COLLEGE STATION, Texas – There was no fooling around for the Texas A&M women’s tennis team on April Fool’s Day, and the Aggies continued to prove that their record-setting success this season is no joke as they defeated Kansas, 6-1, on a warm, sunny day at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
In business-like fashion, the 16th-ranked Aggies improved to 13-1 with their 13th consecutive win and remained undefeated in the Big 12 Conference with a 4-0 record. Kansas fell to 9-9 and is still in search of its first conference match win as the Jayhawks fell to 0-6 in league matches.
“It is certainly beyond what was expected,” first-year head coach Howard Joffe said about the team’s streak and success thus far. “I just congratulated the girls, because it really is a good achievement. We are in a good spot.”
A&M’s Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar aced the very first serve to open the contest against the Jayhawks, setting the tone as the Aggies easily swept the doubles matches and took a 1-0 lead. Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce were first off the court, jumping out to a 5-1 lead en rout to an 8-2 victory against Claire Dreyer and Victoria Khanevskaya at the No. 3 line.
Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun never trailed in an 8-3 win against Monica Pezzotti and Dylan Windom at No. 1 to clinch the point. It was the 13th consecutive match A&M won the doubles point, as the Aggies have not dropped the point since the season-opening 4-3 loss to Ole Miss, which remains A&M’s only team loss of the season.
Janelle Cuthbertson and Nazari Urbina completed the sweep and extended their team-best winning streak to 11 matches with an 8-4 victory against Paulina Los and Maria Belen Ludueña at the No. 2 line.
Sanchez-Quintanar, whose No. 13 national singles ranking is the highest among all Big 12 players, gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead, and she improved to 14-0 in dual matches with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Pezzotti at the top of the lineup.
Windom put the Jayhawks within 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-0 victory against Santacroce at the No. 4 line, but it would be the only point Kansas would tally on the day.
Urbina extended her winning streak to 10 and gave the Aggies a 3-1 lead after handing Los a 6-0, 6-1 defeat at No. 2. Olivier then clinched A&M’s winning point, topping Khanevskaya, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 6.
Cuthbertson and Sun both held on for 7-5 second-set wins to post straight-set victories and close out the match. Cuthbertson defeated Dreyer, 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 5 line, and Sun pulled out a 6-1, 7-5 victory against Ludueña at No. 3 after trailing the second set, 5-4. It was the ninth consecutive singles victory for Sun.
“There is no question we were a stronger team than Kansas, but Kansas fought really hard,” Joffe said, “My fear a little bit was that we have had some injuries and have some kids who are a little bit warn down. I could certainly see that in their play, but in terms of the attitude and their approach, there was no fooling around. The kids are hungry and getting after it.”
Up next for the Aggies is a match against seven-time reigning Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor on April 5 at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. First serve is slated for 6 p.m.
Baylor has won the last 12 meetings against the Aggies, who have not defeated the Bears since 2004.
“The match comes down to how we play on Thursday night in Waco and how well Baylor plays,” Joffe said. “I fully expect it to be hotly contested by Baylor. They have dominated the league for the last five or 10 years, but as well as the Longhorns are playing this season and with Baylor already picking up one loss, if they lose to us, that would probably eliminate them from their umpteenth Big 12 title. So on that basis, I expect Baylor to dig in their heels and present some stout competition.”
No. 16 Texas A&M 6, Kansas 1
April 1, 2012
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
1. (#7) Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. Monica Pezzotti (KU), 6-0, 6-2
2. (#101) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Paulina Los (KU), 6-0, 6-1
3. (#73) Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Maria Belen Ludueña (KU), 6-1, 7-5
4. Dylan Windom (KU) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU), 6-3, 6-0
5. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU) def. Claire Dreyer (KU), 6-3, 7-5
6. Sheri Olivier (TAMU) def. Victoria Khanevskaya (KU), 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. Pezzotti/Windom (KU), 8-3
2. Cuthbertson/Urbina (TAMU) def. Los/Ludueña (KU), 8-4
3. Olivier/Santacroce (TAMU) def. Dreyer/Khanevskaya (KU), 8-2
Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 1, 2
Singles: 1, 4, 2, 6*, 5, 3
* - Clinched match
Texas A&M: 13-1, 4-0 Big 12
Kansas: 9-9, 0-6 Big 12