WACO, Texas – No. 4 Texas A&M dropped the doubles point against No. 42 Baylor but came back to win four of six tightly contested singles matches to defeat the Bears, 4-2, tonight at the Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
A&M, which defeated Baylor 4-0 earlier in the season in College Station, wins its third consecutive meeting against the Bears and improves to 16-2 on the season. Baylor slips to 7-13.
“Whoever said necessity is the mother of all invention actually knew a thing or two,” A&M coach Howard Joffe said. “Baylor is actually a very good team that has taken a bunch of losses against top 10 teams, 4-3. As we are reaching the end of the season, this was sort of a must-win, quality win for Baylor. That is the necessity part, and so I was very well aware that they were going to give us their absolute most intense and best shot. The match played out exactly as expected.”
A&M dropped the doubles point for only the sixth time this season. The Aggies, who entered the match, 4-2, when dropping the point, got a win at the No. 2 line as 72nd-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun won their fourth consecutive match, defeating Baylor’s Alex Clay and Jordaan Sanford, 8-3.
The Bears’ Kiah Generette and Alex Leatu got an 8-1 victory against twins Ines and Paula Deheza at the No. 3 line, forcing the point to be decided at the No. 1 line. In a matchup of ranked opponents, No. 29 Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva of Baylor broke away from a 4-4 tie against A&M’s seventh-ranked Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, winning four consecutive games en route to the 8-4 win that gave the Bears a 1-0 lead heading into singles. It was the 10th straight win for the Baylor duo.
“I don’t think we acquitted ourselves very well in the doubles today, but in as much as we didn’t, Baylor did,” Joffe said.
Singles turned into a long, nip-and-tuck battle with each team winning three first sets apiece. Stancu, ranked 68th, would tie the team score at 1-1, downing 120th-ranked Kisialeva, 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 2 line.
Ines Deheza extended her singles win streak to eight matches and gave the Aggies the lead, 2-1, with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Generette at No. 4.
The lead was short lived as Sanford tied the score at 2-2 with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over A&M’s Nazari Urbina at the No. 3 line.
A&M regained a 3-2 lead as Hristov, who had dropped her first set, had a crucial come-from-behind 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory against Leatu to improve to 10-0 at the No. 6 line.
Sun then clinched the win, pulling away from a 4-4 tie in the third set to knock off Maria Biryukova, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, at the No. 5 line, with a point penalty against Baylor resulting in the match winner.
In a battle of top-10 opponents at the No. 1 line, 10th-ranked Burgic won a marathon first set against fifth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar, 7-6, taking the tiebreaker, 7-2. Sanchez-Quintanar then evened the match by winning the set, 6-3. The match was in the first game of the third set when Sun clinched the victory and play was stopped.
“The one thing that is pretty obvious is that we do have a prideful and tough bunch of ladies because the circumstances playing here at Baylor are never easy and today was particularly difficult,” Joffe said. “It was a dogfight, and our girls hung in there, and one by one by one, we started to turn the thing around.
“It is a rivalry I would say, and Baylor absolutely gave us a darn good shot. I consider it to be a really quality win. The rankings won’t say that, but I definitely do.”
The Aggies return to conference play and close out the home portion of the regular season this weekend with a pair of Top-25 matches. A&M hosts No. 23 Auburn Friday at 5 p.m. and No. 7 Alabama, Sunday at noon at the Mitchell Tennis Center. A&M’s three seniors – Sanchez-Quintanar, Sun and Urbina – will be recognized after the match against the Crimson Tide.
Free live video and scoring will be available on AggieAthletics.com. 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
No. 4 Texas A&M 4, No. 42 Baylor 2
April 3, 2013
Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center
1. #5 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) vs. #10 Ema Burgic (BU), 6-7 (2), 6-3, unfinished
2. #68 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. #120 Victoria Kisialeva (BU), 6-2, 6-3
3. Jordaan Sanford (BU) def. #55 Nazari Urbina (TAMU), 6-0, 6-1
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Kiah Generette (BU), 6-1, 6-2
5. Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Maria Biryukova (BU), 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Alex Leatu (BU), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
Doubles (Baylor wins the point)
1. #29 Burgic/Kisialeva (BU) def. #7 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU), 8-4
2. #72 Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. Alex Clay/Sanford (BU), 8-3
3. Generette/Leatu (BU) def. I. Deheza/Paula Deheza (TAMU), 8-1
Order of finish
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 2, 4, 3, 6, 5
Texas A&M: 16-2 entering
Baylor: 7-13 entering