to go up 3-2 in the final set, but Liles broke back and held serve to retake the lead at 4-3. The two were on serve at 5-4 when Nichols double faulted at match point.
All eyes then went to the No. 6 line, where Hertzberg had already won the first set against Sammons.
Next up for the Aggies is a trip to Las Vegas, where they will take on No. 40 UNLV, No. 33 Florida International and No. 12 Fresno State, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Match time is 10 a.m. (12 p.m. CST) each day at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
The three-match series concludes a six-match road swing for A&M, which returns to the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on March 1 against No. 20 Wake Forest.
No. 36 TCU 4, No. 28 Texas A&M 3
1. (#66) Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU) def. Elze Potgieter (A&M), 6-2, 7-5
2. Anna Blagodarova (A&M) def. Macall Harkins (TCU), 6-3, 6-3
3. (#80) Anna Sydorska (TCU) def. Tiffany Clifford (A&M), 7-6, 6-1
4. Christi Liles (A&M) def. Kewa Nichols (TCU), 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4
5. Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) def. Morgan Frank (A&M), 6-3, 6-1.
6. Idunn Hertzberg (TCU) def. Michelle Sammons (A&M), 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. (#18) Harkins/Sydorska (TCU) def. Clifford/Liles (A&M), 9-8 (7)
2. Blagodarova/Sammons (A&M) def. Munch-Soegaard/Tuchimaa (TCU), 8-5
3. Stephanie Davidson/Frank (A&M) def. Maria Babanova/Nichols (TCU), 9-7
Order of finish (D2, D3, D1, S5, S2, S1, S3, S4, S6*)
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center – Indoor Courts (Attendance: n/a)
Team records: Texas A&M (4-1); TCU (2-1)