COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The 19th-ranked and No. 3-seeded Texas A&M women’s tennis team opens the 2012 Big 12 Championship against sixth-seed Kansas State Friday at 3 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Aggies, who have reached the semifinals each of the last six years but have not advanced to the finals since winning their only Big 12 tournament championship in 2004, enter the tournament 16-4 and riding a three-match winning streak. Most recently, A&M posted a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Oklahoma Sunday in Norman to finish 7-2 and in a three-way tie with Baylor and Texas for second place in the Big 12 standings.
A&M is led by Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, the highest nationally ranked singles player in the Big 12 at No. 8 and the Big 12 No. 1 singles champion after completing a perfect 9-0 record in conference matches. Eight of her nine victories were in straight sets.
The junior from Campo de Criptana, Spain, boasts a 32-5 overall singles mark, tying for fourth in the A&M records for most victories in a season. A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection, Sanchez-Quintanar is 19-1 in dual matches only.
Junior Nazari Urbina is No. 61 in the national singles rankings and is 16-4 in dual matches. She went 7-2 in Big 12 matches at the No. 2 line.
Wen Sun, a junior from Dalian, China, was recently named the Big 12 No. 3 singles champion after going 8-1 in conference matches. She is No. 81 in the nation and is 16-4 in dual matches, 22-10 overall.
The Aggies, who are a combined 51-9 (.850) at the top three singles lines, have also experienced success in doubles, having won the crucial point in 16 of 20 matches with a combined 43-16 (.729) record at the three positions.
Junior Janelle Cuthbertson and Urbina are the Big 12 No. 2 co-champions after going 7-0. They are 14-1 overall as well as in dual matches, and they enter the tournament riding a 14-match winning streak
Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun teamed to capture a share of the Big 12 No. 1 doubles title with a 7-2 record. They jumped from No. 50 to a season-high No. 38 in this week’s national doubles rankings and are riding a four-match winning streak after upsetting then 39th-ranked Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie of Oklahoma in the last match of the regular season.
The senior tandem of Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce is 14-5 at the No. 3 line.
Texas A&M is 20-14 all-time in the 15-year history of the Big 12 Women's Tennis Championship. The Aggies have reached the finals four times (1997, 2002, 2003, 2004) and are 1-3 in the championship match. A&M has reached at least the semifinals every year except 1999 when the No. 4 Aggies fell to No. 5 Baylor, 4-2, in the quarterfinals in College Station.
K-State enters the 2012 Big 12 Tennis Championships riding a season-high three-match winning streak. The Wildcats’ No. 6 seed is their highest in the Big 12 Championships since the 2002 and 2003 seasons when K-State was a No. 6 seed.
The Wildcats have two players in the national singles rankings. No. 27 Petra Niedermayerova has won 16 of her last 20 matches, including each of the last five, and is 22-11 overall all at the No. 1 line.
Karla Bonacic comes in at No. 100 and riding a five-match winning streak. She has won 17 of her last 22 outings and owns a 16-5 mark in dual matches. Bonacic and Niedermayerova are ranked No. 68 in doubles.
A&M owns a 17-1 record in the all-time series against K-State, including a 6-1 victory over the Wildcats on March 30 in College Station. A&M got wins at the top two doubles lines as well as the top five singles lines to avenge the Aggies’ only loss to the Wildcats, a 4-3 setback in 2011 in Manhattan, Kan.
The Aggies are 2-0 against K-State in conference tournament matches.
The winner of the match will face the winner between No. 2 Baylor and No. 7 Oklahoma in the semifinals, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available at the main entrance to the Mitchell Tennis Center.
For more information on Texas A&M tennis, the Big 12 Championship and tickets, go to AggieAthletics.com.