April 4, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to six by defeating No. 62 Missouri, 6-1, today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The 33rd-ranked Aggies, riding their longest winning streak since they won eight consecutive in 2007, improve to 10-6 overall and 6-1 in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri drops to 7-8, including 3-4 in the Big 12, and suffers its seventh straight loss in the series against the Aggies.
A&M won the doubles point for the fifth straight match, but it was a win at the No. 1 line that clinched the point. The Aggies had lost at No. 1 in each of the last three matches and in six of the last seven, causing A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke to tweak the lineup.
"The doubles point was crucial for us,” Kleinecke said. “I was proud of the way we came out. We changed up Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, and I felt like the energy was there. We had some good play. We didn’t play at the top of our game, but I do like what I saw. Coming away with the wins at Nos. 1 and 2 was big.”
Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.), playing together for the first time since Feb. 21, gave A&M the early edge in doubles, jumping out to a 5-0 lead en route to an 8-4 victory over Jessica Giuggioli and Kaitlyn Ritchie at the No. 2 line.
Janelle Cuthbertson (Perth, Australia) and Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) then clinched the point for the Aggies with an 8-6 win at No. 1. With the score tied at 6-6, the A&M tandem broke Missouri’s Jamie Mera and Mallory Weber to take a 7-6 lead. The Aggies then held serve to end the match and give A&M the 1-0 lead.
“Winning No. 1 doubles was the big turnaround for us because we have been struggling at that position,” Kleinecke said. “No. 3, they did a great job of hanging in the match and taking some of the pressure off of No. 1. The doubles point could have gone either way.”
A&M’s Sheri Olivier (Topeka, Kan.) and Elzé Potgieter (Bloemfontein, South Africa) entered their match at No. 3 doubles with an impressive 11-2 record and riding a five-match winning streak. The streak was quickly in jeopardy as they found themselves trailing Missouri’s Sofia Ayala and Danielle Day, 5-1. The Aggie duo managed to get back within 5-4 but could get no closer as the Tiger pair closed out the 8-6 victory to prevent the sweep.
In singles, A&M won the first set on all six courts and finished off four of the matches in straight sets. Frank, the reigning Big 12 Women’s Tennis Player of the Week, improved to 7-0 in Big 12 matches and put the Aggies ahead, 2-0, with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over fellow Floridian Jamie Mera at the No. 2 line.
Liles and Potgieter then had a bang-bang finish to secure the victory for the Aggies. Liles finished off Weber, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3 to run her winning streak to five. Seconds later, Potgieter, completed a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Giuggioli at No. 1 to post the clinching point. It also marked Potgieter’s fifth straight win.
Cuthbertson gave the Aggies a 5-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-2 win against Day at No. 4.
Missouri earned its only point at No. 6, where Ayala dropped her first set to Olivier, 7-5, but then won the second set, 6-2. A&M had already clinched the win when the split occurred, so the two played a 10-point super tiebreaker to determine the winner. Olivier built a 5-2 lead, but Ayala came back to take a 6-5 advantage. The score was tied four more times, the last coming at 9-9 before Ayala reeled off back-to-back points to get the victory.
A&M’s Lauren Santacroce (Spring, Texas) closed out the match with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Ritchie at No. 5.
A&M concludes a two-match homestand Sunday as the Aggies play host to No. 53 Colorado (9-6, 5-1 Big 12). The start time has been changed to 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
“Colorado is going to give us a good, hard-fought match,” Kleinecke said. “Last year the match came down to 4-3, and we were very fortunate. With us winning that match, I know they are going to be looking for a little bit of revenge, so we need to be ready to come back out and play another hard match tomorrow.”
Live scoring of all A&M women’s tennis matches are available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, live video streaming of A&M home matches is now available.
(33) Texas A&M 6, (62) Missouri 1
April 4, 2009
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
1. Elzé Potgieter (A&M) def. Jessica Giuggioli (MU), 6-1, 7-5
2. (112) Morgan Frank (A&M) def. Jamie Mera (MU), 6-0, 6-3
3. Christi Liles (A&M) def. Mallory Weber (MU), 6-2, 6-2
4. Janelle Cuthbertson (A&M) def. Danielle Day (MU), 6-0, 6-2
5. Lauren Santacroce (A&M) def. Kaitlyn Ritchie (MU), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
6. Sofia Ayala (MU) def. Sheri Olivier (A&M), 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (9)
Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Cuthbertson/Liles (A&M) def. Mera/Weber (MU), 8-6
2. Frank/Stephanie Davidson (A&M) def. Giuggioli/Ritchie(MU), 8-4
3. Ayala/Day (MU) def. Olivier/Potgieter (A&M), 8-6
Order of finish:
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Singles: 2, 3, 1*, 4, 6, 5
Texas A&M: 10-6, 6-1 Big 12
Missouri: 7-8, 3-4 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.