COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M women’s tennis team has captured a conference-record six Big 12 Conference individual champion titles, including all three doubles titles.
The previous Big 12 record for most individual titles was five set by Baylor in 2006. Until this season, the most titles A&M had won in single season was four accomplished in both 2004 and 2005.
Individual Big 12 champions are crowned for each of the six singles positions and all three doubles flights based on the number of conference wins during the regular season. A player must have competed in at least six matches at a set position to qualify for a conference title. In addition, wins at higher positions count toward the record in which an athlete has played a minimum of six matches.
The doubles team of Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) and Sarah Foster (Lexington, Ky.) is the Big 12 No. 1 doubles champion after going 10-1 in conference play. The pair, 18-6 in all dual matches, is listed a Big 12-best No. 34 in the national rankings.
Seniors Anna Lubinsky (Richardson, Texas) and Nicki Mechem (Fredericksburg, Texas) won their second consecutive title at No. 2 doubles after posting a 10-1 mark in league play. The duo is 19-3 in dual matches and ranked No. 45 in the nation. In addition, the two will finish their careers as the A&M all-time leaders in doubles victories, as Mechem boasts an all-time best 114-38 career mark, while Lubinsky is 104-41 in her doubles career.
Junior Anna Blagodarova (Toronto, Ontario) and freshman Michelle Sammons (Durban, South Africa) went 9-2 at No. 3 doubles, tying Colorado’s Melisa Esposito and Martina Sedivec for the Big 12 title.
This is the first time A&M has won more than one doubles title in a single season. Oklahoma State is the only other team that has swept the doubles titles, accomplishing the feat in 2001.
In singles, Lubinsky is the Big 12 No. 1 singles champion after finishing with a league-best 9-2 conference record. This is Lubinsky’s third Big 12 singles champion crown, having won the No. 6 singles title as a freshman and the No. 3 singles title as a sophomore.
Mechem captured her third No. 5 singles champion title, posting a 9-2 record in conference matches, Mechem, who went 6-2 at the No. 5 line and also was credited for going 3-0 at the No. 4 position, is A&M’s all-time leader in singles victories with a 109-43 career mark.
Clifford earned the second Big 12 singles title of her career, finishing in a three-way tie at the No. 6 line with an 8-2 league record. Clifford, who was the 2005 Big 12 No. 5 singles champion, tied Esposito of Colorado and Jennifer Poskitt of Oklahoma State.
A&M is 19-5 overall and finished the Big 12 regular season tied with Colorado for third place with a 9-2 conference record. A&M, which defeated the Buffaloes, 7-0 during the regular season is the No. 3 seed at the Big 12 Championships, which begin Thursday at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City, Mo.
The top four teams – No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Colorado – receive a first-round bye. A&M will play the winner between the No. 6 seed, which is still to be determined, and No. 11 Kansas on Friday at 6 p.m.
2007 Big 12 Individual Champions
No. 1 Singles: Anna Lubinsky, Texas A&M (9-2)
No. 2 Singles: Zuzana Cerna, Baylor (10-1)
No. 3 Singles: Lenka Broosova, Baylor (11-0)
No. 4 Singles: Lauren Simmons, Oklahoma State (8-3)
No. 5 Singles: Nicki Mechem, Texas A&M (9-2)
No. 6 Singles: Melisa Esposito, Colorado (8-2) and Tiffany Clifford, Texas A&M (8-2)
No. 1 Doubles: Tiffany Clifford/Sarah Foster, Texas A&M (10-1)
No. 2 Doubles: Anna Lubinsky/Nicki Mechem, Texas A&M (10-1)
No. 3 Doubles: Melisa Esposito/Martina Sedivec (9-0) and Anna Blagodarova/Michelle Sammons, Texas A&M (9-2)