COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 24th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team opens Big 12 Conference play Saturday as the Aggies take on No. 38 Texas in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. Match time against the Longhorns is 12 p.m. at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin.
The Aggies are 4-5 after dropping a 4-3 decision to No. 26 TCU Thursday in College Station. A&M lost the doubles point for the third time this season but rode victories by Lauren Santacroce, Christi Liles and Elzé Potgieter to take a 3-2 lead during singles. TCU, however, won the last two matches, taking the third-set tiebreaker in the last match standing to clinch the win and snap a three-match losing skid.
Freshman Sheri Olivier and junior Elzé Potgieter lead the Aggie in doubles, having won their last three matches to improve to 6-1 at the No. 3 spot. Sophomore Morgan Frank is ranked No. 98 in singles, going 5-4 all at the No. 2 line.
Texas is 4-4 and riding a two-match winning streak after defeating both Florida International and South Florida by identical 5-2 scores last weekend in Austin. Junior Vanja Corovic is No. 104 in the nation in singles but has not been in the singles lineup since the Longhorns played No. 1 Northwestern on Feb. 8. She is ranked No. 26 in doubles with Marija Milic but did not play in the Longhorns’ two matches last weekend.
Texas is 39-6 against the Aggies since 1980 and has won the last five meetings. Last year, the Longhorns topped A&M, 5-2, during the regular season and then won the last match standing to defeat the Aggies 4-3 in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship. Both matches were in College Station.
The Aggies have not defeated Texas since 2006, when A&M handed the Longhorns a 6-1 defeat at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The last time A&M defeated Texas in Austin was 2003.
At No. 24, A&M enters league play as the second highest ranked team in the Big 12 behind Baylor, which is No. 5. Last year, A&M finished third in the Big 12 with a 9-2 record. Its only losses were to Baylor, which went undefeated and also won the Big 12 tournament, and Texas, which placed second.
A full point is at stake in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown standings. Texas enters the match leading A&M, 7-4, with eight points still to be decided.