A&M-Washington Match Goes Unfinished

COLLEGE STATION – Rain won out today in the women’s tennis match between No. 30 Texas A&M and No. 21 Washington at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, where the Aggies are undefeated this season.

A&M, 3-0 in home matches and 4-2 overall, had a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point and had won three of the four first sets that had been completed when a steady light rain made the courts unplayable. After nearly a two-hour delay and no change in the weather, the teams went to the three-court City of Bryan Indoor Tennis Center. One of the courts was wet, and Washington head coach Jill Hultquist would not play on only two courts. Due to Washington’s travel schedule, postponing the match until Sunday was not an option.

“When it got too wet to play outdoors, with the weather and everything, we wanted to come indoors here (City of Bryan Indoor Tennis Center) and play, but one of the courts was wet and (Washington) said they wouldn’t play on two courts,” A&M Bobby Kleinecke explained. “How this is going to go, I don’t know. We were ready to play. We wanted to play. We are not calling the match off, but they are saying it is a rainout. We are at a stalemate, and it is going to have to be thrown to the ITA to make a decision on what happens. I can’t really tell you how the outcome is.”

A&M began the match by winning two of three doubles matches to take an early 1-0 lead. Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and partner Christi Potgieter (Petrusville, South Africa) continued their winning ways, defeating Aleksandra Krsljanin and Adrijana Pavlovic, 8-4, at the No. 3 line. It was the pair’s fourth consecutive victory and the fifth straight doubles win for Davidson, who moves into a tie for ninth in the A&M all-time records with 85 career victories.

Washington’s ninth-ranked duo of Venise Chan and Denise Dy evened the race for the crucial doubles point with an 8-4 victory over Janelle Cuthbertson (Perth, Australia) and Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) at the No. 1 line, leaving the No. 2 line to determine who would earn the point.

A&M’s Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Nazari Urbina (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) dropped the first game but then won the next four to build a 4-1 lead against Andjela Nemcevic and Samantha Smith. A&M held a 6-3 lead before winning back-to-back games to finish off the match.

“I was very proud of Nos. 2 and 3 doubles for coming up with the wins, and for No. 1 doubles for hanging in there when they were down 7-2 and still fighting and taking some pressure off of 2 and 3,” Kleinecke said. “That is one of the things we can take from this and it is a good lesson for us, too. If you are going to go down, make sure you stretch it out as long as you can. That doubles point is so important in college tennis. It was great to get that, and we felt the momentum going into singles.”

At the start of singles, Potgieter raced to a 6-0 first-set victory against Nemcevic at the No. 4 line, and Frank held on for a 7-5 first-set win against 26th-ranked Chan at No. 2. In a battle of ranked players, No. 6 Dy posted the Huskies’ only first-set win, 6-2, against 11th-ranked Urbina at the No. 1 line. Liles then finished off a 6-3 first-set win against Smith at No. 3.

Cuthbertson and Krsljanin were tied at 5-5 at No. 5, and Davidson held a 4-3 lead against Pavlovic at No. 6 when play was halted due to the light rain. Only Potgieter and Nemcevic and completed second-set games, with Nemcevic leading 3-2 when the match came to an end.

“The girls were extremely excited to play this match,” Kleinecke said. “It was a great opportunity for us to move up a little bit if we came away with the win. It is unfortunate that we don’t have six indoor courts at our facility, but we don’t and we do with what we have. It’s very unfortunate for the players. I feel for the players, because they really wanted this match.

“We have played a number of matches at the Bryan indoor courts, and our men’s team have played a number matches, and high-ranking teams have come in here and played. You might not like it, but it is a place to play and that is what we are here to do, is to play and compete. That is one of the things that is in our favor is that we were ready to compete, and this facility is here and available for us.

“My understanding of the rule is that tennis is an outdoor sport, but if you can’t play outdoors and you have indoor backup, then you would use the indoor backup. We do have indoor backup, and that is my understanding. There is not a minimum number of courts that is listed in the ITA book that I know of, and so that is where we stand.”

The Aggies continue their home stand Saturday, March 5 as they play host to Rice. First serve against the Owls is slated for 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

No. 30 Texas A&M vs. No. 21 Washington
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
Attendance: 367

1. (#11) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) vs. (#6) Denise Dy (UW), 2-6, susp.
2. Morgan Frank (TAMU) vs. (#26) Venise Chan (UW), 7-5, susp
3. Christi Liles (TAMU) vs. Samantha Smith (UW), 6-3, susp.
4. Christi Potgieter (TAMU) vs. Andjela Nemcevic (UW), 6-0, 2-3 (15-40), susp.
5. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU) vs. Aleksandra Krsljanin (UW), 5-5, susp.
6. Stephanie Davidson (TAMU) vs. Adrijana Pavlovic (UW), 4-3 (30-15), susp.

Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. (#9) Chan/Dy (UW) def. Cuthbertson/Liles (TAMU), 8-4
2. (#61) Frank/Urbina (TAMU) def. Nemcevic/Smith (UW), 8-3
3. Davidson/Potgieter (TAMU) def. Krsljanin/Pavlovic (UW), 8-4

Order of finish:
Doubles: 3, 1, 2

Team records:
Texas A&M: (4-2)
Washington: (8-4)

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