TCU men’s rally fall short vs. Fresno State, 4-3

TCU rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie Sunday’s match against No. 27 Fresno State, but the Bulldogs earned a comeback win in the final singles decision to hold off the Horned Frogs at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, 4-3.

The setback dropped No. 58 TCU’s season record to 6-7, while the Bulldogs improved to 13-6. Sunday marked the ninth match in 13 outings this spring that the Frogs faced a ranked opponent.

After dropping the doubles point and the first two singles decisions, TCU notched three straight wins by junior Zach Nichols, sophomore Slah Mbarek and junior Emanuel Brighiu to knot the match at 3-3.

In the decider at No. 6 singles, junior Christopher Price took the first set against Fresno’s Siddharth Alapati and had match point in the second-set tiebreaker. Siddharth responded by reeling off three straight points to claim the set, then held off Price in the third to clinch the team win for Fresno, 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Mbarek improved to 3-2 against ranked opponents this spring with a straight-sets victory over No. 123 Tejesvi Veerepalli, 7-5, 6-2. Mbarek is now 4-2 when playing in the No. 3 slot this season. Brighiu’s victory came at No. 1 singles over Mirko Zapletal, 7-5, 7-6(3), as the Frog junior ended a three-match skid, while Nichols also ended a three-match losing streak at the No. 2 position by downing Rikus de Villers, 6-1, 7-6(8).

Fresno earned its other two points with wins at Nos. 4 and 5 singles. Remi Boutillier defated freshman Sören Goritzka at No. 4, 7-5, 6-1, while David Ayoun pushed past freshman Marius Cirstea at No. 5, 6-2, 6-4.

The teams split the opening two doubles matches. De Villers and Boutillier, ranked No. 22 nationally, took down Brighiu and Price at No. 1 by an 8-3 count before Nichols and sophomore Paul Chappell earned an 8-6 victory over Alapati and Veerepalli at the No. 3 spot. Fresno’s Zapletal and Taylor Leiby held off Mbarek and Goritzka at No. 2 doubles, 8-6, to give the Bulldogs the team point.

“I thought we played well,” head coach Dave Borelli said. “The last two days came down to a couple matches, and today we had a match-point opportunity to win. (Alapati) came up with some great shots against Chris (Price), and that proved to be the difference. We started slow in the doubles today, and that hurt us.

“Fresno State is a good team, and we had a chance to win. If we can continue to play at that level and gain a little more confidence, we can be pretty good. Some guys just need to step up for us, and if they do that we can be successful in the conference.”

TCU opens Mountain West Conference play next weekend, when it plays a pair of matches on the road. The Frogs first face UNLV on Friday, April 2, at 2 p.m. CT in Las Vegas, Nev., before taking on San Diego State at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 4 in San Diego, Calif.

#27 Fresno State 4, #58 TCU 3
March 28, 2010
Fort Worth, Texas
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center/Bernard J. “Tut” Bartzen Varsity Courts

Doubles
1. #22 Rikus de Villers/Remi Boutillier (FSU) def. Emanuel Brighiu/Christopher Price (TCU) 8-3
2. Taylor Leiby/Mirko Zapletal (FSU) def. Sören Goritzka/Slah Mbarek (TCU) 8-5
3. Paul Chappell/Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Siddharth Alapati/Tejesvi Veerepalli (FSU) 8-6

Singles
1. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Mirko Zapletal (FSU) 7-5, 7-6(3)
2. #99 Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Rikus de Villers (FSU) 6-1, 7-6(8)
3. Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. #123 Tejesvi Veerepalli (FSU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Remi Boutillier (FSU) def. Sören Goritzka (TCU) 7-5, 6-1
5. David Ayoun (FSU) def. Marius Cirstea (TCU) 6-2, 6-4
6. *Siddharth Alapati (FSU) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,4,2,3,1,6*)
*-clinched team victory

No. 4 Texas handles OU, 6-1

No. 4 Texas (18-2, 2-0 Big 12) took the doubles point and won five of six singles matches in a 6-1 victory over No. 19 Oklahoma (12-4, 0-2 Big 12) Sunday afternoon at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Oklahoma opened the doubles session with a win at the third slot before UT juniors Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico pulled out a 9-8 win over Ionut Beleleu and David Pultr at the second slot. UT clinched the doubles point at the first slot in another tiebreaker, where seniors Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala edged Andrei Daescu and Costin Paval, 9-8.

The Longhorns went on to clinch the victory behind singles victories at the third, sixth and fourth singles positions. Damico put Texas up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Paval at third singles, and UT assumed a 3-0 lead at sixth singles, where freshman Vasko Mladenov dealt George Chanturia a 6-1, 7-6 defeat. The clinching win came from sophomore Jean Andersen at fourth singles, where he defeated Pultr in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.

Texas tacked on to its lead at the first slot, as UT’s Kutrovsky edged Daescu, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Zavala finished off Oklahoma’s Lawrence Formentera at the fifth slot before the Sooner collected the final point with a three-set win at second singles.

Texas resumes conference play on Saturday, April 3 when it visits Texas Tech.

Texas 6, Oklahoma 1
Doubles – Order of Finish – 3, 2, 1
1. Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) def. Daescu/Paval (OU) – 9-8
2. Corrie/Damico (UT) def. Beleleu/Pultr (OU) – 9-8
3. Boswell/Formentera (OU) def. Andersen/Whitehead (UT) – 8-5

Singles – Order of Finish – 3, 6, 4, 1, 5, 2
1. Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. Andrei Daescu (OU) – 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2. Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. Ed Corrie (UT) – 7-6, 0-6, 6-2
3. Kellen Damico (UT) def. Costin Paval (OU) – 6-3, 6-0
4. Jean Anderson (UT) def. David Pultr (OU) – 7-5, 6-2
5. Josh Zavala (UT) def. Lawrence Formentera (OU) – 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10-3)
6. Vasko Mladenov (UT) def. George Chanturia (OU) – 6-1, 7-6

No. 7 Baylor women top Texas. 5-2

Texas (7-4, 3-1 Big 12) collected singles victories from senior Sarah Lancaster and junior Maggie Mello, but Baylor (15-2, 5-0 Big 12) went on to post a 5-2 victory over the Longhorns Sunday afternoon at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Baylor took a 1-0 lead after winning two of three matches in the doubles session, and the Bears assumed a 2-0 lead when Csilla Borsanyi defeated UT’s Caroline Larsson by a 6-0, 6-3 count at fourth singles. Texas got on the board at fifth singles, as senior Sarah Lancaster dealt Baylor’s Karolina Filipiak a 6-3, 6-2 defeat. But, the Bears would clinch the match with consecutive victories at the second and first singles slots, respectively.

Baylor’s Taylor Ormond staked the Bears to a 5-1 lead with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over UT sophomore Krista Damico at third singles, and Texas junior Maggie Mello notched the final point for the Longhorns with a 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-5) win over Baylor’s Jelena Stanivuk.

Texas resumes conference play on Friday, April 2 when it visits Oklahoma State.

Baylor 5, Texas 2
Doubles – Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Broosova/Borsanyi (BU) def. Corovic/Ellis (UT) – 8-4
2. Craddock/Damico (UT) def. Secerbegovic/Stanivuk (BU) – 8-3
3. Ormond/Filipiak (BU) def. Lancaster/Larsson (UT) – 8-4

Singles – Order of Finish: 4, 5, 2, 1, 3, 6
1. Lenka Broosova (BU) def. Aeriel Ellis (UT) – 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
2. Nina Secerbegovic (BU) def. Vanja Corovic (UT) – 7-5, 6-3
3. Taylor Ormond (BU) def. Krista Damico (UT) – 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
4. Csilla Borsanyi (BU) def. Caroline Larsson (UT) – 6-0, 6-3
5. Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Karolina Filipiak (BU) – 6-3, 6-2
6. Maggie Mello (UT) def. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) – 4-6, 7-6, 10-5

Incarnate Word women edge St. Ed’s, 5-4

The St. Edward’s women’s tennis team was edged by Heartland Conference rival, Incarnate Word, 5-4, Saturday afternoon in San Antonio.

St. Edward’s (7-9, 2-1 HC) began the day’s action with two important wins in doubles. The Hilltoppers gained their first point with freshman Paige Rachel and sophomore Audrey Tompkins defeating Adrianna Hernandez and Gretchen Trautmann, 9-8. In the No. 2 match, sophomore Mary Bain and senior Elizabeth Jacobi extended the Hilltopper lead after they defeated Erica Engberg and Alex Adams, 8-6. In the final doubles match, senior Caryn McGraw and sophomore Heather Brien were defeated by Stephanie Rodriguez and Karen Rodriguez, 8-3.

In singles action, Rachel defeated Hernandez in the No. 1 match, 7-5, 6-1. In the No. 2 match, Tompkins was defeated by Stephanie Rodriguez in three hard fought sets. Rodriguez took the first set, 6-2. Tompkins fought back to take the second set, 6-4. In the final set, Tompkins was edged, 7-6 in a tiebreaker. In similar action, Bain was defeated by Trautmann in the No. 3 match, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Jacobi was also pushed to three sets in the No. 4 match, as she was defeated by Engberg, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. Brien followed with a Hilltopper point in the No. 5 match after defeating Adams, 6-2, 6-2. In the final match for the win, McGraw battled Karen Rodriguez. McGraw took the first set, 4-6, though Karen Rodriguez pulled away with the final two sets, 6-3, 6-0.

The Hilltoppers will be back in action April 5th as they travel to take on Houston. First-serve is set for noon.

SMU handles Fresno State, 6-1

Fresno State took on No. 27 SMU on Saturday in Frenso, Calif., with the Mustangs coming away with a 6-1 win.

The Bulldogs doubles team of Laura Pola and Renata Kucerkova pulled a victory over Merta Lesniak and Aleksandra, 8-6.

Kucerkova also, picked up a victory in singles against No. 29 Marta Lesniak, 7-6, 3-6 (10-3).

“We did very well in today’s match,” Fresno State head coach Simon Thibodeau said. “I thought we almost had it in doubles. We’ve made improvements and have cut down on the mistakes.”

“Renata did an excellent job, it was a good win for her,” said Thibodeau. “She plays very well against high-ranked individuals.”

The Bulldogs’ next match will be held on April 3, when the `Dogs will play Idaho in Santa Clara, Calif., and Hawaii and San Jose State in San Jose, Calif., that same day

March 27, 2010 – Fresno, Calif.
No. 27 SMU 6, Fresno State 1
Doubles (SMU Wins the Doubles Point)
1. Pola/ Kucerkova (FS) def. Lesniak/ Malyarchikova (SMU) 8-6
2. Vankova/ Cieplucha (SMU) def. McQueen/ Modoc (FS) 8-5
3. Francis/ Hatamova (SMU) def. Gragera-Cano/ Mikhailova (FS) 8-2
Order of Completion: 2, 3, 1

Singles
1. Renata Kucerkova def. No. 29 Marta Lesniak (SMU) 7-6, 3-6 (10-7)
2. No. 97 Aleksandra Malvarchikova (SMU) def. Laura Pola (FS) 6-1, 6-3
3. Shahazoda Hatamova (SMU) def. Bianca Modoc (FS) 6-0, 6-2
4. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) def. Melissa McQueen (FS) 6-3, 6-4
5. Pavi Francis (SMU) def. Julia Gragera-Cano (FS) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
6. Sophie Quist (SMU) def. Anna Mikhailova (FS) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Completion: 4, 3, 2*, 6, 1, 5

Baylor sweeps ACU, St. Ed’s

The eighth-ranked men’s tennis team improved to 36-1 in Matt Knoll’s tenure on days when it plays more than one match by blanking both Abilene Christian and St. Edward’s, 7-0, on Saturday at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“After the loss to Virginia, it was good to get back in the win column,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We had a couple guys that had a bad taste in their mouth after that match, so it was great to just come out and get some momentum heading into a really tough match in Palo Alto. Hopefully, having some positive results will help us with what is coming up.”

Overall, Baylor is now 15-3 on the season, while the Bears pushed their home win streak to 18 matches. In today’s two matches, Baylor won all six doubles matches and lost only two sets in 12 singles matches.

With the two shutouts, the Bears have now blanked 10 opponents on the season matching their total from all of last season.

In the matches, Knoll shuffled his doubles lineup from the previous match at Virginia. He used the pairing of Julian Bley and Maros Horny, who had not partnered together this spring. Knoll also placed Attila Bucko and Jordan Rux back together after the two had lost their lone previous match together earlier this spring. At the third spot, Knoll kept the pairing of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin intact.

“We were able to play some different doubles combinations, which I thought went well,” Knoll said. “I thought in the early match you could see that there was a little uncertainty, but this evening I thought they were way better and I feel that is something we can build on.”

Abilene Christian Match
The Bears struggled out of the gate versus the Wildcats as the No. 1 doubles team of Bucko and Rux fell behind Luke Hawk and John Strahl 5-0 before roaring back to square the match at five. The match then seesawed back and forth, but the Baylor tandem would win it in a tie-breaker 8-7 (9-7).

“They shouldn’t have won,” Knoll said. “They came out flat. I told the guys before the match that Abilene Christian was going to be well prepared and well coached in doubles and they were, so we weren’t surprised by that. We were just flat. Abilene Christian did a great job getting out to a lead and executing.”

However, while that match was still on the court the Bears clinched the doubles point with wins at the second and third spots. It was the first time since a March 13 win at No. 24 Pepperdine that the Bears had claimed the doubles point.

In singles, 28th-ranked Rux was the first one off the court with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Strahl. Rux improved to 12-2 and did not play in singles in the second match.

“Jordan did not lose a game, so that is pretty hard to do,” Knoll said. “I thought he did a nice job of staying focused from beginning to end. He didn’t really give the guy any cracks. It is absolutely not easy to do that, so I thought that was a good performance.”

As for the rest of the Bears, Attila Bucko playing at the No. 1 spot for the first time this season was dominate, rolling to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Eldad Campbell. Bucko is now 12-2 in dual match play and has won four straight. He also did not play singles in the second match. Bley would then clinch the match for the Bears as he took down Hawk, 6-2, 6-3.

With the match in hand Horny got past Bryan Joiner in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-2), Chris Gordon beat Jared Hope 7-6(4), 6-4 and Sergio Ramirez took out Brett Proctor 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2). For Gordon it was his second match and second win in the dual season and for Ramirez it was his first singles match since Feb. 21 against Prairie View A&M.

The Wildcats fall to 11-7 on the year, while Baylor improves to 7-3 against ACU all-time.

#8 Baylor Bears 7, Abilene Christian 0
Mar 27, 2010 at Waco, Texas
(Baylor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. Attila Bucko (BU) def. Eldad Campbell (ACU) 6-2, 6-2
2. #28 Jordan Rux (BU) def. John Strahl (ACU) 6-0, 6-0
3. Julian Bley (BU) def. Luke Hawk (ACU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Maros Horny (BU) def. Bryan Joiner (ACU) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-2)
5. Sergio Ramirez (BU) def. Brett Proctor (ACU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2)
6. Chris Gordon (BU) def. Jared Hope (ACU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Jordan Rux/Attila Bucko (BU) def. Luke Hawk/John Strahl (ACU) 8-7 (9-7)
2. Julian Bley/Maros Horny (BU) def. Eldad Campbell/Brett Proctor (ACU) 8-6
3. Denes Lukacs/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Jared Hope/Bryan Joiner (ACU) 8-3

Match Notes:
Abilene Christian 11-7
Baylor Bears 14-3; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,1,3,4,6,5)

St. Edward’s Match
In the second match of the day, the Bears controlled the action, winning all three doubles matches with ease. Knoll went with the same pairings from the first match and it paid dividends as Lukacs and Maytin took apart Mick Walter and Bernard Lancaster at the third spot, 8-0. Bley and Horny followed suit at two with an 8-2 win over Ryan Wiggins and Justin Raiti. Bucko and Rux had the biggest improvement as they cruised past Ned Boone and Brett Powers, 8-1.

“We came out tonight and played way better,” Knoll said of his doubles pairings.

In singles, Baylor took every match in straight sets. Seniors Lukacs and Mueller and freshman Maytin all returned to the singles lineup, after sitting out the first match to earn victories. Bley, Horny and Ramirez all earned their second victory of the day.

“This evening Roberto was particularly good,” Knoll said. “We really had a lot of good performances across the team and I thought we played way better, so we feel good about the way we closed it out.”

With the loss St. Edward’s is now 6-9 on the year. Baylor improves to 14-1 versus the Hilltoppers all-time and 3-0 under Knoll.

The Bears will now travel to Palo Alto, Calif. to battle No. 15 Stanford in the fourth installment of the HP Cup series on Tuesday, March 30. Baylor has won the first three matches of the series and holds a perfect 9-0 all-time record over the storied Cardinal program. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m. (PT).

#8 Baylor Bears 7, St. Edwards
Mar 27, 2010 at Waco, Texas
(Baylor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #16 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. Ned Boone (SEU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Brett Powers (SEU) 6-0, 6-2
3. Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Justin Raiti (SEU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Julian Bley (BU) def. Mick Walter (SEU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Maros Horny (BU) def. Bernard Lancaster (SEU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Sergio Ramirez (BU) def. Ryan Wiggins (SEU) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Attila Bucko/Jordan Rux (BU) def. Ned Boone/Brett Powers (SEU) 8-1
2. Julian Bley/Maros Horny (BU) def. Ryan Wiggins/Justin Raiti (SEU) 8-2
3. Denes Lukacs/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Mick Walter/Bernard Lancaster (SEU) 8-0

Match Notes:
St. Edwards 6-9
Baylor Bears 15-3; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,2,4,3,1,6)

Other Notes: Baylor is now 4-0 this season in doubleheader matches. Baylor is 245-66 in non-conference play under Knoll. The Bears have won 34 out of their last 36 matches in Waco.

Rice tops TCU men, 5-2

The TCU men’s tennis team fell to No. 42 Rice Saturday, 5-2, at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The Frogs swept the doubles before the Owls took five of six singles matches.

The setback dropped No. 58 TCU’s season record to 6-6, while Rice improved to 9-8.

Each of the Frogs’ three doubles tandems earned victories Saturday, led by juniors Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price at No. 1 over Michael Nuesslein and Christian Saravia, 8-4. Nuesslein and Saravia entered the weekend ranked 45th nationally in doubles. Brighiu and Price improved 2-1 against ranked opponents with the win.

Junior Zach Nichols and sophomore Paul Chappell clinched the doubles point with a 9-7 comeback victory over Dennis Polyakov and Oscar Podlewski at the No. 3 position. Nichols and Chappell led 6-2 in the match before the Owl pairing roared back to take a 7-6 lead. Also winning for the Frogs were sophomore Slah Mbarek and freshman Sören Goritzka at No. 2 over Bruno Rosa and Isamu Tachibana, 8-5.

Rice responded after dropping the doubles point by taking each of the first five singles decisions to clinch the team victory. Price recorded TCU’s only singles win in straight sets at the No. 6 spot over Saravia, 7-6(4), 6-3.

Two of the Frogs’ losses in singles came in tight thee-set affairs. Nichols, ranked 99th nationally, fell behind early at the No. 2 position to Nuesslein before regrouping. Nuesslein eventually proved victorious in the third-set tiebreaker, clinching Rice’s team victory with a 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 decision.

Mbarek also dropped his opening set at No. 3 singles to Sam Garforth-Bles before winning the second set. Garforth-Bles outlasted Mbarek in the third to claim a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 win.

TCU returns to action Sunday at Noon, when it plays host to No. 27 Fresno State at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

#42 Rice 5, #58 TCU 2
March 27, 2010
Fort Worth, Texas
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center/Bernard J. “Tut” Bartzen Varsity Courts

Doubles
1. E. Brighiu/C. Price (TCU) def. #45 M. Nuesslein/C. Saravia (RICE) 8-4
2. S. Goritzka/S. Mbarek (TCU) def. B. Rosa/I. Tachibana (RICE) 8-5
3. P. Chappell/Z. Nichols (TCU) def. D. Polyakov/O. Podlewski (RICE) 9-7

Singles
1. #34 Bruno Rosa (RICE) def. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) 6-1, 6-4
2. *Michael Nuesslein (RICE) def. #99 Zach Nichols (TCU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Sam Garforth-Bles (RICE) def. Slah Mbarek (TCU) 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4
4. Oscar Podlewski (RICE) def. Marius Cirstea (TCU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Isamu Tachibana (RICE) def. Sören Goritzka (TCU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Christopher Price (TCU) def. Christian Saravia (RICE) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,1,5,2*,3,6)
*-clinched team victory

UTEP comes up shy against MTSU & UAB in doubleheader

The UTEP tennis team battled hard but couldn’t quite put it all together as it was defeated by UAB, 4-2, and Middle Tennessee State, 4-0, in a rare doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

The Miners (8-10) were originally slated to only face the Blue Raiders (8-5) but things changed due to poor weather predictions. Marina DeLuca and Alexandra Glebova maneuvered the different format with ease, as each enjoyed triumphs.

DeLuca defeated the Blazers’ (9-7) Giorgia Romero 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 3 singles. Glebova dominated in her initial Conference UCA contest, drilling Menanteau Moolman, 6-2, 7-5, at the fourth slot. The Blazers picked up victories at the other courts, however, and that propelled them to the team triumph. There was no doubles action due to time constraints.

Carolina DeLuca played hard but couldn’t translate that effort into a triumph against Evelien Strijker at No. 2 singles. She was held off, 6-4, 6-1. Dariya Abdrakhmanova ran into a buzz saw in the form of Paula Alvarez at the top slot, with the UAB player staking a 6-2, 6-1, win.

Ximena Fuentes was bounced by Brittany DeFelice, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 5 singles. Veronika Makashov never backed down from Jenny Cape but couldn’t claim the key points, and she eventually was knocked off by a final score of 6-3, 6-4, at No. 6 singles.

Following a quick reprieve, UTEP took to the courts for the tilt against MTSU. Action christened with doubles, and the Orange and Blue never got into a rhythm.

Carolina DeLuca/Fuentes fought hard against Natalia Arya/Alex Dachos, battling from the initial point. The match went back and forth before the Blue Raiders tandem prevailed by a final count of 9-8 (7-5).

Abdrakhmanova/Glebova teamed up to represent UTEP at the No. 1 slot. MTSU’s Nava/Nomoto pulled out the triumph, 8-3. At No. 3 doubles, it was Austin Lavalli/Marina DeLuca falling to the Blue Raiders’ Anna Djananova/Taylor Coffey, 8-0.

UTEP aspired to come back in singles play but it did not come to fruition. Makashov was tripped up by Marietta Bigus, 6-0, 6-1, at the sixth spot while Fuentes was foiled by Coffey, 6-1, 6-2.

Carolina DeLuca pushed Araya hard in the first set but fell, 7-5. She then was forced to retire due to an injury.

Abdrakhmanova led Nava 6-4, 4-4, at No. 1 singles but the match was called due to the team outcome having been decided. Marina DeLuca (up 6-4, 1-1) against Djananova at No. 3 singles and Glebova (down 3-6, 3-3) against Nomoto at the fourth slot were stricken with the same fate.

UTEP will be back in action when it squares off against SMU on the road on April 2. The Miners will then face UCF in neutral-site contest (Dallas, Texas) at 9 a.m. on April 3.

No. 3 Notre Dame begins Texas swing with 7-0 blanking of TCU

After picking up a win over Wichita State Friday, the TCU women’s tennis team dropped a 7-0 decision on the road against No. 3 Notre Dame Saturday at the Sheldon Coleman Tennis Center.

“We came off the weekend with a 1-1 record and we feel like we are getting better and stronger,” TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond said. “We are all looking forward to starting conference play at home this weekend.”

The Irish stormed through the doubles portion of the match, sweeping the Frogs to take an early 1-0 lead in the match. Notre Dames’ top squad of Kristy Frilling and Kali Krisik, the fourth-best doubles tandem in the country, toppled TCU’s Maria Babanova and Nina Munch-Soegaard from the top spot wth an 8-4 decision, while the Irish duo of Cosmina Ciobanu and Shannon Matthews defeated the TCU team of Idunn Hertzberg and Katariina Tuohimaa from the middle court, 8-3.

Notre Dame kept rolling to start singles play, as TCU sophomore Gaby Mastromarino dropped her match from the fifth flight, giving the Irish a 2-0 advantage. No. 14 Frilling followed with a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 89 Munch-Soegaard. With a 3-0 lead in the match, Notre Dame needed one more win to clinch victory as Matthews sealed the deal, upending Tuohimaa from the No. 2 position, 3-6, 6-1, 10-4.

TCU (2-12) will return home to the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center to host the opening weekend of Mountain West Conference action against Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado State, April 2-4.

No. 3 Notre Dame (14-2) def. TCU (2-12), 7-0
SINGLES
1. No. 14 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. No. 89 Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU), 6-1, 6-2
2. No. 108 Shannon Matthews (ND) def. No. 100 Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU), 3-6, 6-1, 10-4
3. No. 99 Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Idunn Hertzberg (TCU), 6-2, 6-2
4. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Maria Babanova (TCU), 6-3, 6-1 lost to chivonue 3-1
5. Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Notre Dame wins by default (no player)
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 2*, 3, 4

DOUBLES
1. No. 4 Frilling/Krisik def. Babanova/Munch-Soegaard, 8-4
2. Ciobanu/Matthews (ND) def. Hertzberg/Tuohimaa, 8-3
3. Notre Dame wins by default (no player)

Aggies open Big 12 with 5-2 win over OU

The 17th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team won its fifth straight with a 5-2 victory over No. 19 Oklahoma in its Big 12 Conference opener held Friday night before the 10th-largest crowd in school history with 907 fans in attendance at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

The Aggies (12-4, 1-0) are off to their best start in the Steve Denton Era and handed the Sooners (12-3, 0-1) only their third loss of the season. OU was just five days removed from having its 10-match win streak snapped by league foe Texas Tech in the finals of the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

Solid play from its veterans and winning the doubles point, gave A&M momentum heading into singles. The ninth-ranked tandem of junior All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) and junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.) defeated Andrei Daescu and Costin Pavel, 8-3, at the top of the order to even the playing field at 1-1. Junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) and freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) clinched the doubles point by gaining a service break at seven-all and Bautista serving out the match at 40-love and slamming the return volley for a 9-7 victory over OU’s Ionut Beleleu and David Pultr at the No. 2 line.

“I felt that the doubles point was huge,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We had lost at No. 3, won at No. 1 and were down 5-2 at No. 2. Our guys just found a way. They broke serve to stay within one break and I thought we got more aggressive and they got a little bit more passive as a result of that. The 12th Man and the big crowd we had out here tonight really helped us in the match. It was a huge uplift and momentum changer for our team to win the doubles point, especially after it looked like we were going to lose it. Being able to turn that around, gave us a lot of confidence and energy going into singles.”

The Aggies struggled early in singles picking up only three of the first six sets against the Sooners. OU’s Lawrence Formentera beat Alberto Bautista in straight sets at the No. 5 line, 6-0, 6-4, to tie up the match at one-all. A&M countered with four-straight wins from its top four players. Sophomore Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) won his fourth-straight match with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 70-ranked Costin Paval at No. 3 followed by Alexey Grigorov who served up an ace to close out his second-set tiebreaker versus David Pultr, 6-2, 7-6 (3), at No. 4.

No. 21-ranked Austin Krajicek, a two-time All-Big 12 singles and doubles standout, knocked off No. 20-ranked Andrei Daescu, 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 1 line to improve to a team-leading 11-2 on the season. He broke Daescu’s serve in the final game of the second set, where both players rallied and Krajicek brushed a drop shot at the net to clinch the match victory for the Aggies. No. 30-ranked Jeff Dadamo added the final point of the night by winning a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, three-setter over No. 83-ranked Ionut Beleleu at No. 2.

“This was a good team win for us,” Denton said. “Klegou played a guy who had only lost one or two matches the whole year and played awesome tonight. Krajicek really excelled out there. Dadamo had a slow start, but did a great job of coming back. Grigorov played really well in the first set, did a good job of holding his serve all the way through the second set and played a solid tiebreaker. This was definitely a very good Oklahoma team that has already had a lot of success this year. It’s really good for us to get off to a good start in the Big 12, especially playing a team as good as we did tonight and playing the way we did. I was really pleased with our guys.”

Up next, the Aggies will host No. 44 Oklahoma State (6-7, 0-1) on Sunday, March 28 at 1 p.m. (CT). The Cowboys lost a 6-1 decision in their league opener at fourth-ranked Texas on Friday night in Austin.

(17) TEXAS A&M 5, (19) OKLAHOMA 2
March 26, 2010
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
Attendance: 907

SINGLES
No. 1 – (21) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. (20) Andrei Daescu (Oklahoma), 6-3, 6-4.
No. 2 – (30) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. (83) Ionut Beleleu (Oklahoma), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 3 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) def. (70) Costin Paval (Oklahoma), 6-2, 6-2.
No. 4 – Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M) def. David Pultr (Oklahoma), 6-2, 7-6 (3).
No. 5 – Lawrence Formentera (Oklahoma) def. Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M), 6-0, 6-4.
No. 6 – George Chanturia (Oklahoma) def. Niall Angus (Texas A&M), 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

DOUBLES
No. 1 – (9) Dadamo-Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. Daescu-Paval (Oklahoma), 8-3.
No. 2 – Grigorov-Bautista (Texas A&M) def. Beleleu-Pultr (Oklahoma), 9-7.
No. 3 – Blake Boswell-Formentara (Oklahoma) def. Klegou-Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M), 8-1.

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