COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team remained undefeated in home matches, improving to 7-0 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center after shutting out No. 39 Arkansas, 4-0, today in Southeastern Conference action.
The Aggies, winners of seven of their last eight matches overall -- including each of the last four -- improve to 10-3 for the season and 4-1 in SEC play only.
Arkansas leaves still in search of its first conference win of the season as the Razorbacks fall to 0-5 in SEC matches and 6-9 overall.
A&M quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead and remained undefeated in SEC doubles matches by winning the first two matches to be completed. Ines Deheza and Saska Gavrilovska improve to 5-0 in dual matches and 4-0 in SEC contests with an 8-2 victory over Yang Pang and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva at the No. 2 line. The Aggie duo dropped the first game but then took command by winning the next six games en route to their fifth consecutive victory.
Rutuja Bhosale and Anna Mamalat dropped their first two games but came back to defeat Brittany Huxley and Sarah McLean, 8-4, at the No. 3 line to improve to 4-0 in dual matches and clinch the doubles point for the Aggies.
A&M’s Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu held a 7-3 lead against Shannon Hudson and Kimberley-Ann Surin at the top of the lineup when the doubles point was decided, and the match was stopped.
Mamalat carried the momentum into singles play and won the first five games against Surin at the No. 4 line. Mamalat then dropped a game but roared back by winning seven straight to close out a 6-1, 6-0 victory that put A&M ahead, 2-0.
Stancu, No. 14 in the ITA national singles rankings, also had little trouble in her straight-set win against Pang at the No. 1 line. With the first set on serve at 1-1, Stancu reeled off five consecutive games to cap the 6-1 first-set win. The second set was tied, 2-2, when Stancu went on another run, winning four straight games to win, 6-2, to give A&M a 3-0 lead.
Deheza cruised to a 6-0 first-set win over McLean at No. 3 and built a 5-1 lead in the second when McLean began a comeback. The Razorback fought off one match point to get within 5-2 and then won the next two games to cut the lead to 5-4. McLean fought off another match point before falling 6-4 in the second set, as Deheza secured the victory for the Aggies.
The remaining three matches were tightly contested, but went unfinished once A&M clinched the victory. At No. 2 singles, Gavrilovska lost a 5-2 lead to Hudson, who won the first set, 7-5, and held a 3-2 lead when play was stopped.
Shkorupeieva won her first set against Hristov, 6-3, at fifth singles, but Hristov held a 4-2 lead in the second set. At No. 6, Bhosale had dropped the first set, 7-5, to Huxley but had regained the momentum after winning the second set, 6-2, and building a 1-0 lead in the third.
A&M concludes a four-match SEC home stand on Sunday as the Aggies play host to No. 57 LSU (8-6, 1-4 SEC). First serve is at noon at the Mitchell Tennis Center, and the first 100 fans will get a free tennis croakie.
Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.
Texas A&M Head Coach Howard Joffe Quotes:
“The expression in baseball is the dog days of summer, and that is a very apt analysis of where not just our team but all the teams are at the moment. We are not nearing the end of the season. We are not at the beginning, and there is a lot of emotional mileage and wear and tear on all the players, and my big concern today for our team was were they going to come out and have the energy and fortitude, because we have some folks that are banged up, just like all the other teams. I really have to give us credit, because it looked like we did.”
(On Arkansas’ play)
“Arkansas is a gritty team. They are tough. They fought us hard, but our kids certainly met any reasonable expectation in terms of effort and so forth.”
(On Ines Deheza’s match)
“If you watch Ines’ matches, it was very uncharacteristic to see the scoreboard go so quickly in her favor. With Ines, it is usually a come-from-behind. Ines obviously must have played quite well to get that lead. I didn’t see her match, but the scoreboard would tell you that it started to get very close. One thing about Ines, I always tell her not to scoreboard watch, but there is no greater scoreboard watcher, and Ines is very mindful of not just the status of her match but the context of the whole match. Just like anything, when one sees the finish line, it is normal to get a little anxious and nervous, and my guess is that’s what happened a little bit.”
(On any concerns of spring break affecting the match)
“It is always a concern. You just have to look at our roster and see that we have four freshmen, four sophomores and only one senior. I have no doubt the young ladies will be up for the matches against the top-ranked teams. Day in and day out is what concerns you with such a young team, and that is exactly what my angst was about this match. I felt like they came out though and performed and concentrated at the level I could have hoped, but that certainly is a concern for a young team.”
No. 7 Texas A&M 4, No. 39 Arkansas 0
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
March 14, 2014
1. #14 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. Yang Pang (UA), 6-1, 6-2
2. #57 Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU) vs. Shannon Hudson (UA), 5-7, 2-3 unfinished
3. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Sarah McLean (UA), 6-0, 6-4
4. #110 Anna Mamalat (TAMU) def. Kimberley - Ann Surin (UA), 6-1, 6-0
5. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) vs. Oleksandra Shkorupeieva (UA), 3-6, 4-2 unfinished
6. Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU) vs. Brittany Huxley (UA), 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 unfinished
Doubles (A&M wins the points)
1. No. 23 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) vs. Hudson/Surin (UA), 7-3 unfinished
2. No. 60 Deheza/Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. Pang/Shkorupeieva (UA), 8-2
3. Bhosale/Mamalat (TAMU) def. Huxley/McLean (UA), 8-4
Order of finish
Singles: 4, 1, 3
Doubles: 2, 3
Texas A&M: 10-3, 4-1 SEC
Arkansas: 6-9, 0-5 SEC