LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 25 Texas A&M got back into the win column today with a convincing 6-1 victory over Kansas today at the Jayhawk Tennis Center indoor courts.
The Aggies improve to 9-4 overall and 3-2 in Big 12 Conference matches. Kansas falls to 6-8 and remains winless in conference play at 0-4.
A&M won the doubles point although Kansas won the first match to be finished. After Ekaterina Morozova and Dylan Windom downed A&M’s Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) and Nazari Urbina (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico), 8-1, at the No. 1 line, the Aggies came back with convincing wins of their own at the No. 2 and 3 lines.
A&M’s Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Sheri Olivier (Topeka, Kan.) evened up the doubles competition as they won their first three games against Paulina Los and Monica Pezzotti at the No. 3 line and continued to build on the lead en route to an 8-2 victory. It was the pair’s fourth consecutive win and Davidson’s 11th win in her last 12 matches. In addition, it marked Davidson’s 91st career win, putting her within one of tying former Aggie standout Nancy Dingwall (1994-97) for sixth place in the A&M all-time records.
Janelle Cuthbertson (Perth, Australia) and Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.) then secured the doubles point for A&M. The Aggie duo opened the match by winning the first six games against Sara Lazarevic and Erin Wilbert at No. 2. A&M then dropped two games before finishing off the match, 8-2.
“I’m pleased with the win, but I’m still not satisfied that we have the right doubles lineup – we don’t – but because of the rules within the conference, I couldn’t make a switch,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “Luckily it didn’t hurt us today, and I thought Nos. 2 and 3 doubles did an excellent job.”
Kansas tied the score at the start of singles as Morozova broke away from a 4-4 first set tie against 18th-ranked Urbina and went on to win 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 1 line.
Moments later, Liles regained the lead for A&M, blanking Lazarevic, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 3. Frank then put the Aggies ahead, 3-1, with a dominating 6-3, 6-1 win against Pezzotti at the No. 2 line.
It was Frank’s 82nd career win, moving her within one victory of tying former Aggie All-American Jessica Roland (2001-04) for 10th place in the A&M all-time records.
“Singles-wise, I thought we played a good match,” Kleinecke said. “Christi and Morgan, winning the way they did, pretty quick, pretty easy, that really helped a lot.”
Davidson followed with the match-clinching win at No. 5 singles. The senior, who was riding a three-match winning streak, jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Wilbert in the first set and went on to win it, 6-1. Wilbert then took the second set, 6-2, but it was all Davidson in the third set as she notched a 6-2 win to close out the match.
“Stephanie Davidson came up with another good win today,” Kleinecke said. “It seems like we have gone three sets against Wilbert every time.”
Cuthbertson added to A&M’s lead with a three-set victory against Los at No. 4. Cuthbertson took the first set, 6-4, but Los came back to take the second set by the identical score to force a third set. Cuthbertson then jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the final set and continued to pull away for a 6-2 win.
“Janelle, she has been struggling confidence-wise, and for her to come through with a three-set win, that is something she can build on,” Kleinecke said.
Lauren Santacroce (Spring, Texas) accounted for the final point of the match, coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the first set to dispose of Windom, 6-4, 6-3.
“With Lauren, she also has been struggling with confidence,” Kleinecke added, “and it was great for her, falling down 3-0 in the first set and then figuring out, ‘ok, I’m playing the wrong game plan’ and then making the adjustment and coming back. That is the only reason she won the first set. Then at 4-4 in the first set, she went back to her old game plan for three points to fall down 40-love and then got it back again, took the game to go up 5-4 and then won 6-4. She is learning a good lesson there.”
It was A&M’s 13th consecutive win against the Jayhawks.
Looking forward, Kleinecke remains concerned about the doubles, as well as getting Christi Potgieter (Petrusville, South Africa) back into the lineup as soon as possible. The freshman had settled in at No. 3 doubles and No. 4 singles before injuring her left thumb. She has missed the last four matches, forcing a shakeup to the usual lineups, and it is undetermined how soon she will return to competition, although she has been practicing with a cast on her hand.
“We have time to figure out what we are going to do with doubles,” Kleinecke said. “Our biggest thing is we need to get Christi Potgieter healthy and back into the lineup.”
The Aggies take a break from Big 12 play to travel to Notre Dame next weekend. A&M will face the 19th-ranked Fighting Irish on Saturday at 1 p.m. (12 p.m. Central) in South Bend, Ind. A&M also will face DePaul on Sunday at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. Central) in South Bend.
Live scoring of the matches will be available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, updates will be posted on Twitter @AggieTennis.
No. 25 Texas A&M 6, Kansas 1
Jayhawk Tennis Center (Indoor)
1. Ekaterina Morozova (KU) def. (#18) Nazari Urbina (TAMU), 6-4, 6-1
2. Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. Monica Pezzotti (KU), 6-3, 6-1
3. Christi Liles (TAMU) def. Sara Lazarevic (KU), 6-0, 6-0
4. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU) def. Paulina Los (KU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Stephanie Davidson (TAMU) def. Erin Wilbert (KU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
6. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU) def. Dylan Windom (KU), 6-4, 6-3
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Morozova/Windom (KU) def. Liles/Urbina (TAMU), 8-1
2. Cuthbertson/Frank (TAMU) def. Lazarevic /Wilbert (KU), 8-2
3. Davidson/Sheri Olivier (TAMU) def. Los/Pezzotti (KU), 8-2
Order of finish:
Doubles: 1, 3, 2
Singles: 1, 3, 2, 5*, 4, 6
Texas A&M: 9-4, 3-2 Big 12
Kansas: 6-8, 0-4 Big 12