STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 3 Texas A&M locked up at least a tie for the Southeastern Conference Western Division title and remained tied for first in the overall SEC standings with a dominating 6-1 victory against Mississippi State this afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
"Playing on the road invariably tests a group's resolve,” A&M second-year head coach Howard Joffe said. “I was pleased that our ladies played with focus and energy, which is evidenced in the score line today."
The Aggies improve to 19-2 overall and 11-1 in SEC matches with only a match at No. 43 Ole Miss remaining in the regular season. A&M, which also improves to 9-0 in away matches, is one game ahead of eighth-ranked Alabama in the Western Division and tied with 2nd-ranked Florida and No. 4 Georgia in the race for the overall title heading into Sunday’s finale against the Rebels.
Texas A&M dominated in doubles today, jumping out to at least a 4-0 lead on all three courts. In the end, the Aggies allowed the Bulldogs a combined seven points on all three courts en route to winning the doubles point.
A&M’s 56th-ranked duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun was first off after defeating Roseline Dion and Georgiana Patrasc, 8-2, at the No. 2 line. It marked the sixth win in the last seven outings for the Aggie tandem.
Twins Ines and Paula Deheza clinched the doubles point for A&M. The Dehezas jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead against Petra Ferancova and Lien Van Geel and went on to win, 8-2, at No. 3 to give A&M a 1-0 lead.
A&M’s 15th-ranked Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu won their first six games at the No. 1 court and led 73rd-ranked Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran, 7-3, when the doubles point was clinched and play was stopped.
A&M also jumped out to an early lead in singles, winning the first set on five of six courts. Ines Deheza won her first set, 6-2, at the No. 4 line against Ferancova. Ferancova, who then retired before beginning the second set. Deheza was credited with her 11th consecutive victory and improved to 9-0 in SEC matches as the Aggies took a 2-0 lead.
Sun put A&M ahead, 3-0, cruising to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Dion at the No. 5 line. Freshman Anna Mamalat quickly followed with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory over Sarai Flores at the No. 6 line to clinch the winning point for the Aggies.
Although the team victory was already decided, the remaining three matches were played to completion. Fourth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar extended A&M’s lead to 5-0 with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Patrasc at the top of the lineup. The senior All-American improved to 34-6 overall, moving her into sole possession of fourth place in the A&M records for most singles wins in a season.
Stancu, ranked No. 65 in singles, also completed a straight-set victory, defeating Tran, 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 3 line to put A&M ahead, 6-0.
Perper prevented the shutout with a victory at the No. 2 court. Perper pulled away from a 4-4 tie to top 52nd-ranked Nazari Urbina, 6-4 in the first set. Urbina held off Perper, 7-5, in the second set to earn a split. The two played a 10-point super tiebreaker, which Perper won, 10-6, to notch the Bulldogs’ only point.
MSU falls to 7-13, including 1-11 in SEC matches.
The Aggies conclude the regular season at No. 43 Ole Miss (14-11, 5-7 SEC) Sunday at noon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss. The Rebels extended their win streak to four by defeating Missouri, 4-1, earlier today.
A&M will return to Starkville for the 2013 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship, April 17-21 at Mississippi State’s A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
Aggie fans can keep up to date on 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. 3 Texas A&M 6, Mississippi State 1
April 12, 2013
A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre
1. #4 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 6-3, 6-2
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. #52 Nazari Urbina (TAMU), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (6)
3. #65 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. Naomi Tran (MSU), 6-1, 6-4
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 6-2, retired
5. Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Roseline Dion (MSU), 6-1, 6-0
6. Anna Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Sarai Flores (MSU), 6-1, 6-1
Doubles (Texas A&M wins the point)
1. #15 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) vs. #73 Perper/Tran (MSU), 7-3 unfinished
2. #56 Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. Dion/Patrasc (MSU), 8-2
3. I. Deheza/Paula Deheza (TAMU) def. Ferancova/Lien Van Geel (MSU), 8-2
Order of finish
Doubles: 2, 3
Singles: 4, 5, 6, 1, 3, 2
Texas A&M: 19-2, 11-1 SEC
Mississippi State: 7-13, 1-11 SEC