For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas – The 24th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team got off to a rough start in Big 12 Conference play, dropping its league opener, 5-2, to rival Texas in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on a blustery day at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
Texas (5-4, 1-0 Big 12) appeared in control the entire contest, sweeping the doubles point and cruising to straight-set wins on four courts.
“I’m really disappointed,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Texas. They’ve got a good team, but I just felt like we just did not have the energy that we needed to have. This is A&M and Texas. It ought to be one of the most exciting matches of the year, and I just felt like this was a very boring job on our part of being ready to go.
“Texas really started out strong in the doubles and they came after us and we just backed way off. I think that set the tone for the match.”
Amanda Craddock and Caroline Larsson got the doubles started for the Longhorns, jumping out to a 5-0 lead against Sheri Olivier and Elzé Potgieter en route to an 8-2 victory at the No. 3 line.
The 26th-ranked duo of Vanja Corovic and Marija Milic won the first three games against A&M’s Janelle Cuthbertson and Stephanie Davidson. The Aggie tandem came back to tie the score at 3-3, but Texas won the next five games to close out the match and clinch the doubles point for the Longhorns.
Krista Damico and Maggie Mello made a dramatic comeback against A&M’s Morgan Frank and Christi Liles at No. 2 to complete the sweep. A&M was at double match point at 7-5, but the Longhorns rallied and won the next three games to take an 8-7 lead. A&M won the next game to tie the match at 8-all and force a tiebreaker, which Texas won, 7-4.
Sarah Lancaster put the Longhorns ahead, 2-0, with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Sheri Olivier at No. 5 singles, and Mello followed with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lauren Santacroce at No. 4 to quickly put Texas one win away from clinching the match.
Potgieter prevented a shutout, as she was once again a bright spot for the Aggies. The junior posted her second straight win against a ranked opponent by defeating No. 104 Corovic, 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 1 line.
With Texas leading, 3-1, Craddock came through with the clinching point, defeating Ashley Turpin, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 6 line.
Damico capped the scoring for Texas with a 6-1, 6-3 win against Liles at No. 3. Frank then posted her team-leading sixth victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Larsson at No. 2 to post A&M’s second point.
“I’m very proud of Elzé and Morgan for coming away with the wins,” Kleinecke said. “It has been a long time since we have beaten Texas at both No. 1 and No. 2, so I am very proud of them. They played good, solid matches.”
The Aggies (4-6, 0-1 Big 12) return home Thursday, March 12 to play host to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
“I know [Texas Tech] is going to come in fired up,” Kleinecke said. “When they beat TCU and [with] our loss to TCU, they are going to believe that they can beat us. It is imperative that we get come out and get a good week of practice and be ready on Thursday night.”
Live scoring of A&M women’s tennis matches is available at AggieAthletics.com.
(38) Texas 5, (24) Texas A&M 2
March 7, 2009
Penick-Allison Tennis Center
1. Elzé Potgieter (A&M) def. (104) Vanja Corovic (UT), 6-4, 6-1
2. (98) Morgan Frank (A&M) def. Caroline Larsson (UT), 6-3, 6-2
3. Krista Damico (UT) def. Christi Liles (A&M), 6-1, 6-3
4. Maggie Mello (UT) def. Lauren Santacroce (A&M), 6-2, 6-4
5. Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Sheri Olivier (A&M), 6-1, 6-0
6. Amanda Craddock (UT) def. Ashley Turpin (A&M), 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (Texas wins the point)
1. (26) Corovic/Marija Milic (UT) def. Janelle Cuthbertson/Stephanie Davidson (A&M), 8-3
2. Damico/Mello (UT) def. Frank/Liles (A&M), 9-8 (4)
3. (79) Craddock/Larsson (UT) def. Olivier/Potgieter (A&M), 8-2
Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 1, 2
Singles: 5, 4, 1, 6*, 3, 2
Texas A&M: 4-6, 0-1 Big 12
Texas: 5-4, 1-0 Big 12
2009 NCAA Tennis Championships: Texas A&M will host the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, May 14-25, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. Tickets can be purchased online at 12ManFoundation.com or by calling 1-888-99-AGGIE.