Aggies To Take On No. 6 Duke, Wake Forest

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COLLEGE STATION -- The 25th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team returns to action this weekend with a pair of road matches at No. 6 Duke and No. 31 Wake Forest. The Aggies, who have not played since suffering a 4-3 home loss to No. 23 LSU on Feb. 8, take on the Duke Blue Devils Saturday at noon (CST) at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, N.C. On Sunday, A&M faces the Demon Deacons at 11 a.m. (CST) at Leighton Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“We are excited to get the chance to get back out on the court again,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “During the two-week period since our LSU match, we wanted to use the time to work on some things, and I think we have accomplished some things but be have been battling some sickness too, so we didn’t get as much done as I hoped. We are looking forward to getting back out on the court and competing again. That is the best way to improve. That is our goal.”

The Aggies are 3-2 in dual matches. Sophomore Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) leads A&M with a 4-1 record at No. 2 singles. She also sports a team-best 4-1 record at No. 2 doubles with partner Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas), as the Aggies have captured the doubles point in all but one match.

Elze Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa), who plays No. 1 singles for the Aggies, moved into the national singles rankings this week, coming it at No. 102.

Duke (7-1) moved up two spots to No. 6 in the national rankings after defeating No. 4 Baylor, 4-3, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship quarterfinal consolation match last weekend in Madison, Wis. The Blue Devils’ only loss this season was a 4-3 quarterfinal setback to top-ranked Northwestern, which went on to win the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

“This is a great opportunity for us with Duke being ranked in the top 10 and coming off of a great showing at the indoors championships and beating a lot of good people there,” Kleinecke said. “This match will give us a good opportunity to see where we stand and to get another shot at a top-10 team. The one thing that I’m very impressed with about this team is that they are not scared to play teams like this. We are going to come away with one of these, and we are hoping its tomorrow. It is a big weekend for us.”

Duke boasts five players in the ITA national singles rankings, including No. 24 Eilah Nze, who is 7-0 in dual matches. Amanda Granson and Melissa Mang are ranked a team-high No. 16 in doubles and are 5-2.

Wake Forest is 6-1 entering a home match against No. 24 William and Mary on Saturday.

A&M is looking for its first victory in three meetings overall against the Blue Devils. The teams last met Feb. 3, 2005, in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, where then-No. 8 duke defeated No. 16 A&M, 5-2.

WFU holds a narrow 6-5 edge in the all-time series against the Aggies. Last year, A&M upset the 19th-ranked Demon Deacons, 6-1, in College Station, marking the highest ranked win by the Aggies in the 2008 season.

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