Sanchez is Highest Ranked Player in A&M History
The ranking obliterates the program's previous longstanding record-high of No. 9 achieved by former Aggie All-American Lynn Staley as she entered the 1991 spring season.
Sanchez-Quintanar, a junior from Campo de Criptana, Spain, is 7-0 in dual matches this spring and 20-4 overall since transferring from Maryland prior to the fall semester. She was ranked a career-high No. 11 in the singles rankings released Jan. 3 and was No. 14 prior to today's third ranking of the spring season.
"That Cristina at this moment is ranked in the top 5 is not surprising based on how good of a tennis player she is, but when you consider that Cristina is at a new school and when you consider what a fabulous student she is in the classroom and as a teammate, it really speaks very highly of her character and the tennis I already know about," said A&M first-year head coach Howard Joffe who also coached Sanchez-Quintanar at Maryland.
"Unfortunately tennis is a sport where people are placed on top of one another and it is very flimsy because one week you are ahead of someone and the next week you are behind someone. My hope for Cristina is two months ago when she wasn't in the top 10, she was very well aware of how good of a tennis player she is, and now that she is chasing the No. 1 spot that she is equally aware of that. But the ranking is nice and is an emblem of outside validation."
Aggie juniors Wen Sun and Nazari Urbina also are listed in the singles rankings at No. 86 and No. 114, respectively.
In addition to the individual rankings, A&M made news in the team rankings, cracking the Top 25 and coming in at No. 23 in the first computer ranking of the spring season. The ranking is the Aggies' highest since a No. 21 billing on April 17, 2007.
"Probably the most meaningful thing that is worth extrapolating from us getting in the Top 25, because we are maybe a third of the way through the season, is that it is just more of an emblem of the improvement and hard work that has taken place over the last six months with the girls on our team," Joffe said. "Obviously we would be foolish to be seduced into believing that we are either as good or not as good as that number, and we need to continue to work hard and improve. If that is the case, it is likely we will find our true place by the end of the season."
A&M is 6-1 and riding a six-match winning streak entering its home match against BYU on Thursday. First serve against the Cougars is 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
"My hope is that we are looking at the match against BYU and the following day's match and next week's matches as more opportunities to improve and get better and compete," Joffe added.
UCLA tops the team rankings, while Allie Will of Florida is the No. 1 rated singles player and Stanford's Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs are ranked No. 1 in doubles.