COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M women’s tennis team opens the home portion of its Big 12 Conference schedule Friday as the Aggies play host to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. First serve is at 4:30 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The match is part of a Big 12 doubleheader with the A&M men’s team, which plays host to Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m.
It will be “Dollar Day” at the courts, with general admission tickets to the doubleheader, drinks and popcorn on sale for only $1 each. In addition, the first 200 students in attendance will receive a fee A&M T-shirt. It also is “2009 Day”, and A&M students wearing a 2009 shirt will be admitted free.
The Aggie women are 8-5 overall, with four of the five losses coming against teams currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Most recently, A&M closed out its non-conference schedule with a narrow 4-3 setback against No. 24 Notre Dame Saturday in College Station.
The Aggies are 2-0 in Big 12 matches after opening league play with victories at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on March 15 and 16, respectively. A&M shut out Oklahoma State, 7-0, and defeated the Sooners, 6-1.
A&M, currently ranked No. 32, is led by sophomore Elzé Potgieter, who is ranked No. 76 in the nation in singles. She has won five of her last six matches, including two victories over higher ranked opponents, all at the No. 1 line.
Freshman Christi Liles sports a team-leading 11-2 mark in singles, including a three-set victory against 105th-ranked Cosmina Ciobanu of Notre Dame at the No. 3 line. It was Liles’ third consecutive victory and her second win overall against a ranked opponent.
In doubles, A&M has captured the point in nine of 13 matches. The freshman duo of Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank leads the team in wins with a 9-2 mark at the No. 3 line.
Nebraska, 13-1 overall, went undefeated in non-conference matches with an 11-0 mark after defeating Loyola Marymount in the Huskers’ most recent outing. Nebraska is 2-1 in Big 12 matches only, with 6-1 victories against both Iowa State and Texas Tech sandwiching a 7-0 loss against No. 4 Baylor. The Bears are the only top-75 team Nebraska has faced this spring.
The Huskers’ Imke Reimers is 13-1 in singles matches this spring and ranked No. 96 in the nation. She and partner Jana Albers are ranked No. 30 in doubles and are 11-1 in dual matches, including 3-0 in Big 12 matches.
A&M is 11-3 all-time against the Huskers. Last year, A&M defeated Nebraska, 7-0, in College Station, snapping the Huskers’ two-match winning streak against the Aggies.
Friday’s match against the Huskers will be the first of back-to-back Big 12 doubleheaders for the A&M men’s and women’s teams. On Sunday, the women take on Iowa State at noon, and the men face No. 23 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. The first 150 students in attendance at Sunday’s doubleheader will receive free pair of Texas A&M Crocs.
Where’s Wilson? Promotion...Wilson is the newest teammate to the Texas A&M men’s and women’s tennis teams. Wilson, a smiling tennis ball, will be hiding at every home match this season at the Mitchell Tennis Center. One lucky fan who finds him will receive a pair of Crocs compliments of Texas A&M University and will be entered into a grand prize contest to win an iPod Touch that will be held during the women’s Lone Star Showdown match versus rival Texas on April 16. Fans are encouraged to come out to the matches early to increase their chances of being the first person to find Wilson.