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No. 3 UNC Holds Off No. 17 Texas A&M, 4-3
Tuesday, 02/03/2015
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Texas A&M University Team Page

HOUSTON – The 17th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team fought third-ranked and undefeated North Carolina to the wire, but the Tar Heels came through in the last match standing to top the Aggies, 4-3, today at  the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club indoor courts.

Carolina, which improves to 5-0, swept the three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay were first off with a 6-1 victory over A&M’s Stefania Hristov and Eva Paalma at the No. 3 line. The 13th-ranked duo of Ashley Dai and Kate Vialle then clinched the point for the Tar Heels, defeating 30th-ranked Ines Deheza and Rachel Pierson, 6-2, at the No. 1 line.

Despite the doubles point being decided, the match at No. 2 was played out. UNC’s  Jamie Loeb and Caroline Price had jumped out to a 4-1 lead against Rutuja Bhosale and Saska Gavrilovska and held on to win, 6-2, to complete the sweep.

Paalma, the only freshman on the A&M squad, quickly tied the score at 1-1 to begin singles, cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Vialle at the No. 6 line.

The Tar Heels countered with two straight-set victories at the top of the lineup to jump out to 3-1 lead. Carter, ranked No. 22 in the nation in singles, posted a 6-0, 6-4 victory over 56th-ranked Pierson at No. 2, and eighth-ranked Loeb defeated 29th-ranked Gavrilovska, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 1 line.

The match began to get interesting as Deheza overcame a 6-2 first-set loss against Kay at the No. 4 line. Deheza won the second set, 6-4, but trailed the third set, 4-3, before reeling off three consecutive games to close out the match and put the Aggies within 3-2.

Bhosale then picked up the second-highest ranked win of her career and knotted the overall team score at 3-3 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over 22nd-ranked Price at No. 3.

The match came down to Court 5, which was 45 minutes late getting started because the court was not available. Hristov had gotten down a break early in the opening set against Dai but got back on serve and tied the set at 5-5. Dai, however, broke back to o up 6-5 and then held serve to take a 7-5 win.

The second set also was closely contested, with Dai jumping out to a 2-0 lead but Hristov fighting back to go up, 4-3. Dai later broke to go up, 5-4, but Hristov broke back to tie the set for the fourth time at 5-5. Dai, however, broke again to go up, 6-5, and then held serve to close out the 7-5, 7-5 victory to clinch the win for the Tar Heels.

The Aggies return to the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, Thursday, Feb. 12 to take on UTA. The match, which was recently added to the schedule, will begin at 2 p.m.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Aggie-Womens-Tennis/143874782434654

Texas A&M head Coach Howard Joffe quotes:

On his impression of the match...

“The first thing that I would say is that the loss is naturally disappointing for the girls. But just to put some context on it, a week ago we had the worst loss at A&M since I’ve been the coach there, and it was less impressive than that. Just watching the play, the playing was quite poor. The fighting was quite poor. Then in one week we had to face North Carolina, who went to the NCAA finals last year and has probably the strongest top four in the lineup in the country. It is unchanged from last year with some new folks bolstering them down low, and we have to play them indoors. So set against that backdrop, I couldn’t be more encouraged and more proud of our group because the doubles just really didn’t go our way. It looked score-wise like we got hammered but we had chances at No. 1 doubles to get up. The doubles got away from us real quick. The six-game format is tough. When you consider that, for us to win three of the six matches and come within a hair of actually beating Carolina indoors speaks a lot  to the character of the team and what they have been doing in the last week or two. So disappointed about  the loss, but very encouraged about the character and the prognosis going forward.”

On the individual play...

“There are a couple of things that definitely make it very encouraging: No. 1 is to see a freshman in Eva Paalma playing her second college match. She is a 4.0 student. She is everything that is good about college and tennis, and to go out against the No. 3 team in the country and put an absolute whooping on her opponent, that is very, very encouraging to see. If Eva continues on that route, who knows where she will end up in our lineup. I thought Saska [Gavrilovska], she played [Jamie] Loeb, who was the No. 1 college player of the year last year, and Saska made vast improvement from last week. And the other very good thing is Rutuja [Bhosale] getting a ranked win against Caroline Price. Rutuja is definitely starting to show that she can play high in our lineup and be successful. And Ines [Deheza] after all the miserable injuries and such, to beat Whitney Kay is an outstanding win. So top-to-bottom, I was very pleased.”

 

#3 North Carolina 4, #17 Texas A&M 3

Galleria Tennis & Athletic Club

Houston, Texas

February 1, 2015

 

Singles

1.      #8 Jamie Loeb (UNC) def. #29 Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU), 6-4, 6-1

2.      #31 Hayley Carter (UNC) def. #56 Rachel Pierson (TAMU), 6-0, 6-4

3.      Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU) def. #22 Caroline Price (UNC), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

4.      Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Whitney Kay (UNC), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

5.      Ashley Dai (UNC) def. Stefania Hristov (TAMU), 7-5, 7-5

6.      Eva Paalma (TAMU) def. Kate Vialle (UNC), 6-2, 6-1

Doubles (UNC wins the point) 
1.      #13 Dai/Vialle (UNC) def. #30 Deheza/Pierson (TAMU), 6-2

2.      Loeb/Price (UNC) def. Bhosale/Gavrilovska (TAMU), 6-3

3.      Carter/Kay (UNC) def. Hristov/Paalma (TAMU), 6-1

Order of finish

Doubles:  3, 1, 2

Singles: 6, 2, 1, 4, 3, 5

Team records

Texas A&M: 1-2

North Carolina: 5-0


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