Third-ranked Aggie Women's Tennis Hosts Virginia Wednesday at 6 p.m.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M women's tennis team takes a brief break from Southeastern Conference action to play host to No. 47 Virginia, Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the grandstand courts at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The match is part of a twin bill with the Aggie men's team, which will be hosting the top-ranked Cavalier men at 6 p.m. on the stadium courts.
One ticket is good for admission to both matches.
"With Virginia, we will expect an extremely tough and talented opponent," A&M second-year women's head coach Howard Joffe said. "They began the season a little slowly, so their ranking currently belies the powerful lineup that they boast. Our ladies will need to play well and compete hard if we want to be successful."
The Aggie women (10-1, 4-0 SEC), who climbed one spot to an all-time high No. 3 in the ITA national rankings released Tuesday, enter the match 5-0 in home matches and riding an eight-match win streak, which includes a 4-1 victory over the then 12th-ranked Cavaliers on Feb. 10 in Charlottesville, Va. Most recently, A&M defeated No. 11 Vanderbilt, 4-3, in Nashville on Friday and topped Kentucky, 5-2, Sunday in Lexington in the Aggies' first SEC road matches of the season.
Virginia is 3-4 entering a match at Baylor on Tuesday. The Cavaliers opened Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday with a 7-0 drubbing at Maryland.
Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar is one of three Aggie players listed in the most recent national singles rankings. The senior All-American is ranked sixth in the country with a 27-5 overall record, including an 8-2 mark at the No. 1 line. Nazari Urbina, who is riding a team-best four-match winning streak and has clinched the Aggies' winning point in each of the last three matches, has climbed to No. 43. The senior is 11-4 overall, 5-1 in dual matches - all played at the No. 3 line - and 4-0 in SEC contests. Urbina has 91 career victories and needs one more to move into a tie for fifth place in the A&M career records for most wins.
Junior Cristina Stancu has won her last three singles matches and is ranked 62nd in the nation with a 16-8 overall record, including a 7-2 mark at No. 2 singles. She and freshman partner Stefania Hristov are No. 9 in doubles, having gone a team-best 7-2 in dual matches at the No. 1 line, including three victories against Top 15 opponents.
Hristov is tied with Sanchez-Quintanar for most singles wins in dual matches with an 8-3 record, while fellow freshmen teammates Ines and Paula Deheza rank second on the squad for doubles wins in dual matches with a 6-2 record.
Freshman Julia Elbaba leads the Cavaliers with a No. 13 singles ranking and a 19-5 overall record entering the match against the Bears. Stephanie Nauta, a freshman from Galveston, Texas, is ranked No. 71 in singles and enters the Baylor match with an 18-4 overall record, including a 4-0 mark at No. 2 singles.
The Cavaliers boast two top-20 doubles teams. Erin Vierra and Maci Epstein are No. 10 with a 16-5 overall record and a 4-1 mark in dual match play. The duo of Li Xi and Nauta sports a No. 18 ranking, a 15-11 overall record and a 2-3 ledger in dual matches.
A&M and Virginia faced each other for the first time in series history at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship earlier this season. A&M won two of the three doubles matches as then seventh-ranked Hristov and Stancu defeated No. 10 Xi and Nauta, 8-5, at No. 1 doubles and Aggie twins Ines and Paula Deheza defeated Elbaba and Hana Tomljanovic, 8-7, winning the tiebreaker, 7-2, to clinch the doubles point.
Virginia tallied its only point at the start of singles as Epstein downed Wen Sun, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 4 line. A&M then posted straight-set wins on three courts to clinch the win. Hristov defeated Tomljanovic to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead, and Stancu topped Xi at No. 2 before then third-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar secured the victory with a win against then fourth-ranked Elbaba at the top of the lineup.
A&M returns to SEC play with a pair of road matches this weekend. On Friday, A&M takes on No. 66 LSU at 3:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge, La., and then heads to Fayetteville, Ark., to face the 41st-ranked Razorbacks at 1 p.m.
Live scoring of the matches will be available at AggieAthletics.com.