No. 19 Texas knocks off Texas A&M, 5-2
Horns rally from 2-1 deficit and finish off the Aggies Tuesday evening at the State Farm Lone Star Showdown in College Station.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 19 Texas (13-4, 8-1 Big 12) emerged from a 2-1 deficit and closed out the match with four straight singles victories, including the clincher from junior Maggie Mello, as the Longhorns defeated Texas A&M (11-8, 6-3 Big 12) by a 5-2 count Tuesday evening at A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center.
The victory gives Texas one point in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown standings, where Texas now holds a 8.5-5.0 lead over the Aggies. The win nails down a first-round bye for the Longhorns at next week’s Big 12 Championships in Austin.
Texas opened the match with a sweep of the doubles session and assumed a 1-0 lead. Sarah Lancaster and Caroline Larsson teamed up at third doubles for an 8-3 win over the Aggies’ Christi Liles and Sheri Olivier. Junior Amanda Craddock and sophomore Krista Damico won in equally dominant fashion at second doubles, where they posted an 8-4 win over Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank to nail down the doubles point. The Longhorns completed the doubles sweep at the first slot, as senior Vanja Corovic and freshman Aeriel Ellis dealt the Aggies’ 40th-ranked duo of Elze Potgieter and Nazari Urbina an 8-6 defeat.
The Aggies evened the match at one when the 49th-ranked Urbina posted a 6-3, 6-0 win over UT’s 63rd-ranked Corovic at second singles. Texas A&M took a short-lived 2-1 lead at third singles, where Frank topped UT’s Damico, 7-6, 6-1.
At fourth singles, UT’s Lancaster trailed A&M’s Olivier by a 4-1 count in the first set before rallying to even the set at four. Lancaster trailed 5-4 and faced two set points but saved them both before evening the set at five. Lancaster would go on to take the next two games to capture the set, 7-5.
Lancaster broke Olivier early on in the second set and never looked back on her way to a 6-2 second-set win, as Texas evened the match at two. At sixth singles, UT junior Caroline Larsson took the first set off of A&M’s Liles, 6-2 and assumed an early lead in the second set. Liles broke Larsson’s serve to even the set at four, but Larsson returned the favor to assume a 5-4 lead. Larsson served out the following game to secure a 6-2, 6-4 win and stake Texas to a 3-2 lead.
UT’s Mello dropped her first set at fifth singles to A&M’s Lauren Santacroce, 6-4, but Mello stormed back to win the second set, 6-3 to force the decisive third set. Mello took control from the outset, and at match point, Santacroce smacked a well-struck Mello serve into the net to give Mello the three-set win and clinch the victory for the Longhorns at 4-2.
The match at first singles was a nearly three-hour contest featuring UT’s 23rd-ranked Ellis and A&M’s 59th-ranked Potgieter. Ellis surrendered the first set, 7-5 but battled back to take the second, 6-3. At 5-all in the third set, Ellis saved multiple game points and broke Potgieter’s serve to take a 6-5 lead before serving out the final game for a 7-5 third-set win.
Texas resumes Big 12 play on Friday, April 23 when it visits Missouri.
No. 19 Texas 5, Texas A&M 2
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – College Station, Texas
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1 #51 Vanja Corovic/Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. #40 Elze Potgieter/Nazari Urbina (TAMU) – 8-6
2 Amanda Craddock/Krista Damico (UT) def. Stephanie Davidson/Morgan Frank (TAMU) – 8-4
3 Sarah Lancaster/Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Christi Liles/Sheri Olivier (TAMU) – 8-3
Singles – Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, 1
1 #23 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. #59 Elze Potgieter (TAMU) – 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
2 #49 Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. #63 Vanja Corovic (UT) – 6-3, 6-0
3 #122 Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. #56 Krista Damico (UT) – 7-6 (2), 6-1
4 Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Sheri Olivier (TAMU) – 7-5, 6-2
5 Maggie Mello (UT) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU) – 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
6 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Christi Liles (TAMU) – 6-2, 6-4