No. 20 A&M Falls to No. 15 Baylor

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COLLEGE STATION -- The 20th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team suffered its first home loss and its first Big 12 Conference loss of the season as the Aggies fell to No. 15 Baylor, 6-1, in front of a season-high 746 tonight at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

With the victory, the Bears (6-6, 8-1 Big 12) overtake A&M for the league lead and extend their overall winning streak to eight.

A&M, which came into the match 11-0 in home matches and 15-0 overall when winning the doubles point, drops to 15-4, 5-1 in the Big 12.

A&M enter the match 15-0 when winning the doubles point this season. And although the Aggies won their 18th consecutive doubles point when playing at home -- a streak that began last season -- they were unable to carry the momentum into singles and come away with the overall victory after taking the 1-0 lead.

“I knew this was going to be a tough match for us,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “I knew that they had a good team and that they are very capable players, but I would not have bet on this outcome at all.”

A&M’s 34th-ranked duo of Anna Lubinsky and Nicki Mechem began the match by dropping the first two points against Zuzana Cerna and Zuzana Chmelarova at the No. 2 line. The pair quickly bounced back and took its first lead at 4-3. The Aggies kept the lead for the remainder of the match, allowing Baylor to win only one more game in the 8-4 A&M victory.

In a showdown of ranked teams, A&M’s 46th-ranked tandem of Tiffany Clifford and Sarah Foster jumped out to a 4-0 lead against No. 36 Zuzana Broosova and Klara Zrustova at the No. 1 line. Baylor got within 5-3 but could get no closer as the Aggie duo pulled away for an 8-4 victory and clinched the doubles point for A&M.

With the point already determined, Baylor’s 52nd-ranked duo of Iva Mihaylova and Zuzana Zemenova prevented a sweep by the Aggies, downing Anna Blagodarova and Michelle Sammons, 8-6, at the No. 3 line.

Baylor got off to a quick start in singles, winning the first set on four courts and making a quick comeback on the other two courts en route to winning all six singles matches.

“When you win the doubles point and you allow them to come up and win four first (singles) sets, it deflates all your doubles,” Kleinecke said. “That is something we just can’t have.

“I didn’t think that there was any way they would come in and win all six singles matches. The bottom line of the match is that we lose four first sets pretty quick, and the first two sets that we win, we lose the second sets quick.”

Broosova, who entered the match ranked No. 77 and riding a seven-match winning streak, evened the score at 1-all and ran her winning streak to eight after defeating Blagodarova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 3. Zemenova then gave the Bears the lead with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over 17th-ranked Lubinsky at No. 1. The loss ended Lubinsky’s nine-match winning streak, which equals her career high.

Chmelarova put Baylor ahead, 3-1, with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Elze Potgieter at No. 4, and 54th-ranked Cerna sealed the win with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Foster at the No. 2 line.

Zrustova then topped Mechem, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 5, and Mihaylova completed the singles sweep with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Clifford at No. 6.

The Aggies return to Big 12 Conference action on “Senior Day” Saturday as they play host to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. First serve is at 11 a.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

“We still have our destiny in our hands for a conference championship,” Kleinecke said. “It’s tainted a little bit now, but we still have our destiny in our hands. Our biggest match right now is Texas Tech on Saturday. We’ve got to bounce back. This deflated us, and it is time to show some character and bounce back.”

Foster, Lubinsky and Mechem, A&M’s three seniors, will be honored prior to the Tech match. Fans wearing an Aggie Ring will be admitted free. In addition, the first 200 fans will receive a Buffalo Wild Wings coupon.

No. 15 Baylor 6, No. 20 Texas A&M 1

Singles

1. (#28) Zuzana Zemenova (BU) def. (#17) Anna Lubinsky (A&M), 6-2, 6-2

2. (#54) Zuzana Cerna (BU) def. Sarah Foster (A&M), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

3. (#77) Lenka Broosova (BU) def. Anna Blagodarova (A&M), 6-2, 6-0

4. Klara Zrustova (BU) def. (#87) Elze Potgieter (A&M), 6-3, 6-4

5. Zuzana Chmelarova (BU) def. Nicki Mechem (A&M), 6-1, 6-1

6. Iva Mihaylova (BU) def. Tiffany Clifford (A&M), 3-6, 6-0, 6-3

Doubles (A&M wins the point)

1. (#46) Clifford/Foster (A&M) def. (#36) Broosova/Zrustova (BU), 8-4

2. (#34) Lubinsky/Mechem (A&M) def. Cerna/Chmelarova (BU), 8-4

3. (#52) Mihaylova/Zemenova (BU) def. Blagodarova/Michelle Sammons (A&M), 8-6

Order of finish (D2, D1, D3, S3, S1, S4, S2*, S5, S6)
*Clinched match

George P. Mitchell Tennis Center (Attendance: 746)

Team records: Texas A&M (15-4, 5-1 Big 12); Baylor (16-6, 8-1 Big 12)