Kleinecke's Crew Wins On Senior Day

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The 20th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team celebrated “Senior Day” with a 7-0 victory over Texas Tech today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

A crowd of 433 braved the cold and blustery weather to honor A&M’s three seniors, Sarah Foster (Lexington, Ky.), Anna Lubinsky (Richardson, Texas) and Nicki Mechem (Fredericksburg, Texas). The Aggies reciprocated by sweeping all three doubles matches and earning straight-set victories on all six singles courts.

“This was a tough day to play,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “The wind made it really tough to get out and play your game. You’re not ever going to feel like you are at your best on a windy day, but I thought mentally the girls did a great job of adapting.”

A&M improves to 16-4, matching the number of wins the Aggies tallied in each of their last two seasons. The Aggies, who have reached the NCAA second round in each of the past two years, also move to 6-1 in the Big 12 and stay in the hunt for the Big 12 regular-season title.

Tech (9-9, 2-6 Big 12) suffers its 23rd consecutive loss against the Aggies, who also move to 12-0 against the Lady Raiders since Big 12 play began in 1997.

Anna Blagodarova (Toronto, Ontario) and Michelle Sammons (Durban, South Africa) chalked up the first win for the Aggies, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and taking only 33 minutes to dispose of Maria Jose Andres and Kerryn Potgeiter, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles.

The 34th-ranked duo of Lubinsky and Mechem clinched the doubles point for A&M after defeating Brenna Jackson and Lakann Wagley, 8-5, at the No. 2 line. The Aggies never trailed in the match and improved to 7-0 in Big 12 matches.

Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) and Foster ran their team-leading winning streak to seven and also improved to 7-0 in conference action with a come-from-behind 8-6 victory over Janet Durham and Samantha van der Drift at the No. 1 line. The 46th-ranked Aggies dropped the first four games and later trailed, 6-3, before rallying to win the next five games to extend their streak and complete the sweep.

Mechem quickly put the Aggies ahead, 2-0, taking less than 45 minutes to defeat Andres, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 5 singles. No. 87th-ranked Elze Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa) followed with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Potgeiter at the No. 4 line to put the Aggies up, 3-0.

Clifford earned the match-clinching point and put the Aggies back into the win column after defeating Brenna Jackson, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6.

Lubinsky, ranked a career-high No. 17 in singles, gave the Aggies a 5-0 lead, and she improved to 13-3 at the No. 1 line after downing van der Drift, 6-3, 6-2. Foster continued the rout, defeating Wagley, 6-4, 6-3, at the No. 2 position.

Blagodarova capped the match, preserving the shutout with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Durham at No. 5.

“We had to keep prodding, but we got up and started dictating even though it was windy,” Kleinecke said. “I really feel like we gained a lot today. It was a great way to bounce back after that tough Baylor loss the other night. That stung pretty hard, so coming back and getting this win is going to help a lot.”

The Aggies close out their regular-season home schedule Sunday against 67th-ranked Oklahoma State (15-6, 7-3 Big 12). First serve is at 1:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

No. 20 Texas A&M 7, Texas Tech 0

Singles

1. (#17) Anna Lubinsky (A&M) def. Samantha van der Drift (TTU), 6-3, 6-2

2. Sarah Foster (A&M) def. Lakann Wagley (TTU), 6-4, 6-3

3. Anna Blagodarova (A&M) def. Janet Durham (TTU), 6-2, 7-6 (4)

4. (#87) Elze Potgieter (A&M) def. Kerryn Potgeiter (TTU), 6-3, 6-1

5. Nicki Mechem (A&M) def. Maria Jose Andres (TTU), 6-0, 6-1

6. Tiffany Clifford (A&M) def. Brenna Jackson (TTU), 6-3, 6-3

Doubles (A&M wins the point)

1. (#46) Clifford/Foster (A&M) def. Durham/van der Drift (TTU), 8-6

2. (#34) Lubinsky/Mechem (A&M) def. Jackson/Wagley (TTU), 8-5

3. Blagodarova/Michelle Sammons (A&M) def. Andres/Potgeiter (TTU), 8-2

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

*Clinched match

George P. Mitchell Tennis Center (Attendance: 433)

Team records: Texas A&M (16-4, 6-1 Big 12); Texas Tech (9-9, 2-6 Big 12)