MANHATTAN, Kan.- The Texas A&M women’s tennis team improved to 13-0 all-time against Kansas State as the Aggies cruised to a 7-0 victory against the injury-plagued Wildcats under blustery conditions today at the Washburn Tennis Facility.
KSU (5-14, 3-7 Big 12) was shorthanded from the start, having to compete with only four players due to injuries.
“The adversity we had to face first of all was the wind,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “When you are dealing with 20-plus miles-per-hour wind, it changes your game. And when you go up and they have only four healthy players, in your mind it is hard to get yourself set that this is a match. It’s not just a practice. That is the adversity that we faced, and I thought we did a good job.”
Because the Wildcats could only field two doubles teams, they were forced to default at the No. 3 line. The 28th-ranked doubles team of Tiffany Clifford and Sarah Foster quickly gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead and improved to 9-1 in Big 12 matches with an easy 8-0 victory against Katerina Kudlackova and Viviana Yrureta at the No. 1 line.
At the No. 2 court, 39th-ranked Anna Lubinsky and Nicki Mechem dropped their first three games to KSU’s Tamar Kvaratskhelia and Natasha Vieira. The Aggie pair then regrouped and won eight of the next nine games to win the match and improve to 10-0 in conference play.
A&M immediately took a 3-0 lead at the start of doubles as KSU defaulted at the No. 5 and No. 6 lines. With A&M needing only one singles victory to seal the win, Mechem quickly clinched the winning point for the Aggies as she sailed to a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Vieira at the No. 4 line.
Foster followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Kvaratskhelia at No. 2 to put the Aggies ahead, 5-0.
In the only three-set match of the day, A&M’s Anna Blagodarova won her first set against Kudlackova, 6-1, at the No. 3 position. Kudlackova rallied to even the match by taking the second set, 6-2. With the team victory already determined, a 10-point super tiebreaker was played for the third set. Blagodarova never trailed en route to a 10-5 win in the tiebreaker.
Lubinsky, ranked No. 24 in singles, completed the shutout with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Yrureta at No. 1 singles.
“I thought we did a good job in the singles,” Kleinecke said. “I felt like we were in control the whole time.”
A&M improves to 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the Big 12. The Aggies, who remain tied with Colorado for third place in the league, conclude the regular season tomorrow at Kansas. The match begins at 11 a.m. at the First Serve Tennis Center in Lawrence, and live scoring will be available at AggieAthletics.com
No. 21 Texas A&M 7, Kansas State 0
1. (#24) Anna Lubinsky (A&M) def. Viviana Yrureta (KSU), 6-2, 6-3
2. Sarah Foster (A&M) def. Tamar Kvaratskhelia (KSU), 6-2, 6-2
3. Anna Blagodarova (A&M) def. Katerina Kudlackova (KSU), 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (5)
4. Nicki Mechem (A&M) def. Natasha Vieira (KSU), 6-0, 6-0
5. Tiffany Clifford (A&M) wins by default
6. Marisa Druss (A&M) wins by default
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. (#28) Clifford/Foster (A&M) def. Kudlackova/Yrureta (KSU),
2. (#39) Lubinsky/Mechem (A&M) def. Kvaratskhelia/Vieira (KSU),
3. Blagodarova/Michelle Sammons (A&M) win by default
Order of finish (D3, D1, D2, S5, S6, S4*, S2, S3, S1)
Washburn Tennis Courts (Attendance: n/a)
Team records: Texas A&M (18-5, 8-2 Big 12); KSU (5-14, 3-7)