COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 16th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team will once again be aiming to break the program’s record for consecutive victories when the Aggies open Big 12 conference play at Missouri on Friday. First serve is slated for 5 p.m. at the Green Tennis Center in Columbia, Mo.
A&M is 9-1 under the direction of first-year head coach Howard Joffe and has won its last nine matches. The Aggies will be aiming to break the longstanding school record for consecutive victories set in 1986 when they take on the Tigers. The team tied the all-time record with a 7-0 victory over William and Mary on March 6, but a possible record-setting match against No. 16 Michigan on March 9 was canceled because of rain.
A&M sports three nationally ranked singles players. No. 7 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar is the highest ranked player in the Big 12. The junior is 10-0 in dual matches, having seen action at both the Nos. 1 and 2 lines, and is 23-4 overall, including 9-3 against nationally ranked opponents.
Wen Sun is No. 70 with an 8-2 record at the No. 3 line. Nazari Urbina also is 8-2, having split time with Sanchez-Quintanar at the top two lines, and is ranked No. 111.
Although A&M does not have any ranked doubles teams, the Aggies have been quite successful, winning the doubles point in each of the last nine matches and boasting a combined 23-6 record in dual competition. Janelle Cuthbertson and Urbina have teamed for seven consecutive wins and are 7-1 at the No. 2 position. The senior tandem of Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce leads the team in victories with an 8-1 record, all at the No. 3 line. Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun are 7-3 at No. 1 doubles.
Missouri (5-4) has not played a dual match since defeating No. 62 Virginia Tech, 6-1, on Feb. 26. It marked the Tigers’ second win over a ranked opponent this season.
Rachel Stuhlmann is ranked No. 93 in singles and is the only Missouri player listed in the national rankings.
A&M is 17-1 all-time against the Tigers and has won the last nine meetings. A&M defeated the Tigers, 5-2, last year in College Station. Missouri’s lone victory against the Aggies was in 2003.
A&M tied for fourth in the Big 12 last year with a 7-4 record. The Aggies were picked to tie for third with Texas Tech this year, according to a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches. Missouri was picked to finish eighth.
Check MUTigers.com for live scoring of the match.