The Texas A&M women’s tennis team (8-4, 3-0 Big 12) won its fifth consecutive match and remained undefeated in Big 12 Conference play with a 5-2 victory over Texas Tech in windy conditions today at McLeod Tennis Center.
“A win is a win, and a conference win is a conference win,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “This match was a little closer than what the 5-2 indicates, so we will take the win, go to 3-0 and move on.
“I won’t say that I’m completely happy with our play today. I just didn’t think we adjusted as well as we needed to. The wind is a tough situation, but we were very hardheaded today and tried to keep hitting certain shots that weren’t right. We’ve got to be smarter in that windy situation.”
A&M won on two of three doubles courts to take a 1-0 lead. Christi Liles and Sheri Olivier cruised to an 8-3 win against Sandra Dynka and Stefanie Peana at the No. 3 line. Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank then followed with an 8-4 victory over Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne at the No. 2 line to clinch the point for A&M.
Kelsy Garland and Natalie Leitch prevented a sweep by the Aggies. The Tech pair held a 7-5 lead against A&M’s Elzé Potgieter and Nazari Urbina at the No. 1 line, but the A&M duo came back to tie the score at 7-all to force a tiebreaker. A&M held a 6-5 advantage in the tiebreaker, but Tech fought back and won the next three points to win the match.
Potgieter rebounded at the start of singles, quickly giving A&M a 2-0 lead after racing to a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Dynka at the No. 1 line. It marked the 85th win of Potgieter’s career, moving her into a tie for eighth place with former Aggie standout Cindy Churchwell (1988-91) in the A&M career records.
Starck put the Lady Raiders on the scoreboard with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Liles at the No. 5 line before Frank put A&M ahead, 3-1, with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Ullathorne at the No. 3 line. With the win, Frank extended her career-long winning streak to 12 and improves to 12-1 in dual matches this season.
“While Elze did a great job finishing out her singles match, Morgan’s was a little tighter match probably than what it seemed,” Kleinecke said. “But I felt like Morgan did a good job of trying to control play. That is her play. She is waiting for that other person and dictating play with moving the ball around the court, and I thought she did a good job.”
Davidson then clinched the winning point for A&M, defeating Peana, 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 6 line. Davidson trailed the second set, 5-3 before reeling off four consecutive games to close out the match and put A&M up, 4-1.
“Stephanie Davidson did a good job coming back in that second set after being down,” Kleinecke said. “She was down 5-3 and came back and won the set 7-5, so that was big to give us our clinching match.”
Urbina won her 11th consecutive match, but she had to come from behind to keep the streak intact. The freshman was down 4-1 in the first set to Leitch at No. 2 singles but then rallied to win the next 11 games to win the match, 6-4, 6-0, and put the Aggies ahead 5-1.
“Nazari did a great job of coming back after being down 4-1 in the first set, but she should have never been down 4-1,” Kleinecke said. “She needed to take care of that at the beginning.”
Garland tallied Tech’s final point with a three-set victory over Olivier at the No. 4 line. Olivier won the first set, 6-3, but Garland came back to win the second set, 6-1. The two were tied at 6-6 in the final set, and Garland won the tiebreaker, 7-4, to capture the win.
The match marked A&M’s 26th consecutive victory against the Lady Raiders, who fall to 6-9, 1-4 in Big 12 matches.
The Aggies are off the rest of this week and then take a break from Big 12 play to host No. 3 Notre Dame on Monday, April 5. First serve against the Fighting Irish is 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
“It will be good to get back home again,” Kleinecke said. “We need a good week of practice to work on some of those things and then get back and give a shot at Notre Dame. They are coming in with a top five ranking in the country, so we have nothing to lose. We need to come out swinging.”
Free live video streaming and scoring of all A&M home tennis matches is available at AggieAthletics.com.
No. 44 Texas A&M 5, No. 67 Texas Tech 2
March 28, 2010
McLeod Tennis Center
1. (#63) Elzé Potgieter (TAMU) def. Sandra Dynka (TTU), 6-0, 6-1
2. (#67) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Natalie Leitch (TTU), 6-4, 6-0
3. (#111) Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Kelsy Garland (TTU) def. Sheri Olivier (TAMU), 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4)
5. Caroline Starck (TTU) def. Christi Liles (TAMU), 6-3, 6-1
6. Stephanie Davidson (TAMU) def. Stefanie Peana (TTU), 6-3, 7-5
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Garland/Leitch (TTU) def. Potgieter/Urbina (TAMU), 8-7 (6)
2. Stephanie Davidson/Frank (TAMU) def. Starck/Ullathorne (TTU), 8-4
3. Liles/Olivier (TAMU) def. Dynka/Peana (TTU), 8-3
Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 2, 1
Singles: 1, 5, 3, 6*, 2, 4
Texas A&M: 8-4, 3-0 Big 12
Texas Tech: 6-9, 1-4 Big 12