STILLWATER, Okla. – After missing the last three matches with an injury, junior Janelle Cuthbertson returned to the lineup and notched wins in both doubles and singles to help lead the 24th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team to a 5-2 victory over No. 51 Oklahoma State today at the DeBois Tennis Complex.
“It is great to have Janelle back in the lineup,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “I think in the doubles, Janelle was suffering maybe a little bit from nerves more than anything, but she did just fine in doubles all things considered. In the singles, in the context of the actual dual match, hers was a critical point and she won and really did it with a reasonable amount of ease. It is a huge help to have her back, and the bottom line is that she won in singles and doubles, so that was excellent for us.”
A&M improves to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in Big 12 Conference matches with only tomorrow’s match at No. 46 Oklahoma remaining in the regular season. In addition, the Aggies clinch at least a top four seed and a first-round bye in the Big 12 Championships, to be played at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, April 26-29.
The Cowgirls fall to 10-8 overall, 4-4 in Big 12 matches. They also suffer their 11th consecutive loss against the Aggies.
In a match-up of ranked doubles teams, A&M’s 50th-ranked duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun jumped out to a 6-0 lead against 58th-ranked Kanyapat Narattana and Malika Rose at the No. 1 court. The Aggies went on to win the match, 8-3, to improve to 13-6 in dual matches, including 7-2 in league play.
At the No. 3 line, A&M’s Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce found themselves fighting from behind after spotting the Cowgirl tandem of Isabela Miro and C.C. Sardinha a 4-0 lead. The Aggies got back within 5-4 but were unable to take the lead as OSU closed out an 8-5 victory to even the race for the doubles point.
The decision would come down to the No. 2 court. A&M never trailed as Cuthbertson and partner Nazari Urbina won three consecutive games to break away from a 3-3 tie against Meghan Blevins and Mary Jeremiah. The Cowgirls, however, made a run of their own and got back on serve at 6-6. A&M won the next game to go up 7-6, and Urbina clinched the 8-6 victory with a match-winning return to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.
It was the 13th consecutive win for the Aggie duo, as Urbina and Cuthbertson improve to 13-1 and remain undefeated in conference matches at 6-0.
Sanchez-Quintanar gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead at the start of singles, easily disposing of Sardinha, 6-0, 6-2 at the No. 1 line. With the win, the junior remained undefeated in Big 12 singles matches, improving to 8-0 in league play and 18-1 in dual matches. She also improved to 31-5 overall, climbing into a tie for fifth place in the A&M records for most victories in a single season.
Cuthbertson won the first five games in her match en route to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jeremiah at the No. 5 line to put the Aggies ahead, 3-0.
Miro then put the Cowgirls on the scoreboard, holding off Olivier, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6 before Urbina completed a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rose at the No. 2 line to clinch the winning point.
Narattana posted OSU’s only other point, downing Santacroce, 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 4 line to cut the margin to 4-2 before Sun closed out the match, saddling Blevins with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat at No. 3.
“I thought Oklahoma State did an excellent job of playing really hard and with a lot of passion both in the doubles and the singles,” Joffe said. “Obviously it is great that we won the match. I don’t know that our girls met their opposition with the same intensity and passion that they needed to. But none of these matches are easy. Oklahoma State has a very good team and it was a match on the road, so for us to win the match 5-2, there is not a ton to gripe about. I’m very pleased with that.”
First serve of the regular season finale against the Sooners is at noon at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman.
No. 24 Texas A&M 5, No 51 Oklahoma State 2
April 21, 2012
DeBois Tennis Complex
1. (#8) Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. C.C. Sardinha (OSU), 6-0, 6-2
2. (#80) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Malika Rose (OSU), 6-2, 6-1
3. (#83) Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Meghan Blevins (OSU), 6-1, 6-4
4. Kanyapat Narattana (OSU) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU), 6-4, 6-1
5. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU) def. Mary Jeremiah (OSU), 6-1, 6-3
6. Isabela Miro (OSU) def. Sheri Olivier (TAMU), 6-3, 6-3
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. (#50) Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. (#58) Narattana/Rose (OSU), 8-3
2. Cuthbertson/Urbina (TAMU) def. Blevins/Jeremiah (OSU), 8-6
3. Miro/Sardinha (OSU) def. Olivier/Santacroce (TAMU), 8-5
Order of finish
Doubles: 1, 3, 2
Singles: 1, 5, 6, 2*, 4, 3
* - Clinched match
Texas A&M: 15-4, 6-2 Big 12
OSU: 10-8, 4-4 Big 12