COLLEGE STATION -- The 20th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team aims to remain undefeated in Big 12 Conference play and stay atop the league standings when the Aggies battle 15th-ranked and two-time defending league-champion Baylor (15-6, 7-1 Big 12) Wednesday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
First serve of the top-20 showdown is at 6 p.m., and all fans wearing maroon will receive free general admission. In addition, the first 200 fans will receive a free T-shirt.
“This is shaping up to be a great college tennis match,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “It’s the type of match that you talk about at the start of the season, the type of atmosphere where everything is on the line.
“These are two evenly matched teams, so it should be a lot of fun. Plus, our home crowd could give us the edge we need and set us on our way to a conference championship.”
A&M holds a narrow lead in the conference standings with a 5-0 league record. The Aggies are 15-3 overall, including 11-0 in home matches, and are riding a three-match winning streak. They have not played since defeating Rice, 6-1, in a non-conference match on March 31.
Baylor, whose six losses have all occurred on the road, is riding a season-best seven-match winning streak. In addition, the Bears have won six consecutive conference matches since suffering their only Big 12 loss on March 4, a 5-2 setback at Colorado, a team A&M defeated 7-0 in College Station.
The Bears are coming off a narrow 4-3 win against 19th-ranked Pepperdine on Saturday. In their most recent Big 12 match, the Bears breezed past Texas, 6-1, in Waco.
A&M owns a 20-11 lead in the all-time series; however, the Bears are 10-5 against the Aggies since Big 12 play began in 1997. In addition, Baylor has won the last four meetings against the Aggies. Last year, Baylor defeated A&M, 7-0, during the regular season and also eliminated the Aggies from the Big 12 Championship with a 4-0 victory in the semifinal round. Both matches were played in Waco.
A&M’s Anna Lubinsky is ranked a career-high No. 17 and is the highest nationally ranked singles player in the Big 12. The senior from Richardson, Texas, is 12-2 at the No. 1 line, including 5-0 in Big 12 matches. She is riding a nine-match winning streak, equaling the longest of her career, which she set as a freshman at the No. 6 position.
Elze Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa) also represents A&M in the national singles rankings, coming in at No. 87. The freshman is 14-3 in dual matches, tying senior Sarah Foster (Lexington, Ky.) for the team lead in singles victories.
In doubles, Lubinsky teams with Nicki Mechem (Fredericksburg, Texas) to form the highest nationally ranked doubles team in the league. The 34th-ranked tandem is 14-2 at No. 2 doubles, including a 5-0 mark in Big 12 matches. Lubinsky needs one more doubles victory to reach 100 for her career and move her into a tie for second place in the A&M records behind Mechem, who is the all-time leader with 109 doubles victories.
Foster and Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) also represent A&M in the national doubles rankings. Listed No. 46, the pair is 13-5 at the No. 1 line, including 5-0 in Big 12 matches, and is riding a six-match winning streak.
The Aggies are 15-0 when winning the doubles point this season. In addition, they have captured the doubles point in all 11 home matches this season, marking 17 consecutive home matches in which A&M has won the crucial point.
The Bears, however, are coming off their first victory of the season after dropping the doubles point. Then-20th-ranked Baylor dropped two of three doubles matches against Pepperdine but won four of six singles matches to clinch the win against the Wave.
Like the Aggies, the Bears also have two nationally ranked doubles teams: No. 36 Lenka Broosova and Klara Zrustova and No. 52 Iva Mihaylova and Zuzana Zemenova, who are 7-0 in dual matches. In addition, Zemenova, Zuzana Cerna and Broosova represent Baylor in the national singles rankings, coming in at No. 28, No. 54 and No. 77, respectively.
Cerna and Mihaylova are both riding team-leading 10-match winning streaks in singles. Broosova, who is 8-0 in Big 12 matches, has won her last seven matches and leads the team with a 28-8 overall record.