COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 3 Texas A&M cruised to a 4-0 victory over Southern University in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Aggies (22-3), who are making their 14th consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the NCAAs, advance to the second round for the second year in a row and will face 29th-ranked TCU, Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The Horned Frogs advanced with a 4-1 first-round victory over No. 60 North Texas.
The second-round winner advances to the championship final site and the round of 16 to be played at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., May 16-21.
“If you look at the dynamic of the match and each individual match, it’s obvious that we have a better and more skilled team,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said about the match against the Jaguars. “That said, I think our kids handled themselves with class and were very focused. We haven’t played a match other than today for the past three weeks. It was good to get out and compete.”
Playing their first match since competing in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament on April 20, the Aggies quickly jumped out to an early lead against Southern, taking less than 30 minutes to clinch the doubles point. The 49th-ranked Aggie duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun was first to finish, disposing of Camara Davis and Morgan Taylor, 8-1, on the No. 2 court.
Aggie twin sisters Ines and Paula Deheza secured the doubles point at the No. 3 court, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Kendal Bunch and Danielle Dixon en route to the 8-1 victory that put A&M ahead, 1-0.
Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, ranked 18th in the nation, held a commanding 7-0 lead against Lois Alexis and Gabrielle Moore at the No. 1 line when the doubles point was clinched and play was stopped.
A&M continued its dominance in the singles, winning all six first sets and going a combined 67-6 in games on all six courts.
Stancu, ranked No. 68 in singles, didn’t drop a game as she gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Dixon at the No. 2 line. Ines Deheza nearly completed a shutout of her own, defeating Davis, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4 to put A&M ahead, 3-0.
Fourth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar capped the team victory with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Moore at the No. 1 line. It was her 36th win of the season, moving her into a tie for the third in the school records for most victories in a single season.
A&M was in control of the remaining three matches when play was stopped. A&M’s Nazari Urbina was at match point with a 6-1, 5-0 lead over Alexis at the No. 3 court, and Hristov held a 6-0, 5-0 lead over Bunch at No. 6. Sun also led 6-0, 3-2 at No. 5.
A&M and TCU are 1-1 against each other when meeting in the NCAA tournament. They first met in postseason play in the first round of the 2002 championship in Austin with the Frogs winning, 4-1. The teams also met in the 2007 first round in Waco, with A&M winning 4-1 to advance.
“Overall, like any time, we’re going to need to actually play some good tennis,” Joffe said about the match-up against the Frogs. “We’re going to need to perform on the day because, at this stage of the season, teams like TCU, like ourselves, have all made winning a habit. In order to break that habit, we’re going to have to play some awful good tennis. TCU has a very good doubles lineup and will contest every match. We’ll need to be at our best tomorrow.”
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 4, Southern 0
NCAA Championship, First Round
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
May 11, 2013
1. #4 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. Gabrielle Moore (SU), 6-1, 6-1
2. #68 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. Danielle Dixon (SU), 6-0, 6-0
3. #52 Nazari Urbina (TAMU) vs. Lois Alexis (SU), 6-1, 5-0 unfinished
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Camara Davis (SU), 6-1, 6-0
5. Wen Sun (TAMU) vs. Morgan Taylor (SU), 6-0, 3-2 unfinished
6. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) vs. Kendall Bunch (SU), 6-0, 5-0 unfinished
Doubles (Texas A&M wins the point)
1. #18 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) vs. Alexis/Moore (SU), 7-0 unfinished
2. #49 Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. Davis/Taylor (SU), 8-1
3. I. Deheza/Paula Deheza (TAMU) def. Bunch/Dixon (SU), 8-1
Order of finish
Doubles: 2, 3
Singles: 2, 4, 1
Texas A&M: 22-3