Aggies Host W&M; Aim to Tie Win Streak Record
A&M won its eighth consecutive match on Friday in College Station, knocking off No. 26 South Florida, 5-2, to improve to 8-1 under first-year head coach Howard Joffe. It marked the fourth time in program history the Aggies won an eighth straight match, and it sets up an opportunity for the team to tie the all-time consecutive wins record of nine held by the 1986 squad. The Aggies last won eight in a row in 2007 but had their streak snapped by then No. 2 Notre Dame, 5-2. The 2004 squad also posted an eight-match winning streak before falling to then-No. 11 Texas, 4-3.
The Maroon and White has received a huge boost from its doubles teams, which have won the doubles point in each of the last eight matches. The three teams boast a combined 21-5 record and have swept the doubles portion in five of the last eight matches. The junior duo of Janelle Cuthbertson and Nazari Urbina is riding a team-best six-match winning streak at the No. 2 line, while seniors Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce sport the best record in dual matches at 7-1.
In singles, Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, the highest ranked player in A&M history at No. 4, is 9-0 in dual matches, having seen action at the Nos. 1 and 2 lines. The junior from Spain is 22-4 overall, including 9-3 against ranked opponents.
Urbina is 7-2 in singles, having shared time at the Nos. 1 and 2 courts, where the Aggies are 8-1 at each line. She is ranked No. 114 and is riding a five-match winning streak. Junior Wen Sun also is 7-2, all at the No. 3 court. She has won her last four matches and is ranked No. 86.
William and Mary is 3-7 on the season after defeating Wake Forest, 6-1, on Saturday. The Demon Deacons had only five players, which resulted in W&M getting walkover wins at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. The Tribe went on to sweep the doubles and win four of the other five singles matches, all in straight sets.
Sophomore Marie Belaya leads the Tribe in both singles and doubles victories in dual matches. The Clemson transfer is 6-3 in singles, having played at both the No. 2 and No. 3 lines, and is riding a three-match winning streak. In doubles, Belaya is 8-2 in dual matches, including 7-2 with partner Jeltja Loomans, and 19-5 overall.
The Tribe's trip to College Station will be a homecoming of sorts for junior Anik Cepeda, who graduated from A&M Consolidated in 2009 and was the runner-up at the Texas state high school tournament as a senior. Cepeda is 4-8 in singles this spring, including 2-7 at the No. 4 line, and 6-4 in doubles, all at the No. 2 court.
W&M won the only meeting in the all-time series against the Aggies, as the then 11th-ranked Tribe defeated A&M, 4-3, on April 12, 2003, at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
A&M concludes a four-match home stand on Friday against 14th-ranked Michigan, the highest ranked opponent A&M has faced this season. The match, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center, is the Aggies' final match before opening Big 12 Conference play at Missouri on Friday, March 16.
Season tickets and individual tickets to home matches can be purchased in advance online at AggieAthletics.com or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE. Tickets also can be purchased at the entrance to the tennis center begin one hour before the start of the match.
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