A&M Women Fall to No. 7 Duke, 6-1

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s tennis team lived up to its top-10 billing and earned an automatic berth to the 16-team ITA Team National Indoor Championship with a 6-1 victory over No. 36 Texas A&M today at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.

Despite the loss, Aggie head coach Bobby Kleinecke was impressed with his team’s performance and how they pushed seventh-ranked Duke more than the final score indicated.

“Overall I’m proud of the team and what they showed today,” Kleinecke said. “The team showed a lot of spunk and fight. They could see that Duke has an excellent team, but there was no give-up in them and they went out and made Duke earn both the singles and doubles. It was fun seeing them compete the way they did.

“Every game was tough. We talked about not just playing the matches, but playing every set, every point and every ball, and we did that. Even the matches where it looks that we got blown out, we played really well and there were a lot of deuce games.”

Duke (4-0) won two of three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead, but it didn’t come easy for the Blue Devils, who fielded top-40 teams on all three courts.

Duke’s fourth-ranked duo of Nadine Fahoum and Ella Nze held a 7-4 lead at the No. 1 line, but A&M’s Janelle Cuthbertson and Christi Liles were gaining momentum after fighting off two match points at 7-3.

At the same time, A&M’s duo of Morgan Frank and Nazari Urbina had come back from a 4-2 deficit to take a 6-5 lead against 39th-ranked Mary Clayton and Monica Gorny at No. 2, and A&M’s Sheri Olivier and Christi Potgieter were knotted at 6-6 with Duke’s 34th-ranked team of Hanna Mar and Reka Zsilinszka at the No. 3 line.

Duke won two straight games to pull away for the 8-6 win at No. 3, but Frank and Urbina completed a three-game run to finish off Clayton and Gorny, 8-5, at No. 2.

“At No. 3, we were competing and hanging in there,” Kleinecke said, “but Duke came away with the big shots when they needed to, and that is what the better teams do.

“At No. 2, Morgan and Nazari kept plugging and plugging. That is what they do so well. Morgan is know for just finding ways to keep herself in matches, and then the other girls starting making some errors and pressing a little bit. That is another great win for them.”

The Aggies came up short in the end, as Fahoum and Nze then put away the pesky Aggie tandem at the No. 1 line, 8-5, to take the doubles point.

“At No. 1 doubles, that is probably one of the best teams we will face this year,” Kleinecke said. “Christi and Janelle did a great job hanging in there. We were down 7-3 and we made a great comeback and really had a chanced to tie it up. You start tying it up and winning on the other court, you never know what is going to happen.”

Duke jumped out to an early lead in singles, winning the first set on all six courts. A&M continued to battle, but the Blue Devils went on to get straight set wins at the No. 2-6 lines.

“They were off to quick starts on all courts,” Kleinecke said, “but it was good to see our team fight back even though we lost the doubles point and all six first sets. We were still fighting and showing that determination that we are going to need to show throughout the season to have an opportunity to win some matches.”

Rachel Kahan put Duke up, 2-0, with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Cuthbertson at No. 5, and 71st-ranked Elizabeth Plotkin topped Christi Potgieter, 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 3 line to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead.

Mar then clinched the winning point for Duke with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Olivier, who nearly tied the second set at 5-5 after trailing 5-1.

No. 49 Nze broke away from a 5-5 second set tie against Liles at the No. 4 position to take a 6-3, 7-5 victory and put Duke ahead, 5-0, and No. 4 Zsilinszka held off Frank, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2.

A&M picked up its only point by winning the last match standing. Fahoum, ranked No. 25, had taken the first set against Urbina, 6-2 at the No. 1 line, but Urbina came back to take the second set, 6-3 to force a 10-point super tiebreaker. Fahoum jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Urbina won the next eight points to go up, 8-4. Fahoum tied the score at 8-8 before Urbina won back-to-back points to get the victory.

“This Duke team is possibly better than the team that won the national championship two years ago,” Kleinecke said. “Today we showed that we can hit the shots with anybody. We just have to be able to do it at the right times, and we have to be consistent. Duke was consistent with their shots, but we are not that far off. A little more work here and there and tweaking here and there and we are right in there with these people.

“It might sound crazy but this match gives us a little more confidence when you look at where we were a week ago to coming here and defeating Tulsa and playing a pretty good match against Duke. You’re never happy about losing, but this is something we can build on.”

The Aggies (1-2) make their home debut Saturday, Feb. 5, as they play host to non-conference rival LSU. First serve is slated for 1 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The match will be the first of six consecutive home matches for the Aggies.

“It will be fun to play in front of the home crowd and having people holler for us,” Kleinecke said. “This is going to be a fun team for the fans to watch, because of the tremendous fight and grit they show.”

No. 7 Duke 6, No. 36 Texas A&M 1
January 31, 2011
Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

Singles
1. (#17) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. (#25) Nadine Fahoum (DU), 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8)
2. (#4) Reka Zsilinszka (DU) def. (#102) Morgan Frank (TAMU), 6-3, 6-4
3. (#71) Elizabeth Plotkin (DU) def. Christi Potgieter (TAMU), 6-2, 6-3
4. (#49) Ella Nze (DU) def. Christi Liles (TAMU), 6-3, 7-5
5. Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU), 6-1, 6-0
6. Hanna Mar (DU) def. Sheri Olivier (TAMU), 6-2, 6-4

Doubles (Duke wins the point)
1. Fahoum/NZE (DU) def. Cuthbertson/Liles (TAMU), 8-5
2. Frank/Urbina (TAMU) def. Mary Clayton/Monica Gorny (DU), 8-5
3. Mar/Zsilinszka (DU) def. Olivier/Potgieter (TAMU), 8-6

Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 2, 1
Singles: 5, 3, 6*, 4, 2, 1
*Clinched match

Team records
Texas A&M: (1-2)
Duke: (4-0)

Texas A&M men advance with blanking of Miami

COLLEGE STATION —Texas A&M newcomer Junior Ore had quite a weekend as he helped the 10th-ranked Aggies defeat No. 44 Miami, 7-0, before a crowd of 334 Sunday eveningat the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in the secondround of the ITA Men’s Tennis Kick-Off Weekend. The Aggies will now advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Feb. 18-21, the first team appearance by Aggie head coach Steve Denton.

Ore, a freshman from Gaithersburg, MD, teamed with doubles partner, senior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) to clinch the doubles point at the No. 2 doubles position. The Aggie duo closed out the Hurricane tandem of Carl Sandberg and Pedro Ast, 8-6.

“This was really a hard fought match,” Denton said. “There were a lot of really close matches. Last night Miami was down 3-0 and fought back so we knew they would battle.”

“I thought the doubles point and the first sets of the singles helped us take control of the match,” Denton added. “Junior is someone we are counting on to come in and to play well. He is getting his feet wet and has come through at the doubles the past couple of matches and he came through with a dominating performance at No. 6 today.”

Austin Krajicek (Brandon, FL) and his All-American doubles teammate Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, FL) finished first at No. 1 doubles with an 8-4 win over Keith Crowley and Christian Blocker. The Aggie tandem brokeserve in the first game of the match. Krajicek and Dadamo are the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the ITA Collegiate rankings.

The No. 3 doubles did not finish once the point was decided between the two teams.

Ore picked up another point with the first singles match beating Padro Ast at the No. 6 line, 6-1, 6-0.

Krajicek, ranked No. 23 in singles,followed with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Waylon Chin at the No. 1 line.

A few moments later,sophomore Alberto Bautista (McAllen, TX) defeated Gabriel Flores of Miami, 6-3, 6-1 to clinch the match.

Dadamo, ranked No. 54 in singles, rallied in his match to dispatch of Christian Blocker, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 12-10.

Grigorov also rallied at the No. 3 singles line overcoming Keith Crowley, 5-7, 6-4, 10-4.

The final match of the evening was at the No. 4 line where Colin Hoover (Victoria, TX), ranked No. 95 in singles, swept Eduardo Pavia, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

The match was delayed approximately 90 minutes as a brief rain shower hit College Station.

This marked the 20thstraight match victory for A&M at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The last loss was to Fresno State in the opener of last year’s ITA Kick-Off event.

Texas A&M is now 3-0 on the season and Miami falls to 2-2.

The next match for the Aggies will be Friday in Houston as they take on the Texas Longhorns.

Jan. 30, 2011
#10 Texas A&M 4, #44 Miami
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, TX
Doubles
#1 (1) Krajicek/Dadamo, A&M def. Crowley/Blocker, UM, 8-4
#2 Ore/Grigorov, A&M def. Sundberg/Ast, UM, 8-6
#3(32) Bautista/Hoover, A&M vs. Chin/Pavia, UM, DNF

Singles
#1 (23) Austin Krajicek, A&M def. Waylon Chin, UM, 6-3, 6-2
#2 (54) Jeff Dadamo, A&M def. Christian Blocker, UM, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 12-10
#3Alexey Grigorov, A&M def. Keith Crowley, UM, 5-7, 6-4, 10-4
#4Colin Hoover, A&M def. Eduardo Pavia, UM, 7-6 (4), 6-4
#5Alberto Bautista, A&Mdef. Gabriel Flores, UM, 6-3, 6-1
#6 Junior Ore, A&M def. Pedro Ast, UM, 6-1, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles 1, 2, 3 DNF (pt A&M)
Singles 6, 1, 5*, 3, 2, 4
*Clinched the match

TEAM RECORDS: Texas A&M (3-0), Miami (2-2)
Attendance 334
Next Match for Texas A&M vs. Texas in Houston (Feb. 4)

UTEP Blanked By Wichita State

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The UTEP tennis team was bounced by Wichita State, 7-0, in a neutral-site match-up Sunday afternoon. The Miners (0-4) picked up a victory at No. 1 doubles but dropped the team point after the Shockers (1-2) secured wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Junior Carolina DeLuca, sophomore Dariya Abdrakhmanova and freshman Rebeca Calvillo all took their foes to three sets in singles play only to come up empty, and WSU notched straight-set victories on the other courts.

“The ladies competed very well,” UTEP head coach Victor Aguilar said. “We have run into some stiff competition so far. We are learning from our defeats and are getting stronger.”

Martina Trierweiler/DeLuca joined up at the top slot to dismantle WSU’s Raphaela Zotter/ Lutfiana Budiharto, 8-2, to get things off to a good start in doubles play for the Orange and Blue.

The Shockers struck back to notch the early team lead thanks to 8-2 victories at both No. 2 and No. 3. Blasco Fernandez/ Veronika Blaskova dispatched the Miners’ tandem of Ximena Fuentes/Gabi Vazquez, 8-2, in the second position while Delia Damaschin/ Carla Venticinque snuck past Calvillo/Marie LeBlond by the same score.

UTEP vied to rally in singles play but could not get it done. DeLuca locked up with Zotter at No. 2 singles. She started slowly by falling in the first set, 6-1, before bouncing her foe, 6-3, in the second stanza. In the final set, though, things went the way of Zotter, 6-1.

At No. 4 singles it was Calvillo who raced out ahead early against Blaskova, picking up the first-set triumph, 6-4. Blaskova rebounded with a 6-3 win in the second set and then took the super tiebreaker, 10-3.

Saddled with a similar fate was Abdrakhmanova in her match against Fernandez at the sixth spot. She came up just shy, 6-4, in the initial set but rallied to lock up the second set, 7-6. The breaker went back-and-forth but ultimately landed on the side of Fernandez, 10-6.

Trierweiler ran into a locked in Budiharto at No. 1 singles, and was dispatched by a final count of 6-4, 6-2. Vazquez challenged Damaschin at No. 3 singles, where she was held off by a final count of 6-3, 6-0. Fuentes never got on track and was stricken with a 6-0, 6-0, setback by Venticinque at No. 5 singles.

Singles competition
1. Lutfiana Budiharto (WSU) def. Martina Trierweiler (UTEP) 6-4, 6-2
2. Raphaela Zotter (WSU) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) 6-1, 3-6, 6-13. Delia Damaschin (WSU) def. Gabi Vazquez (UTEP) 6-3, 6-0
4. Veronika Blaskova (WSU) def. Rebeca Calvillo (UTEP) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Carla Venticinque (WSU) def. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) 6-0, 6-0
6. Blasco Fernandez (WSU) def. Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-6)

Doubles competition
1. Martina Trierweiler/Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Lutfiana Budiharto/Raphaela Zotter (WSU) 8-2
2. Blasco Fernandez/Veronika Blaskova (WSU) def. Ximena Fuentes/Gabi Vazquez (UTEP) 8-2
3. Delia Damaschin/Carla Venticinque (WSU) def. Rebeca Calvillo/Marie LeBlond (UTEP) 8-

Aggies Defeat Tulsa; Face Duke This Morning

DURHAM, N.C. – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team got into the win column and handed Tulsa its first loss with a 5-2 victory today in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center on the Duke University campus.

With the victory, A&M advances to the championship match and will face No. 7 Duke (3-0) Monday at 1 p.m. (CT). The winner advances to the 16-team ITA Team National Indoor Championship, Feb. 18-21 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

“This was a good win for us today,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “Tulsa is a good team and they are going to beat a lot of teams this year. I was impressed with their fight, going for their shots both when they were down and when they were up in sets, and I am proud of our team for finding a way to win.”

A&M (1-1) won the doubles point, and except for an easy win at the No. 3 line, the other matches pretty much went down to the wire.

Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Christi Potgieter (Petrusville, South Africa) dropped the first game at No. 3, but the Aggie duo reeled off the next seven games to take a commanding lead against Bonny Davidson and Samantha Vickers. A&M went on to win 8-2 in a match that lasted just over 30 minutes.

“No. 3 did a great job of taking care of business, never letting up and not letting the other team back in it,” Kleinecke said.

Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Nazari Urbina (Xalapa, Mexico) had built a 7-4 lead at the No. 2 line, but Tulsa’s Anatasia Erofeeza and Ewa Szatkowska fought off several match points while getting within 7-6. A&M then won the next game to clinch the doubles point for the Aggies.

After being knotted at eight games apiece, the No. 1 doubles match had played one point in a tiebreaker when the match was halted.

“I felt like we were in control of the doubles the whole time as far as score, but we never could put it away,” Kleinecke added. “I give credit to Tulsa for that, because they kept fighting and fighting. That No. 1 team made some great volleys on balls. We played the points perfectly, and they just got the ball back and put it away against us with great reflex volleys.

“Our teams did a really good job of keeping their composure and believing that they were going to come away with the win. Christi (Liles) and Janelle (Cuthbertson) were pretty much up the whole time at No. 1 and then fell down, 8-7. It would have been easy to be discouraged and lose it there, but they brought it back into a tiebreaker before we had to stop the match because we won the doubles point.”

A&M took an early lead in singles after winning the first set on five courts, but things got tighter as the match went on with Tulsa making comebacks on several courts.

“We won five of six first sets and are in control, but we had three or four courts that fell down in the second set,” Kleinecke said. “That is something we have to get better at. You have to be ready to play every point. There is so much parity that every point is important.”

Tulsa, which entered the day with an unblemished 4-0 record, evened the match at 1-1 as Michelle Farley defeated Lauren Santacroce (Spring, Texas), 6-3, 6-1, at No. 6 singles.

Liles (Largo, Fla.) put A&M back in the lead after finishing off Szatkowska at the No. 4 line. Liles had dropped the first two games of the opening set but then reeled off six consecutive games to win the first set. She also lost the first two games of the second set but won the next four games and went on to close out a 6-2, 6-4 straight-set victory.

“Christi was down 2-0 in both sets but really made a great adjustment in her game plan,” Kleinecke said. “Plus she did it early in the match before she had given away a set.”

Frank, ranked No. 102 in the nation, won her first five games against 112th-ranked JoAnne Karaitiana on the No. 2 court en route to a 6-1 first-set victory. Frank went on to build a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Karaitiana came back and tied the set at 4-4. Frank then won the next two sets to get the win and put the Aggies up, 3-1.

“Morgan is so hard to play,” Kleinecke said. “Every ball comes back, and you can get really discouraged with her. She puts herself in position to win the matches, and even though it got tight in the second set, she did a good job. Karaitiana is a good player.”

Although A&M needed one more point to win the match, things got interesting as Tulsa came back to force a third set in each of the three matches still in progress. With the third set tied at 1-1 at the No. 1 line, 17th-ranked Urbina was awarded the victory when Alexandra Kichoutkin was overruled for a fifth time and forced to default.

“It was an unfortunate thing for the match to end that way,” Kleinecke said. “That was an important match. We needed that match to get to four and clinch the match. At the time, Christi (Potgieter) was early in the third set when (Kichoutkin) got her fifth overrule, and it cost her the match.”

With the match already clinched, Davidson retired due to an ankle injury that she had suffered early in the second set but had continued to persevere. Potgieter then closed out the match and picked up the first win of her rookie campaign with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Erofeeza at the No. 3 line.

“It was almost like a three-ring circus,” Kleinecke said about the ending. “On Nazari’s court, there were things going on. On Stephanie’s court there were issues going on, and coaches were getting after it with the umpires. There were a lot of things going on, and I thought Christi did a great job of keeping her composure, keeping the blinders on and just sticking with her plan. I do think it freaked her a little bit in the second set, and she lost her concentration a little bit, but overall it was great for her to come away with the win.

“Stephanie did a great job of battling through an injury. That was a gut check for her and a great lesson for the other girls to see because Stephanie really did a great job of staying out there and not defaulting, because at that time the match was still undecided. I give her big kudos for being mentally tough and being able to fight through that. It was my decision to not play her any more because we have a match tomorrow.”

Duke defeated No. 62 Brown, 6-1, earlier in the day to advance. The Blue Devils are 4-0 all-time against A&M.

“This is going to be a fun match for us,” Kleinecke said. “We wanted to take care of today’s match first, but we also wanted a shot at Duke. The girls are excited to play a top-10 team and get a good measure this early in the season. We know Duke is a tough team. We’ll have to play our best.”

No. 36 Texas A&M 5, No. 34 Tulsa 2
January 30, 2011
Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

Singles
1. (#17) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Alexandra Kichoutkin (TUL), 6-0, 6-7 (5), 1-1, default
2. (#102) Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. (#112) JoAnne Karaitiana (TUL), 6-1, 6-4
3. Christi Potgieter (TAMU) def. Anatasia Erofeeza (TUL), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
4. Christi Liles (TAMU) def. Ewa Szatkowska (TUL), 6-2, 6-4
5. Samantha Vickers (TUL) def. Stephanie Davidson (TAMU), 4-6, 6-4, 3-1, retired
6. Michelle Farley (TUL) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU), 6-3, 6-1

Doubles (Texas A&M wins the point)
1. Janelle Cuthbertson/Liles (TAMU) vs. Karaitiana/Kichoutkin (TUL), 8-8 (1-0), unfinished
2. Frank/Urbina (TAMU) def. Erofeeza/Szatkowska (TUL), 8-6
3. Davidson/Potgieter (TAMU) def. Bonny Davidson/Vickers (TUL), 8-2

Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 2
Singles: 6, 4, 2, 1*, 5, 3
*Clinched match

Team records
Texas A&M: (1-1)
Tulsa: (4-1)

TCU-North Texas Match Suspended Due to Rain, to be rescheduled in Texas

BERKELEY, Calif. – The TCU women’s tennis team’s match with North Texas at the ITA Kickoff Weekend has been indefinitely suspended due to rain.

The match, which began at 10 a.m. PT on Saturday, was suspended with the Mean Green holding a 2-1 lead over the Horned Frogs.

North Texas won the doubles point and each team had claimed a singles point. Three of the four singles matches had begun third sets when officials suspended the match.

TCU and North Texas had planned on continuing the match this morning, but rain in the Berkeley area did not subside Sunday. The match may be resumed at a later date in Texas, but a decision will be made later.

TCU’s next scheduled match is set for 1 p.m., on Feb. 12 at Texas A&M.

No. 27 SMU Women Fall Short Against No. 17 Ole Miss, 4-3

Mustangs are now 3-1 on the young season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 27 SMU Women’s Tennis team fought hard but ultimately fell to No. 17 Ole Miss on Sunday morning, 4-3, in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Goodfriend Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

With the score knotted at three apiece, it came down to No. 3 singles as Heather Steinbauer and Caroline Rohde-Moe battled to see who would claim the victory for their team.

Rhode-Moe won the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(4) and not long after the Rebels had tied up the team score, she then outlasted Steinbaurer again to win the second set in a tiebreaker by the same score, 7-6(4), and give the Rebels the win.

The Mustangs began the match strong and grabbed the early advantage by taking the doubles point, which they had also done in their three previous matches. SMU claimed wins at Nos. 1 and 2.

The pair of Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova defeated Rhode-Moe and Kristi Boxx, 8-3, at No. 1. Moments later, the tandem of Steinbauer and Edyta Cieplucha downed Connor Vogel and Gabby Ragel, 8-4, at No. 2 to clinch the doubles point.

Earlier, SMU’s No. 3 doubles team of Ashley Turpin and Shahzoda Hatamova fell to Abby Guthrie and Laura von Stroet, 8-1.

Ole Miss’ Vivian Vlaar squared the match during singles play with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Turpin at No. 6 singles. Malyarchikova then gave SMU the 2-1 lead, when she methodically took out van Stroet at No. 5, 7-5, 6-4.

In a matchup of two Top 25 players at the No. 1 line, No. 2 Lesniak dropped her first match in a dual meet this spring and just her fourth all season long to No. 21 Boxx, 6-4, 7-6(4) and the match stood even again at 2-2.

Moments later, SMU surged ahead to make it 3-2 when Hatamova finished off a 7-5, 6-4 win over Guthrie at No. 4 singles.

Vogel then responded to even things up for the third time. After Cieplucha took the first set 6-2, Vogel won the final two 6-3, 6-1 to set up Rohde-Moe’s clinching victory at No. 3.

“Today was just a tough, hard-fought match against a good team and unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of the decision,” said head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner. “I am very proud of the girls for fighting until then end and it was an excellent effort by everyone. Ole Miss is a very good team and we will learn some things from this match that can help us in the long run. Now we just have to regroup and come back tomorrow ready to play.”

The Mustangs return to the Goodfriend Tennis Center courts tomorrow when they take on the loser of Sunday’s second match between No. 12 Tennessee and No. 33 Ohio State.

The 15 schools that win both of their matches this weekend will be invited to play in the Feb. 18-21 ITA National Team Indoor Championship hosted by the Univ. of Virginia at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

No. 17 Ole Miss 4, No. 27 SMU 3
DOUBLES
1. Lesniak/Malyarchikova (SMU) def. Boxx/Rohde-Moe (OM), 8-3
2. Steinbauer/Cieplucha def. Vogel/Rangel (OM), 8-4
3. Guthrie/van de Stroet (OM) def. Turpin/Hatamova, 8-1
order of finish: 3, 1, 2

SINGLES
1. No. 21 Kristi Boxx (OM) def. No. 2 Marta Lesniak (SMU), 6-4, 7-6(4)
2. No. 124 Connor Vogel (OM) def. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
3. Caroline Rohde-Moe (OM) def. Heather Steinbauer (SMU) 7-6(4), 7-6(4)
4. Shahzoda Hatamova (SMU) def. Abby Guthrie (OM) 7-5, 6-4
5. Aleksandra Malyarchikova (SMU) def. Laura van de Stroet (OM) 7-5, 6-4
6. Vivian Vlaar (OM) def. Ashley Turpin (SMU) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 4, 2, 3

Texas men blank Owls, 4-0

Longhorns sweep the Owls, qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

AUSTIN – No. 5 Texas (5-0) secured the doubles point and picked up singles wins from freshman Sudanwa Sitaram, junior Jean Andersen and the clincher from sophomore Vasko Mladenov in a 4-0 win over Rice Sunday at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

With two wins in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches in Austin, UT qualifies for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for a fifth consecutive year. The 2011 ITA National Team Indoor Championships are set for Feb. 18-21 in Seattle, Wash. The Longhorns advanced to the semifinals of the 2010 event in Charlottesville, Va., after posting wins over Stanford and defending two-time defending NCAA champion USC.

UT picked up its first win of the doubles session from senior Kellen Damico and redshirt freshman David Holiner at the second slot. Damico and Holiner held a 5-4 lead over Rice’s Oscar Podlewski and Harry Fowler and broke the Rice duo’s serve to assume a 6-4 lead. They went on to an 8-5 win before Andersen and senior Ed Corrie added an additional win at first doubles.

Leading 4-3 over Michael Nuesslein and Christian Saravia, the Texas tandem registered a service break and claimed the next three games to win the match, 8-3 and secure the doubles point for the Horns. The remaining doubles match was suspended.

UT’s Sitaram posted the first singles win for Texas at the sixth slot where he held on for a 6-4, 6-3 win over Rice’s Saravia. Texas’ Andersen won a first-set tiebreaker against Rice’s 121st-ranked Philip Seifert and surrendered nothing from there, as he claimed a 7-6 (5), 6-0 win to stake Texas to a 3-0 lead.

After taking the first set against Rice’s Sam Garforth-Bles at fourth singles, UT’s Mladenov yielded a service break early in set two before breaking back and assuming a 3-2 lead. He added one more service break and claimed the second set, 6-4 to clinch the team victory for the Longhorns. The remaining singles matches were suspended.

The Owls will be back on the road next weekend, with a swing through Louisiana to face Tulane on Friday and LSU on Sunday.

#5 Texas 4, Rice 0
Doubles – Order of Finish: 2, 1
1 Corrie/Andersen (UT) def. Nuesslein/Saravia (Rice) – 8-3
2 Damico/Holiner (UT) def. Podlewski/Fowler (Rice) – 8-5
3 Hilliard/Whitehead (UT) vs. Frank/Garforth-Bles (Rice) – 4-4, susp.

Singles – Order of Finish: 6, 3, 4
1 Ed Corrie (UT) vs. #44 Harry Fowler (Rice) – 1-6, 6-0, 2-4, susp.
2 Kellen Damico (UT) vs. Peter Frank (Rice) – 7-5, 4-3, susp.
3 Jean Andersen (UT) def. #121 Philip Seifert (Rice) – 7-6 (5), 6-0
4 Vasko Mladenov (UT) def. Sam Garforth-Bles (Rice) – 6-3, 6-4
5 Daniel Whitehead (UT) vs. Oscar Podlewski (Rice) -6-4, 2-6, susp.
6 Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Christian Saravia (Rice) – 6-4, 6-3

POST-MATCH COMMENTS
Texas head coach Michael Center
On the win
“That was a really strong team effort today. Every time we had a moment where we were being pushed, we stepped up to the challenge. The doubles point was hanging in the balance, and we stepped up our game and got that point. We were able to get some first sets at five different spots in singles and got the second set at the first spot. But, this is what I’ve been looking for, a really good effort today against a really good team.”

On qualifying for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship
“It will be exciting to go and play against the best teams in the country. We like to get the opportunity to measure ourselves against everyone else, and I want to see what we can do. We’ve got a lot of things to work on, but we’re excited to go to Seattle. It’s always fun to be a part of that tournament.”

Texas women single out Princeton, 6-1

Horns sweep the six singles matches in the victory over the Tigers.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 16 Texas (2-1) dropped the doubles point but swept the six singles matches en route to a 6-1 victory over Princeton on Sunday in the Horns’ second match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Florida State’s Speicher Tennis Facility.

Texas surrendered two of the three doubles matches and yielded the doubles point, but the Longhorns rebounded in the singles session and seized control of the match. Junior Krista Damico put Texas on the board at second singles with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Princeton’s Taylor Marable. UT took the lead for good at fifth singles, where freshman Juliana Gajic posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over Katherine Flanigan.

Texas commanded a 3-1 lead with a win at third singles, where senior Maggie Mello knocked off Rachel Saiontz by a 6-4, 6-4 count. The Horns would clinch the match at sixth singles, where freshman Elizabeth Begley rallied from a set down to defeat Blakely Ashley, 0-6, 7-5, 6-1.

UT senior Amanda Craddock tacked on to the Texas lead with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Monica Chow at fourth singles. Texas sophomore Aeriel Ellis finished off the Longhorns’ victory at first singles with a third-set match tiebreak win over Princeton’s Hilary Bartlett.

Texas resumes dual-match play on Saturday, Feb. 12 when it travels to southern California to take on Pepperdine.

No. 16 Texas 6, Princeton 1
Doubles – Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1 Bartlett/Marable (PU) def. #87 Ellis/Damico (UT) – 8-6
2 Gaytan-Leach/Craddock (UT) def. Chow/Saiontz (PU) – 8-1
3 Ashley/Flanigan (PU) def. Gajic/Mello (UT) – 8-3

Singles – Order of Finish: 2, 5, 3, 6, 4, 1
1 #8 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Hilary Bartlett (PU) 7-6 (5), 5-7, 1-0 (11-9)
2 Krista Damico (UT) def. Taylor Marable (PU) – 6-2, 6-0
3 Maggie Mello (UT) def. Rachel Saiontz (PU) – 6-4, 6-4
4 Amanda Craddock (UT) def. Monica Chow (PU) – 6-3, 7-5
5 Juliana Gajic (UT) def. Katherine Flanigan (PU) – 6-4, 6-3
6 Elizabeth Begley (UT) def. Blakely Ashley (PU) – 0-6, 7-5, 6-1

Baylor, Rice women rally for wins, faceoff Sunday in Waco

WACO – After dropping the doubles point and two of the first three singles points, Baylor’s third-ranked women’s tennis team erased the deficit to win 4-3 over No. 55 Alabama on Saturday in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifier at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“If we would have had one player not show up today then we would have lost,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “I’m really proud of my team today. They competed hard from start to finish. We didn’t play our best but we competed hard and that got us through the match.”

The Lady Bears faced their first big test of the season, and had to put together a huge comeback for the victory. The Crimson Tide made the first mini-comeback of the day after the teams split doubles on Courts 2 and 3, erasing a two-game deficit on Court 1.

“Being able to comeback has been the trademark of our program,” Scrivano said. “We don’t rely on doubles points to win matches and I love that about our team. They understand that being down 1-0 is not the end of the world and if you play fundamentally sound tennis then you can win four out of six [singles matches].”

The sixth-ranked duo of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney Mclane were down 7-5 to Baylor’s top duo of Nina Secerbegovic and Jelena Stanivuk, but earned four consecutive games to take the match and the double point.

Already down a point, the Lady Bears couldn’t afford to just split the six singles matches. Secerbegovic, ranked 40th, defeated No. 72 Mclane on Court 3 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, but Alabama took victories on Courts 1 and 6 in straight sets for the 3-1 team score lead.

But, Baylor was holding one-set leads on Courts 4 and 5 with No. 122 Karolina Filipiak and Stanivuk. Stanivuk earned her point on Court 5 with a 6-2, 7-6 win, while Filipiak finished a tight match 7-6, 7-5 to put the team score tied.

With just one match remaining, the right to stay alive in the qualifying rounds of the ITA National Team Indoors came down to the match between Baylor’s No. 19 Sona Novakova and Alabama’s No. 63 Guarachi. After splitting the first two sets where Guarachi took the first 7-6 and Novakova took the second 6-2, it was Novakova who seized control. In the third set, the Baylor junior jumped out to a 4-0 lead on her way to a 6-3 set and the team win.

The win keeps Baylor alive to play the winner of Saturday afternoon’s Rice-Oklahoma State matchup for the berth into the ITA National Team Indoors in Charlottesville, Va. Sunday’s matches will feature Alabama and the losing team of Rice-OSU at 11 a.m., followed by the winner playing Baylor at 1 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.

Rice senior Jessica Jackson rebounded from a first set loss to win matching 6-3 sets to give the 48th ranked Rice Owls a 4-3 win over Oklahoma State in the opening round of the ITA National Indoors Championship and set up a meeting with host Baylor on Sunday at 2 pm at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“Tonight was an extremely hard-fought match by both teams,” Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. “I am so proud of the way every single person on our team competed. We played to win and really kept the pressure on OSU. It came down to our seniors and both Rebekka (Hänle) and Jess gave us the kind of performance a team needs from their leaders,” she added.

The match, originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, was delayed for nearly two hours due to the length of the opening match, which saw the 5th-ranked Bears storm back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Alabama 4-3.

The Owls continued their early-season strong showing in doubles, making quick work of Oklahoma State to take the first point of the day. Hänle and Ana Guzman posted an 8-2 win at No. 1, while Dominque Harmath and Alex Rasch quickly followed with an 8-3 verdict at No. 2.

“We set the tone early with the way we came out firing on all cylinders at 1 and 2 doubles,” Schmidt noted.\

Freshman Kimberly Anicete pushed the margin to 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 6, and Hänle’s win at No. 1 pushed the advantage to 3-1 before the 64th ranked Cowboys knotted the score with wins at No. 4 and No. 2.

It then fell to Jackson, the senior from Solihull, England, who had rebounded from a loss in an opening set tie-break to win the second set 6-3.  Leading 3-2 in the deciding third set, Jackson then closed out  OSU’s Nataliya Shatkovskay by winning the last three games and move the Owls on to Sunday’s matchup with Baylor.

RESULTS
Doubles
1. No. 6 Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. Secerbegovic/Stanivuk (BU) 9-7
2. Nakic/Novakova (BU) def. Clay/Lindsey (UA) 8-1
3. No. 32 Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) def. Stainback/Filipiak (BU) 8-2
Order of Finish: 2,3,1

Singles
1. No. 15 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Diana Nakic (BU) 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 19 Sona Novakova (BU) def. No. 63 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
3. No. 40 Nina Secerbegovic (BU) def. No. 72 Courtney McLane (UA) 6-3, 6-2
4. No. 122 Karolina Filipiak (BU) def. Alex Clay (UA) 7-6, 7-5
5. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) def. Antonia Foehse (UA) 6-2, 7-6
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Abby Stainback (BU) 7-5, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,1,6,5,4,2*

Oklahoma State vs Rice (Jan 29, 2011)
#48 Rice 4, #64 Oklahoma State 3
Jan 29, 2011 at Waco, Texas (Baylor Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #114 Rebekka H�nle (RICE) def. Sarah Meghoufel (OSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. C.C. Sardinha (OSU) def. #101 Dominique Harmath (RICE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Jessica Jackson (RICE) def. Nataliya Shatkovskay (OSU) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-3
4. Kanyapat Narattana (OSU) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Malika Rose (OSU) def. Daniella Trigo (RICE) 6-0, 6-4
6. Kim Anicete (RICE) def. Allison Burckhartt (OSU) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Ana Guzman/Rebekka H�nle (RICE) def. Kanyapat Narattana/Nataliya Shatkovskay (OSU) 8-2
2. Dominique Harmath/Alex Rasch (RICE) def. Sarah Meghoufel/Leyla Simmons (OSU) 8-3
3. Jessica Jackson/Daniella Trigo (RICE) vs. C.C. Sardinha/Malika Rose (OSU) 2-7, unfinished

Match Notes
Oklahoma State 1-1; National ranking #64
Rice 2-1; National ranking #48
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,5,1,4,2,3)