BOULDER, Colo.- Aggie freshman Morgan Frank recorded a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Colorado’s Melisa Esposito in the last match standing to lift the Texas A&M women’s tennis team to a 4-3 win against the Buffalos today at the Millennium Hotel Harvest House Indoor Courts.
“We knew going in that this match could come down to a 4-3, and I’m just proud of the way we fought and of the way that we put ourselves into a position to win,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “The adversity that you face when you are away and the adversity today, I’m so proud of them for what they have done. This has been a tough trip because of the scheduling, but they came out and handled it like champions.”
The overall match, which was moved indoors because the outside temperature was below the minimum 50 degrees, was close from the beginning as the doubles point also was decided in the last match.
Christi Liles and Elze Potgieter gave the Aggies a slight edge with an 8-3 victory over Melisa Esposito and Franziska Jendrian at the No. 2 line. Colorado, however, answered as Camila Belassi and Monica Milewski topped Anna Blagodarova and Tiffany Clifford, 8-3, at the No. 1 line.
Focus turned to Frank and partner Stephanie Davidson, who had trailed Abbie Probert and Gleisy Torres Torres, 7-5, at the No. 3 line. Davidson and Frank were on the verge of suffering their first Big 12 loss but fought off two match points at 7-6 to tie the match. They then won the next two games, completing a four-game streak, to win the match and clinch the doubles point, as well as improve to 7-0 in Big 12 matches.
“This was a very tight, hard-fought match,” Kleinecke said, “and I commend the girls; the No. 3 doubles being down and not letting the other team give it to us. We went out and took it, and I’m very proud of the aggressive play at that point when the doubles point was on the line.”
Colorado, playing in its final home match, tied the score at 1-1 as Veera Nurmi opened singles with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Clifford at the No. 4 line. Blagodarova put the Aggies back up, 2-1, with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Torres Torres at the No. 3 spot.
Potgieter then completed what would turn out to be a crucial come-from-behind victory at the No. 1 line to put the Aggies ahead, 3-1. The sophomore, ranked No. 75 in the nation, dropped her first set to Milewski, 6-4, but won the first five games of the second set en route to winning the set 6-1. Potgieter jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Milewski fought back to get within 4-3. Potgieter then won the next two games to close out the set and the match.
“Elze coming back at No. 1 singles was big for us,” Kleinecke said. “We needed that.”
Colorado got back within a point after Belassi held off Liles, 7-5, 7-6 (8), at the No. 2 line, and Jendrian evened the score at 3-3 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Marisa Druss at the No. 6 spot.
Frank then finished off the win for the Aggies as she posted her eighth consecutive victory and improved to 7-0 in Big 12 matches only.
With the win, A&M improves to 12-6 overall and stands alone in third place in the Big 12 standings with a 6-1 conference record. Colorado drops to 7-10, 4-3 in Big 12 matches.
The Colorado match marked the end of a three-match road swing for the Aggies, who now return home for three consecutive matches starting with Kansas State and Kansas this weekend.
The Aggies take on Kansas State Friday at 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. They then play host to Kansas Sunday at 1 p.m.
“I know Kansas has had some very good matches, and Kansas State has also,” Kleinecke said. “I look for it to be tough, but we are at home, and it is always fun to get back home.”
Live scoring of all A&M women’s matches is available at AggieAthletics.com.
No. 31 Texas A&M 4
No. 69 Colorado 3
1. (#75) Elze Potgieter (A&M) def. Monica Milewski (CU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. Camila Belassi (CU) def. Christi Liles (A&M), 7-5, 7-6 (8)
3. Anna Blagodarova (A&M) def. Gleisy Torres Torres (CU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Veera Nurmi (CU) def. Tiffany Clifford (A&M), 6-2, 6-3
5. Morgan Frank (A&M) def. Melisa Esposito (CU), 6-3, 6-1
6. Franziska Jendrian (CU) def. Marisa Druss (A&M), 6-1, 6-2
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Belassi/Milewski (CU) def. Blagodarova/Clifford (A&M), 8-3
2. Liles/Potgieter (A&M) def. Esposito/Jendrian (CU), 8-3
3. Stephanie Davidson/Frank (A&M) def. Abbie Probert/Torres Torres, 9-7
Order of finish (D2, D1, D3, S4, S3, S1, S2, S6, S5*)
Millennium Hotel Harvest House Indoor Courts (Attendance: N/A)
Team records: Texas A&M (12-6, 6-1); Colorado (7-10, 4-3 Big 12)