URBANA, Ill. – The No. 3 Texas A&M women’s tennis team faces No. 12 seed Stanford in the NCAA Championship finals on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at Atkins Tennis Center.
The Aggies, who until this year had only once reached even the round of 16 (2004), are making their first appearance in the championship match. Meanwhile, the Cardinal are aiming for their 17th NCAA women’s tennis national title and have upset three consecutive top-five opponents to reach the finals.
2013 NCAA WOMEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. (Univ. of Illinois host)
Championship Match: Tuesday, May 21, 5 p.m.
No. 3 Texas A&M (26-3) vs. No. 12 Stanford (21-4)
Live webcast of championship match: http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule
Tournament Central (live video/scoring): http://www.fightingillini.com/ncaatennis2013/
Twitter: @NCAATennis13; @AggieWTEN
HOW TEXAS A&M REACHED THE FINALS
First Round: def. Southern, 4-0 (May 11, College Station, Texas)
Second Round: def. No. 29 TCU, 4-1 (May 12, College Station, Texas)
Round of 16: def. No. 14 Virginia, 5-0 (May 17, Urbana, Ill.)
Quarterfinals: def. No. 6 Miami, 4-0 (May 19, Urbana, Ill.)
Semifinals: def. No. 7 UCLA, 4-3 (May 20, Urbana, Ill.)
HOW STANFORD REACHED THE FINALS
First Round: def. Miami (OH), 4-0 (May 10, Stanford, Calif.)
Second Round: def. No. 22 Rice, 4-0 (May 11, Stanford, Calif.)
Round of 16: def. No. 5 USC, 4-3 (May 17, Urbana, Ill.)
Quarterfinals: def. No. 4 Georgia, 4-1 (May 19, Urbana, Ill.)
Semifinals: def. No. 1 Florida, 4-3 (May 20, Urbana, Ill.)
SERIES NOTES VS. STANFORD
· Stanford is 2-0 all-time against Texas A&M
· The teams last met in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Championship with the host Cardinal winning 4-1
· The teams met for the first time on March 26, 1998, with No. 1 Stanford defeating Texas A&M, 5-1, in College Station.
TEXAS A&M PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP (most recent lineup)
1. Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Sr., Campo de Criptana, Spain
39-7…No. 4 in ITA singles rankings…No. 4 seed in NCAA Singles Championship…A&M’s first two-time All-American…ITA Texas Region Senior of the Year…All-SEC First Team…Posted highest ranked win of career in A&M’s semifinal win against No. 7 UCLA, defeating No. 3 Robin Anderson, 6-1, 6-3…Is 4-0 in 2013 NCAA tournament…Needs one win to tie her 40-win performance last year and tie for second most wins in a season in school history
2. Cristina Stancu, Jr., Constanta, Romania
26-13…No. 68 in singles...All-SEC second team…SEC Player of the Week
3. Nazari Urbina, Sr., Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
21-7…No. 52 in ITA singles rankings…Will be making school-record fourth consecutive appearance in NCAA Singles Championship…All-SEC first team…Posted 100th career victory with 6-1, 6-4 win over Miami’s Lina Lileikite in NCAA quarterfinals…Is 4-0 in 2013 NCAA tournament
4. Ines Deheza, Fr., Santa Cruz, Bolivia
18-4…SEC Rookie of the Week…Won last match standing to send A&M to the championship match, defeating UCLA’s Chanell Van Nguyen, 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-4…Is 4-0 in NCAA tournament play
5. Anna Mamalat, Fr., Philadelphia, Pa.
12-14…Is 0-2 at No. 5…Went 6-3 at No. 6 during the regular season
6. Stefania Hristov, Fr., Iasi, Romania
24-11…Two-time SEC Rookie of the Week…Is 2-0 in NCAA tournament, including 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory over Courtney Dolehide of UCLA
1. Stefania Hristov/Cristina Stancu
21-10…No. 18 in ITA doubles rankings…NCAA Doubles Championship at-large berth…ITA Texas Region doubles champion…Are 2-1 in NCAA tournament
2. Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun Wen
11-9…No. 49 in ITA doubles ranking
3. Ines Deheza/Paula Deheza
20-6…Had 9-match win streak snapped against UCLA, falling to Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips, 9-7
TEXAS A&M NOTES
· Texas A&M (26-3) is making its 14th consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the NCAA Championship.
· Prior to 2013, the Aggies’ best NCAA finish was a Round of 16 appearance in 2004.
· A&M is a school-record No. 3 seed in the 64-team field. A&M was the No. 12 seed in the 2004 tournament, marking the only other time the Aggies have been seeded.
· A&M is 17-18 all-time in NCAA tournament matches.
· A&M entered the 2013 NCAA Championship 15-3 record against the tournament field this season, including a 4-3 victory over two-time defending national champion Florida, which helped propel the Aggies to a share of the SEC regular season title.
· With 26 wins, the Aggies have broken the record for most wins in a season, besting the previous record of 24 set in 2004.
· In its first season as a member of the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M won the SEC regular-season title, tying both Florida and Georgia, and was the outright SEC Western Division Champion, finishing ahead of Alabama.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH HOWARD JOFFE
Texas A&M head coach Howard Joffe (pronounced JOFF-ee) continues to lead the program to new heights in his second season at the helm of the Aggies, including an all-time high No. 3 national ranking. In A&M’s inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference, he also led the women’s tennis team to the school’s first SEC regular season championship title in any sport. This season, Joffe has directed A&M to a 26-3 record, including 24-3 against ranked opponents and 12-1 in SEC matches. Nine wins have been against teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation, including a win against two-time defending champion and fourth-ranked Florida to mark the biggest win in program history. It was the Gators’ first regular-season SEC loss since 2009, and the loss snapped their 45-match overall win streak against SEC opponents. Joffe’s Aggies also tied the school record for consecutive wins with 13, tying the record set in Joffe’s first season at A&M. Joffe is 93-47 (.664) record in his sixth season as a head coach, including a 45-9 (.833) mark in two seasons at the helm of the Aggies.
Joffe played college tennis at Pepperdine from 1990-92 and led the Wave to three consecutive West Coast Conference titles. He was an ITA All-American in 1992, the same year he was the 1992 WCC singles champion and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. After three years (1992-94) on the professional tour, Joffe began his coaching career in South Africa. In 2002, he was hired as the women’s assistant coach at perennial power USC, where he finished his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006. The two-time ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year and a runner-up for the 2006 national award, Joffe left USC in 2007 to be the head coach at Miami (Ohio). In his second season, Joffe was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading the RedHawks to a 16-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. He then left to become the head coach at Maryland, where he led the Terrapins to an NCAA tournament berth in 2011.
SANCHEZ-QUINTANAR IS A&M’S FIRST TWO-TIME ALL-AMERICAN
Texas A&M senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar became the school’s first two-time All-American in women’s tennis after receiving a school record-high No. 4 seed in the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship 64-player field. Sanchez-Quintanar first guaranteed herself All-America honors from the ITA last year after being named the No. 7 seed in the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship. She was A&M’s first All-American since 2005 and fifth overall, but she became the first in school history to garner the distinction by virtue of being a top 16 seed. Sanchez-Quintanar advanced to the quarterfinals in 2012, tying former Aggie All-American Kim Labuschagne (1987) for the best finish in program history. Sanchez-Quintanar is the first All-American coached by Howard Joffe, who is in his second year at A&M and in the sixth season of his head coaching career.
· Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar sports a .858 (79-13) career winning percentage in singles. She will obliterate the school all-time career record of .765 (91-28) held by Morgan Frank (2008-11).
· Sanchez-Quintanar ranks third in the A&M records for most singles wins in a season with a 39-7 record. Last year, she went 40-6 (.870), ranking second in the A&M records for most wins and shattering the school record for highest winning percentage in a single season.
· Senior Nazari Urbina ranks third in the A&M career record with 101 singles victories. With her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Lina Lileikite to clinch A&M’s 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Miami, Urbina became the fourth player in A&M history to reach the 100-victory milestone.
· A&M is 20-0 when No. 1 singles wins, 16-0 when No. 2 singles wins, 17-0 when No. 3 singles wins, and 11-0 when No. 5 singles wins.
· The Aggies are 19-1 when winning the doubles point and 7-2 when losing the doubles point.
· The Aggies are a combined 53-15 (.779) at the No. 1, 2 and 3 singles lines.
· A&M is a combined 47-26 (.643) at the three doubles lines.
· The doubles team of twin sisters Ines and Paula Deheza has won nine of its last 10 matches. They lead the team in doubles victories with a 19-6 record in dual matches.
· Texas A&M has won its last five matches and 11 of its last 12 with the only loss during that span coming against current No. 1-ranked Florida in the semifinals of the SEC Championship tournament.
· A&M has three seniors who are concluding their Aggie careers: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Wen Sun and Nazari Urbina.