Aggie Women Advance to Big XII Semifinals

Texas A&M posted a 4-1 quarterfinal victory over Oklahoma State in front of 646 tonight at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center to advance to the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championship semifinals.

The No. 3-seed Aggies (16-7), who will be making their ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament’s semifinals, now face a rematch against rival Texas on Saturday at 6 p.m. The No. 2-seed Longhorns, who ousted A&M in last year’s semifinals and upended A&M, 5-2, when the teams met earlier this season in College Station, defeated No. 10 seed Kansas State, 4-0, today to advance.

Oklahoma State (12-10), the No. 6 seed, was coming off a 4-1 victory over No. 11 Missouri in the first round. A&M was playing its first match in the tournament after receiving a first-round bye with a No. 3 seed.

“It’s always hard when they’ve had the first round match under their belt, and you haven’t played yet,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “That’s always a tough situation.

“Oklahoma State is one of those dangerous teams. The first time we played them we had a 7-0 win, but they are a dangerous team, and they are somebody you have to come out and be ready to play against.”

The Aggies got off to quick start against the Cowgirls, jumping out to a lead on all three doubles courts en route to taking a 1-0 lead. The 45th-ranked duo of Anna Blagodarova (Toronto, Ontario) and Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) defeated Sasha Belova and Jo-Anne Karaitiana, 8-1, at the No. 1 line. It marked the 92nd career victory for both Blagodarova and Clifford, lifting them to a fourth-place tie with Nancy Dingwall (1994-97) in the A&M records.

A&M’s freshman duo, Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.), followed with an 8-3 victory over Jessica Collins and Maryna Tkachenko at the No. 3 position to extend their winning streak to 10 and clinch the doubles point.

A&M’s Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) and Elzé Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa) held a 7-3 lead against Jessica Collins and Maryna Tkachenko at the No. 2 line when the point was clinched.

“I was excited that the doubles got off to a good start for us,” Kleinecke said. “It was important that we came in and established the doubles point, because if we had come in a little flat and let them get into the match a little bit, that could have been a problem.”

OSU quickly evened the score at the start of singles as Karaitiana raced to a 6-0, 6-0 win against Blagodarova at No. 3. It would be the only point for the Cowgirls, who had lost the first set on each of the other five courts.

Frank, the Big 12 No. 5 singles champion, played up at the No. 4 spot and still won her 12th match in her last 13 outings with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Belova to give A&M a 2-1 lead.

Davidson put the Aggies ahead, 3-1, with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jessica Collins at No. 6, and Clifford secured the winning point with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Maryna Tkachenko at the No. 5 line.

Potgieter, ranked No. 103 in singles, had won her first set against Iryna Tkachenko, 6-0, at the No. 1 line, but trailed 4-5 in the second set when Clifford scored the clinching point. Liles had defeated Allen, 7-6 (3) in the first set and held a 3-0 second set lead when play was stopped.

“I love this time of year, the post season, where you’re playing until somebody does win,” Kleinecke said. It changes the complexity of everything just a little bit, and it’s a lot of fun for the players, and it’s their first opportunity at it. You can’t look around and wait for somebody else to be doing it; you have to be the one doing it.”

A&M is 2-6 all-time against the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championships. Texas eliminated A&M in each of the last two years. The rivals did not meet in the 2005 tournament, the year after A&M handed Texas a 4-3 loss for the Aggies’ Big 12 tournament title.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Kleinecke said about the match-up. “Anytime Texas A&M and Texas play, it’s going to be interesting, so we’re excited about the second chance, and we’re going to be out here playing.”

Texas A&M 4, Oklahoma State 1
Singles
1. (#103) Elzé Potgieter (A&M) vs. Iryna Tkachenko (OSU), DNF
2. Christi Liles (A&M) vs. Yawna Allen (OSU), DNF
3. Jo-Anne Karaitiana (OSU) def. Anna Blagodarova (A&M), 6-0, 6-0
4. Morgan Frank (A&M) def. Sasha Belova (OSU), 6-2, 6-2
5. Tiffany Clifford (A&M) def. Maryna Tkachenko (OSU), 6-3, 6-3
6. Stephanie Davidson (A&M) def. Jessica Collins (OSU), 6-1, 6-3

Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Blagodarova/Clifford/ (A&M) def. Belova/Karaitiana (OSU), 8-1
2. Liles/Potgieter (A&M) vs. Allen/I. Tkachenko (OSU) 6-3, DNF
3. Davidson/Frank (A&M) def. Collins/M. Tkachenko (OSU), 8-3

Order of finish (D1, D3, S3, S4, S6, S, S)

George P. Mitchell Tennis Complex (Attendance: 646)
Team records:  Texas A&M (16-7); OSU (12-10)

Aggie Men Survive Tech, 4-3, in Big XII Quarters

The fifth-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team handed fourth-seeded Texas Tech only its fifth loss of the season in a hotly-contested match played out in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Big 12 Conference Tennis Championships held Friday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

Sophomore Chris Chirico, a gritty right-hander from Philadelphia, led the Aggies (12-10) past the Red Raiders (19-5) for a spot in tomorrow’s semifinals against top-seeded Texas (19-4) at noon. TCU, Tulsa, Oklahoma State and Baylor were the only other opponents to keep Tech at bay from closing in on a 20-win season. Second-seeded BU (19-8) and third-seeded OSU (15-8) will play in the other men’s semifinal match at 9 a.m.

For the third time this year, Chirico matched up against Texas Tech’s Ilya Babinciuc, but this time the tables were turned in his favor. It wouldn’t be easy as Chirico battled back from a 1-4 deficit in the third set to gain a 5-4 advantage. Both players rallied and broke each other’s serve in the next three games. In the end, Chirico capitalized on his second match point as Babinciuc ran out of gas to seal the A&M victory, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

“Sometimes when the other guy has beaten you a couple of times, mentally it’s more of an uphill battle to be able to come back,” said Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton whose Aggies avenged a 4-3 regular-season loss to Tech in Lubbock on March 23. “I was really proud of his effort. He showed a lot of fight and it was a well-deserved win.”

The match took a little over four hours to decide with a 10-minute mini rain delay. It started off in dramatic fashion. The doubles point took close to an hour and a half with two tiebreakers. Senior Mike Beatty (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) won their fifth-straight doubles match with an 8-4 upset of 60th-ranked Michael Breler and Sinisa Markovic of Texas Tech at No. 2. The duo improved to an undefeated 5-0 in dual matches.

The Aggies, who won four-straight doubles points leading into the match, had their chances at both the No. 1 and No. 3 lines. Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) and Chirico lost 7-4 in the tiebreaker at No. 3, while No. 15-ranked Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) and Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) were edged 9-7 by No. 14-ranked Christian Rojmar and Bojan Szumanski in the tiebreaker at No. 1.

“We won four doubles points in a row before this match against some really good teams,” Denton said. “We had to battle there in the doubles. We had a great chance, but it didn’t happen. You just have to tell your guys that they have to put their heads up and keep battling. It’s just one point and there is a lot of tennis to be played. We’ve come back and won four singles (matches) before this year, especially here at the Mitchell Tennis Center. It’s just a testament to their fight that we were able to somehow pull that match out today.”

Bain later evened the match at one-all after capturing a 6-4, 6-4 straight-set victory over Breler at No. 5 singles. Krajicek and freshman Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas) came up big with a three-four finish at the No. 3 and No. 6 lines respectively, to put A&M up, 3-2, which led to the dramatic finale with Chirico and Spencer in the last two matches standing.

“It was a great day for us and obviously, we have to forget about this match and get ready for tomorrow,” Denton said. “We have a really tough battle ahead against Texas. It’s going to require the same type of effort or more for us to beat one of the teams that, in my opinion, has a chance to win the NCAA Championship. We really have nothing to lose. We will just go out, let it fly and see what happens tomorrow.”

A&M advances to the Big 12 semifinals for the eighth time in 12 all-time postseason championships. The Aggies remain an undefeated 4-0 against Texas Tech in postseason action. They are also 4-0 all-time versus the Longhorns in Big 12 Tournament play having last met in the 2002 semifinals where A&M won a 4-3 decision over UT.
 
(5) TEXAS A&M 4, (4) TEXAS TECH 3
2008 Big 12 Conference Tennis Championships
Men’s Quarterfinals
April 25, 2008
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
Attendance: 646
SINGLES
No. 1  (39) Bojan Szumanski (Texas Tech) def. (21) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-2.
No. 2  (107) Sinisa Markovic (Texas Tech) def. Wil Spencer (Texas A&M), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4).
No. 3  Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. Lenoir Ramos (Texas Tech), 6-1, 7-5.
No. 4  Chris Chirico (Texas A&M) def. Ilya Babinciuc (Texas Tech), 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
No. 5  Matt Bain (Texas A&M) def. Christian Rojmar (Texas Tech), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 6  Kayvon Karimi (Texas A&M) def. Michael Breler (Texas Tech), 6-4, 6-4.
 
DOUBLES
No. 1  (14) Rojmar-Szumanski (Texas Tech) def. (15) Krajicek-Pollock (Texas A&M), 9-8 (7).
No. 2  Mike Beatty-Spencer (Texas A&M) def. (60) Breler-Markovic (Texas Tech), 8-4.
No. 3  Babinciuc-Ramos (Texas Tech) def. Bain-Chirico (Texas A&M), 9-8 (4).

ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 5, 1, 3, 6, 2, 4*

No. 20 Texas Women Blank Kansas State in Big 12 Championship Quarterfinals

Second-seeded Longhorns take the doubles point and score three singles wins en route to a 4-0 Big 12 quarterfinal win on Friday over Kansas State; Horns will meet Texas A&M or Oklahoma State in Saturday’s semifinals.

Twentieth-ranked and second-seeded Texas (17-5) took the doubles point and picked up singles wins from sophomores Vanja Corovic, Sarah Lancaster and Stephanie Davison en route to a 4-0 win over Kansas State (8-14) Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Big 12 Tennis Championship.  The Horns advance to Saturday’s semifinals where they will meet third-seeded Texas A&M or sixth-seeded Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Central at Texas A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center.

Texas opened with wins at the first and second doubles positions to assume a 1-0 lead.  Corovic and junior Marija Milic teamed up for an 8-2 win at the first slot over Olga Klimova and Katerina Kudlackova, and UT wrapped up the doubles point at the second slot when Davison and freshman Caroline Larsson scored an 8-5 win over Vanessa Cottin and Antea Huljev.

Lancaster staked Texas to a 2-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Pauline Guemas, and UT assumed a 3-0 lead when Davison made short work of K-State’s Kudlackova, winning 6-0, 6-1.  The Horns clinched the match at first singles when Corovic posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over Viviana Yrureta at the first slot.

 POST-MATCH QUOTES

Texas Coach Patty Fendick-McCain

“It was a great first round for us. The players were ready for it and they played really tough. We lost the doubles point to Kansas State a couple of weeks ago. The players were really focused and it was great to see them play that well.”

Kansas State Coach Steve Bietau

“I think we got a little more of a focused effort from Texas than the first time we played them. We came out a little flat and they were just too good.”

2008 Big 12 Championships – Women’s Quarterfinals
No. 20 Texas 4, Kansas State 0
Doubles – Order of Finish:  1, 2
1 Corovic/Milic (UT) def. Klimova/Kudlackova (KSU) – 8-2
2 Davison/Larsson (UT) def. Cottin/Huljev (KSU) – 8-5
3 Mello/Zauft (UT) vs. Vieira/Yrureta (KSU) – DNF

Singles – Order of Finish:  6, 3, 1
1 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. Viviana Yrureta (KSU) – 6-2, 6-2
2 Courtney Zauft (UT) vs. Antea Huljev (KSU) – 7-5, 2-2 susp.
3 Stephanie Davison (UT) def. Katerina Kudlackova (KSU) – 6-0, 6-1
4 Caroline Larsson (UT) vs. Vanessa Cottin (KSU) – 6-1, 6-5, susp.
5. Maggie Mello (UT) vs. Natasha Vieira (KSU) – 6-2, 4-4, susp.
6. Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Pauline Guemas (KSU) – 6-3, 6-1

Lady Raiders’ Singles Steps up Against Sooners

Women’s Tennis Team takes first round victory over Oklahoma, 4-1
  
The Texas Tech Women’s Team finally found its stroke in singles defeating the Oklahoma Sooners today in the first round of the 2008 Big 12 Championships. Next up the Lady Raiders will meet the Big 12 defending Champions No. 3 Baylor tomorrow at 9 a.m.

“The outcome was much more enjoyable against OU today,” said Head Coach Cari Groce. “As a team we had a long chat and decided to commit ourselves to a better performance. We came out flat against them the first time, and today we definitely played sharp and much better tennis.”

Tech sunk in its 13th doubles victory with contributing wins from the No. 1 and 3 courts. The rookie pair of Kelsy Garland and Simone Templeton put themselves back on the winning track as they rolled past OU’s Jessica Cox and Maria Antikova, 8-2. The point was clinched by Tech’s No. 41-ranked team of Janet Durham and Samantha van der Drift as they got their eighth win at No. 1 by defeating Ana-Maria Constanescu and Chelsea Orr, 8-6.

Senior Durham led her team right into singles action as she took a swift 6-1, 6-1, win over Orr (OU) at No. 2. Oklahoma’s top player, No. 111-ranked Constanescu, gave the Sooners its only point by defeating van der Drift in straight sets. Sophomore Kerryn Potgieter proved too much for OU’s Christi Baxley, taking the 6-4, 6-4, win at No. 5. Ahead 3-1, the match was clinched for the Lady Raiders by senior Brenna Jackson who played her first singles match of the season. At No. 6 Jackson and Tara Eckel went toe-to-toe, but it was Jackson’s relentless attitude that helped her find a break in both sets winning 7-5, 7-5.

Tomorrow the Lady Raiders will take on the top-seeded Baylor squad, who is currently ranked No. 3 nationally after going 11-0 during the Big 12 regular season. The team is led by four nationally ranked singles players, and two ranked doubles duos. Tech suffered a 7-0 sweep in its conference opener earlier this season in Lubbock.

“This is the time of year when you need to come out and play your best tennis,” said Groce in regards to tomorrow’s match against the Bears. “Getting to play them already helps us know what to expect. We’re just going to go out there and fight, and really go at them hard.”

Live updates will be available for Friday’s match via the following link, http://www.aggieathletics.com/specialsites/2008big12tennis/. For more information and a complete bracket of this year’s conference championships, visit the men’s tennis page at www.big12sports.com.

Texas Tech – 4, Oklahoma – 1
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas

Doubles: 2, 3, 1*
1. Durham/van der Drift (TTU) def. Constanescu/Orr (OU); 8-6
2. Baxley/Kalashnikova (OU) def. Jackson/Potgieter (TTU); 8-3
3. Garland/Templeton (TTU) def. Cox/Antikova (OU); 8-2

Singles: 2, 1, 5, 6*
1. #111 Ana-Maria Constanescu (OU) def. Samantha van der Drift (TTU); 6-0, 6-3
2. Janet Durham (TTU) def. Chelsea Orr (OU); 6-1, 6-1
3. Kelsy Garland (TTU) vs. Maria Kalashnikova (OU); 7-6(1), 3-6, 0-1
4. Simone Templeton (TTU) vs. Elena Antikova (OU); 6-2, 0-6, 5-2
5. Kerryn Potgieter (TTU) def. Christi Baxley (OU); 6-4, 6-4
6. Brenna Jackson (TTU) def. Tara Eckel (OU); 7-5, 7-5

David A. Kent Courtyard to be Dedicated Friday at A&M

Former Texas A&M men’s tennis coach David Kent will be honored on Friday, April 25, in a dedication ceremony which will unveil the newly-remodeled courtyard named in his honor at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, site of the 2008 Big 12 Conference Tennis Championships.

The ceremony will take place between the A&M men’s and women’s Big 12 quarterfinal matches at the Mitchell Tennis Center at approximately 5 p.m. Kent will be joined by his wife, Eileen, along with their children, grandchildren, former players, university officials and local politicians.

Kent enjoyed a successful coaching career in Aggieland from 1979-96 and remains the all-time winningest coach in school history as he posted an impressive 316-161 record at Texas A&M in 18 seasons. He coached 21 Southwest Conference individual champions, 18 NCAA qualifiers, three All-Americans and a SWC Championship team in 1994. Kent garnered SWC and Southwest Region Coach of the Year honors in 1994. His 1985 squad and 1994 squad, tabbed as the “Wonder Team” reached the NCAA Team Championships and Sweet 16.

Known nationally as a “Builder of Champions” evidenced by his won-loss records, numerous championships, induction into seven Hall of Fames and a myriad of tennis accomplishments, those who played for Kent realize that his greatest accomplishment was due to his role as a “Builder of Character.”

“It is just a great tribute to a man whose work has impacted the university and community,” said Texas A&M women’s tennis coach Bobby Kleinecke who played for Kent at West Texas A&M from 1975-78. “As a player, a fellow coach and now a friend, I know how much he bleeds Maroon and how much he cares about Texas A&M and the tennis programs. I’ve seen him get inducted into Hall of Fames, but this is something he is taking to heart more and it is such an honor to be able to do this for him. The David A. Kent Courtyard will be a permanent reminder of the lasting impression he has made on all of the lives he has so positively influenced over the years.”

Kent ranks among the top 20 all-time NCAA Division I men’s tennis coaches in career victories as he compiled a 516-223 overall record at A&M and West Texas A&M (formerly West Texas State) combined over 27 seasons. He served as the head coach of the Canyon, Texas-based system school from 1969-78. At the time of his retirement in 1996, Kent became only the ninth all-time Division I coach to record 500 career victories.

“Coach Kent has been a longtime ambassador for Texas A&M Tennis,” said current Texas A&M men’s tennis coach Steve Denton who played against Kent’s Aggies as an All-American at rival Texas. “This is such a great tribute to a coach that many of us have admired in the tennis world. Coach Kent loves A&M and continues to come out to support us. I know he is very excited to have his name associated with the facility for years to come. He has made such a major contribution to the success of A&M Tennis and we are forever grateful.”

Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Kent is a 1958 graduate of Texas Tech and previously coached at Amarillo High School from 1958-60 and Midland High School from 1960-69 prior to joining the collegiate ranks. He currently serves as the chairman of the Brazos County Republican Party and is active in the Bryan-College Station community. Kent is a member of seven hall of fames including the ITA Hall of Fame, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame and the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame.

“It’s really overwhelming to receive an honor like this,” Kent said. “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I was at Texas A&M for 18 great years, and I have so many people I need to thank, starting with my wife, my family, my former players, coaches and the administration. Texas A&M was a great place to teach and coach, and I was so blessed to get the opportunity.”

He mentioned that it was gratifying that two of his former players are coaching at A&M – Kleinecke and current women’s assistant coach Mark Weaver, a four-year A&M letterwinner who played for Kent from 1990-94.

“I was a much better coach when I had better players,” he joked. “(All-American) Grant Connell and those guys were just incredible players and competitors, and you had to be to be successful in the Southwest Conference. When I look back on my years at Texas A&M, I remember lots of good teams, good players and good students.”

Asked if he planned a return to coaching like his former coaching rival Bob McKinley, Kent said, “Thirty-eight years of coaching is enough for me. Politics keeps me busy now, but Eileen and I love to go out to the tennis center and watch Aggie Tennis. It’s very exciting and we enjoy watching.”

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH KENT

“Coach Kent is a Hall of Famer which is rightfully so and he’s been a mentor to me over the years. I’ve been in coaching for 21 years and he is the first and only coach I’ve called for advice. He’s always been honest and upfront with me. He’s been my best friend and someone I look up to. He’s brought a lot to the game of tennis and he’s done a whole lot for Texas A&M. I know what the men’s tennis program was like before he arrived and I know what it’s like once he left. Friday’s dedication is a great thing for the university and Coach Kent.” – Oklahoma men’s tennis coach and former OU player Paul Lockwood

“Coach Kent has just been a great role model. He’s been like a father figure to me as well as one of my best friends. Coach Kent is one of the main reasons why I chose A&M and he built us into men here. They could not have picked a better person to name it after.” – Texas A&M women’s tennis assistant coach and former player Mark Weaver

“Coach Kent was a great coach and he is even a better person. He always put his players first in everything he did. He took care of all of the people around him the same way. Even when I was starting out as a student assistant, he treated me like an important part of his program and I appreciate that until this day.” – Texas A&M assistant media relations director and former men’s tennis SID Brad Marquardt

Three Texans Lead Big XII All-Academic Teams with 4.0 GPAs

The Big 12 Conference has named 56 student-athletes to the 2008 Academic All-Big 12 Tennis Team, the league office announced.

Many kids with Texas ties were honored. Everyone who made this list should be commended.

Among those honored were six nominated with a 4.00 grade point average. Hubert Chodkiewicz (Corpus Christi) and Jay Wofford (Lubbock) posted a 4.00 on the men’s side. The women’s student-athletes with a perfect GPA included Lauren Ovelgonne (Montgomery).

The Texas Tech men’s squad placed a league-leading five student-athletes on the team, while Colorado and the Red Raiders tied for a Big 12-high five selections in the women’s field.

Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services and the media relations offices, the men’s tennis academic all-league squad consisted of 14 first team members combined with six on the second team, while the women had 27 first team recipients and nine student-athletes on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of his/her team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

I am only listed those kids from Texas or playing at Texas schools. The entire list can be found at the Big XII website.

2008 Academic All-Big 12 Men’s Tennis Team

First Team (3.20-plus GPA; *Indicates Nominated with a 4.00 GPA)
Name, school Class major hometown
Dominik Mueller, Baylor So. Business Frankfurt, Germany
Matt Brown, Baylor Jr. Finance Chesham, England
Hubert Chodkiewicz, Texas* Sr. Pre-Medicine Corpus Christi, Texas
Bernhard Deussner, Texas Sr. Finance Vienna, Austria
Miguel Reyes Varela, Texas Jr. Liberal Arts Cocoyoc, Mexico
Conor Pollock Texas A&M Jr. Finance San Antonio, Texas
Matt Bain, Texas A&M Sr. Marketing and Finance Georgetown, Texas
Michael Breler, Texas Tech Jr. Personal Financial Planning Malmo, Sweden
Bojan Szumanski, Texas Tech Sr. Personal Financial Planning Opole, Poland
Jay Wofford, Texas Tech* Sr. Biochemistry Lubbock, Texas

Second Team (3.00 To 3.19 GPA)
Name, school Class major hometown
Mark Tate, Nebraska Sr. Business Administration The Woodlands, Texas
Dimitar Kutrovsky, Texas So. Liberal Arts Sofia, Bulgaria
Sinisa Markovic, Texas Tech Jr. Business Banja Luka, Bosnia
Christian Rojmar, Texas Tech Jr. Personal Financial Planning Stockholm, Sweden
2008 Academic All-Big 12 Women’s Tennis Team

First Team (3.20-plus GpA; *Indicates Nominated with a 4.00 GPA)
Name, school Class major hometown
Zuzana Zemenova, Baylor Sr. Speech Communications Kosice, Slovakia
Christina Baxley, Oklahoma Sr. Multidisciplinary Studies New Braunfels, Texas
Lauren Ovelgonne, Oklahoma State* Sr. Journalism/Broadcasting-Advertising Montgomery, Texas
Sarah Lancaster, Texas So. Liberal Arts San Antonio, Texas
Courtney Zauft, Texas Sr. Education San Antonio, Texas
Marisa Druss, Texas A&M Sr. Management Austin, Texas
Elzé Potgieter, Texas A&M So. General Studies Bloemfontein, South Africa
Janet Durham, Texas Tech Sr. Management Corpus Christi, Texas
Samantha van der Drift, Texas Tech Jr. Engineering DeZilk, Holland
Brenna Jackson, Texas Tech Sr. Marketing Wichita Falls, Texas

Second Team (3.00 To 3.19 GPA)
Name, school Class major hometown
Marija Milic, Texas Jr. Liberal Arts Etobicoke, Ontario
Tiffany Clifford, Texas A&M Sr. Communication Little Rock, Ark.
Maria Jose Andres, Texas Tech So. Psychology San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Kerryn Potgieter, Texas Tech So. Exercise Sports Science Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Big XII Championships Predictions

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to ramble, but with a brief break in the action and the Big XII Tournament coming at the end of the week, I figured this was the perfect time to get back on track.

Here are my predictions on how the tournament will transpire.

WOMEN
On the women’s side, it is pretty easy. There is one REAL good team, a couple of good teams and the rest of the field. Obviously, Baylor is the dominant team here. There are a lot of things I could go on about their squad, but I will leave that for another day. Let’s get to the breakdown of the draw.

First Round
The day starts pitting #8-Oklahoma against #9-Texas Tech. I will root for Cari Groce’s team, but I don’t see the Red Raiders avenging a 5-2 loss to the Sooners a few weeks ago. OU.

Kansas over Iowa State (easy)

Nebraska over K-State, if only because I have not been impressed with the coaching staff at K-State. First off, they recruit nothing but foreigners. If that wasn’t bad enough, they aren’t any good. If you are going to stink up the league, why not endear yourself to the Midwest? There are plenty of American girls that could play on this team NOW. I understand the guy has been around forever and been on the ITA Board, but that doesn’t excuse what he did at A&M this year either. He traveled seven players, but didn’t include one on the lineup card as an alternate. When a player got hurt in dubs, they had to forfeit a line of singles because the alternate wasn’t listed.

Oklahoma State (aka Boone Pickens University) cruises over Missouri. They beat them 5-2 last week at home and should be able to do that again.

Quarterfinals
Baylor in a whitewash over OU.

Colorado over Kansas. CU beat them 7-0 at altitude a month ago. It can’t be much different this go around, could it?

Texas over Nebraska. Like I said, there are really only a few good teams in this conference and UT is one of them.

Texas A&M over Oklahoma State. A&M is one of those good teams too. They wiped the floor with OSU in Stillwater last month, 7-0.

Semifinals
Baylor over Colorado
. No upset this time around.

Texas over Texas A&M. This one is a dicey pick since the match is again in College Station. Texas beat them in a tight one last week there and I just think they are the better team.

Championship
Slovakia over Texas
. I mean Baylor over Texas. It won’t be the 7-0 drubbing that occurred last weekend, if not because they will pull them off the courts, but I do think UT has something to prove after just giving it up in the biggest match of the year on Saturday. Baylor is very goot.

MEN
Quarterfinals
Baylor over Nebraska
. Baylor is good and Nebraska isn’t in that league.

Oklahoma State over Oklahoma. Bedlam all over, Eastern Europe-style. The Ukrainian Junior Davis Cup Team is far superior to the Romanian Junior Davis Cup Team. And people want to criticize this sport? I guess T. Boone’s money is limiting recruiting trips to Ukraine. It is probably a non-stop Stillwater to Kiev.

Texas A&M over Texas Tech. I really want to pick A&M here, but the match is at 3 p.m. on Friday and I am not sure enough fans will get there in time. The crowd is going to have to be at its best (or worse, depending on your point of view) to help this young team along. A&M is playing better and really put the screws to UT before the Longhorns got away with the win.

Semifinals
Baylor over Oklahoma State
. The Austria-Hungarian Empire again allies itself with Germany to fight a great battle. They crush Ukraine in this one.

Texas over Texas A&M. This will not be easy, but Texas really struggled last week and still won. Their depth is just too much for the Aggies this time around. If for some reason they play Tech, I think revenge will be a big factor and they win. On another note, what is up with Damico? He hasn’t won a match in weeks and now is injured. Is this Helgeson all over? At least Helgeson refused to lose and that’s all I am going to say on that for now.

Championship
Baylor over Texas. Unless Damico is 100%, I don’t see Texas winning this. Who knows, maybe Knoll will over stack his lineup with Damico out and the match-ups will favor Texas? If Damico is 100%, I think Texas wins. I reserve the right to see his status before making a final judgment. I am a weenie.

A&M to Host Big XII Chanmpionships

Texas A&M is set to host the 2008 Big 12 Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships on April 24-27 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

A&M will serve as host of the four-day postseason championship for only the third time in conference history next to 1999 and 2002. The George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, chosen as the USTA Facility of the Year in 1999, has played host to numerous intercollegiate tennis tournaments over the years ranging from USTA events to the NCAA Regionals. In 2002 and 2005, the venue served as the site of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships, and in 2009 will serve as host to both the men’s and women’s national championships.

One of the finest college tennis facilities in the nation, the Mitchell Tennis Center boasts 12 championship courts with permanent seating for 3,000 spectators. A school-record 2,339 fans watched the Aggie men battle top-ranked Georgia in an NCAA Sweet 16 match on May 18, 2002. The lighting of the facility also averages 150 feet inside the fences which rivals the candle power of the U.S. Open. Men’s and women’s matches will be played simultaneously on both the Stadium and Grandstand courts with the exception of Saturday’s semifinals.

The fifth-seeded A&M men will take on fourth-seeded Texas Tech in quarterfinal action on Friday, April 25 at 3 p.m., while the third-seeded A&M women earned a first-round bye and will face either sixth-seeded Oklahoma State or 11th-seeded Missouri in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m. Both Aggie teams will play on the Stadium courts.

Texas A&M (1998, 2000, 2001), Baylor (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) and Texas (1997, 1999, 2006) have combined to win all 11 of the previous men’s Big 12 postseason championships, while the women’s championship features past tournament winners in A&M (2004), Baylor (2006, 2007), Texas (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005) and Oklahoma State (2003).

All-Championship general admission tickets priced at $15 are available for purchase online at www.12thManFoundation.com or by calling the 12th Man Foundation Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE. Single day general admission tickets priced at $6 are also available, while college students and children will be admitted for $4. Additionally, All-Championship and single day general admission tickets can be purchased at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center Box Office.

BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP

Quarterfinals
Friday, April 25
Match 1 – No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 7 Nebraska at 9 a.m. (Grandstand)
Match 2 – No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 6 Oklahoma at noon (Stadium)
Match 3 – No. 4 Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Texas A&M at 3 p.m. (Stadium)

Semifinals
Saturday, April 26
Match 4 – Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2 at 9 a.m. (Stadium)
Match 5 – No. 1 Texas vs. Winner of Match 3 at 3 p.m. (Stadium)

Championship
Sunday, April 27
Match 6 – Winner of Match 4 vs. Winner of Match 5 at 1 p.m. (TBD)

BIG 12 CONFERENCE WOMEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP

First Round
Thursday, April 24
Match 1 – No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Texas Tech at 10 a.m. (Grandstand)
Match 2 – No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 12 Iowa State at 10 a.m. (Stadium)
Match 3 – No. 7 Nebraska vs. No. 10 Kansas State at 1:30 p.m. (Grandstand)
Match 4 – No. 6 Oklahoma State vs. No. 11 Missouri at 1:30 p.m. (Stadium)

Quarterfinals
Friday, April 25
Match 5 – No. 1 Baylor vs. Winner of Match 1 at 9 a.m. (Stadium)
Match 6 – No. 4 Colorado vs. Winner of Match 2 at noon (Grandstand)
Match 7 – No. 2 Texas vs. Winner of Match 3 at 3 p.m. (Grandstand)
Match 8 – No. 3 Texas A&M vs. Winner of Match 4 at 6 p.m. (Stadium)

Semifinals
Saturday, April 26
Match 9 – Winner of Match 5 vs. Winner of Match 6 at noon (Stadium)
Match 10 – Winner of Match 7 vs. Winner of Match 8 at 6 p.m. (Stadium)

Championship
Sunday, April 27
Match 11 – Winner of Match 9 vs. Winner of Match 10 at 1 p.m. (TBD)

UTSA Men Clinched No. 3 Seed at Southland Conference Tournament

 The UTSA men’s tennis team clinched the No. 3 seed at next week’s Southland Conference Tournament with a 6-1 win against Texas Pan-American on Saturday at the UTSA Tennis Center.

The Roadrunners (9-11, 3-3 SLC) swept all three doubles matches to take the early 1-0 lead over the Broncs (7-11, 2-4 SLC).

UTSA then won five of the six singles matches to clinch the five-point victory.

Junior Andre Moreira cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Ivan Avila at the No. 2 position. Meanwhile, freshman Max Stratmann gave the Roadrunners a commanding 3-0 edge after coming of the court with a straight-sets win (6-2, 6-3) against Shashank Vij at No. 6. Sophomore Rodrigo Morgado clinched the match with his 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Ashwin Vijayaragavan at the top spot. Junior Robin Ferenandes and freshman Daniel Moreiras also collected victories on the day.

The Roadrunners travel to Nacogdoches next Friday to face sixth-seeded Nicholls State. First serve is slated for 3 p.m.

Prairie View Men Fall in SWAC Final, 4-3

2008 SWAC Tennis Tournament

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana – The 2008 SWAC Tennis Tournament
concluded with the Lady Braves of Alcorn State University
and the Jaguars of Southern University being crowned
tournament winners.  Both teams overcame deficits in their
matches en route to their respective victories.
MEN’S FINAL:  Southern d. Prairie View A&M 4-3

Southern claimed the doubles point winning pairings one
and two.  Prairie View opened singles action with Andy
Narido (pairing one), Nicolas Bateman (pairing two) and
Kutlwano Lephuthing (pairing three) picking up wins.
 Southern rebounded as Elvis Espinal (pairing four) and
Kashwayne Nelson (pairing six) gained needed singles win.
 In the deciding singles match, Tyler Chin gained a
three-set victory: 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Southern 4, Prairie View A&M 3

  Singles competition
1. NARIDO,Andy (PVUM) def. GICHIE,Marlon (SUM) 7-5, 6-3
2. BATEMAN,Nicolas (PVUM) def. RASEDISA,Bino (SUM) 6-1,
6-3
3. LEPHUTHING,Kutlwano (PVUM) def. MATONG,Onkabetse (SUM)
7-5, 6-2
4. ESPINAL,Elvis (SUM) def. NYATOTI,Kudakwashe (PVUM) 6-3,
7-5
5. CHIN,Tyler (SUM) def. GARCIA,Jose (PVUM) 2-6, 7-5, 7-5
6. NELSON,Kashwayne (SUM) def. HUBB,Jeremy (PVUM) 7-5, 6-3

  Doubles competition
1. CHIN,Tyler/GICHIE,Marlon (SUM) def.
NARIDO,Andy/BATEMAN,Nicolas (PVUM) 9-8
2. RASEDISA,Bino/MATONG,Onk (SUM) def.
NYATOTI,Kudakwashe/LEPHUTHING,Kutlwano (PVUM) 9-7
3. GARCIA,Jose/HUBB,Jeremy (PVUM) def.
ESPINAL,Elvis/NELSON,Kashwayne (SUM) 8-6

All-Tournament Honors:  Elvis Espinal, Most Outstanding
Player (Southern); Nicolas Bateman (Prairie View);
Nicholas Rufyikiri (Grambling State); Tyler Chin
(Southern); Sergio Salinas (Jackson State); Denys
Ayleksyeyev (Alabama State) and Pushpendra Rajpurohit
(Alcorn State).
WOMEN’S FINAL:  Alcorn State d. Southern 4-3

Southern jumped out early winning the doubles point in
pairings one and three.  Southern then earned a 3-0 lead
following singles by Megan Wiltz (pairing two) and Kathryn
Curtis (pairing three).  Alcorn State climbed back into
contention after singles victories by Swetha Devaraj
(pairing one), Katherine Hoepelman (pairing four) and
Claudia Gonzales (pairing five).
The decisive point came as Sarah Peters gained a win in
the sixth pairing with a 7-6, 1-6, 6-1 victory.

Alcorn State 4, Southern 3

  Singles competition
1. DEVARAJ,Swetha (ALCW) def. MOSLEY,Janelle (SUW) 7-5,
3-6, 6-1
2. WILTZ,Megan (SUW) def. GUZMAN,Stefania (ALCW) 7-6, 6-4
3. CURTIS,Kathryn (SUW) def. CHIEN,Felicia (ALCW) 6-2, 6-1
4. HOEPELMAN,Katherine (ALCW) def. WORKENEH,Bethlehem
(SUW) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
5. GONZALES,Claudia (ALCW) def. LARTIGUE,Sydney (SUW) 6-7,
6-2, 6-1
6. PETERS,Sarah (ALCW) def. MARSHALL,Gabrielle (SUW) 7-6,
1-6, 6-1

  Doubles competition
1. MOSLEY,Janelle/WORKENEH,Beth (SUW) def.
HOEPELMAN,Katherine/GUZMAN,Stefania (ALCW) 8-5
2. WILTZ,Megan/CURTIS,Kathryn (SUW) vs.
DEVARAJ,Swetha/PETERS,Sarah (ALCW) 8-7, unfinished
3. MARSHALL,Gabrielle/LARTIGUE,Sydney (SUW) def.
HOLDER,Avernelle/CHIEN,Felicia (ALCW) 8-3

All-Tournament Honors:  Sarah Peters, Most Outstanding
Player (Alcorn State); Samantha Cantu (Prairie View); Nolu
Ndlabhu (Grambling State); Bethlehem Workeneh (Southern);
Swetha Devaraj (Alcorn State); Paulina Vargas (Jackson
State) and MeShala Johnson (Alabama A&M)