Aggies Win Ninth Straight with 5-2 Victory over Virginia
"I consider this to be a very, very good win for us," A&M second-year head coach Howard Joffe said. "Virginia is a very fine team who at this moment is not ranked very high, but they are very dangerous. After they won the doubles point, they were certainly very charged up, but our kids truly showed tremendous strength and power to come back and to come back so quickly."
The Cavaliers (3-6) took the early lead, winning two of three doubles matches to take a 1-0 advantage. Stephanie Nauta and Erin Vierra were first off with an 8-2 victory over A&M's Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina at No. 2.
A&M's ninth-ranked duo of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu won its first five games en route to an 8-2 victory over Maria Fuccillo and Hana Tomljanovic at the top of the lineup, and the point came down to the No. 3 court, where Virginia's Julia Elbaba and Li Xi pulled away from a 3-3 tie against Aggie twins Ines and Paula Deheza to win, 8-3.
"Obviously the doubles point probably goes down as one of our weaker performances," Joffe said. "The doubles point is played first, so it never feels good (to lose the point). You have to give Virginia a lot of credit. They played excellently in the doubles and in the match."
The Aggies quickly turned the match around in singles, winning the first set on five of six courts. Hristov, a freshman from Romania, then cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win against No. 6 Caryssa Peretz, to even the score at 1-1.
Sun put A&M up, 2-1, pulling away for a 6-4 first set win against Vierra at No. 5 and then racing to a 6-0 second-set win to close out the match.
Ines Deheza also made quick work of her opponent, defeating Xi, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 4 line to give the Aggies a 3-1 lead, and Stancu, ranked No. 62, would clinch the A&M victory at No. 2 singles, defeating 71st-ranked Nauta, 7-5, 6-4.
The Cavaliers notched their only singles point at the No. 3 line, were Tomljanovic downed 43rd-ranked Urbina, 7-5, 7-6 (2). In a battle of top-15 opponents, sixth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar pulled off a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (2) victory over 13th-ranked Elbaba to close out the match.
"Our girls showed what mettle they have, because in a very short time after the singles had started, we had probably gained control of the match in the larger context, winning five of six first sets," Joffe said. "We sunk our teeth into the match pretty good. I consider this to be a very, very good win for us."
A&M returns to SEC play this weekend, taking its 4-0 league mark on the road to face LSU in Baton Rouge on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Arkansas, Sunday at 1 p.m. in Fayetteville.
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No. 3 Texas
A&M 5, No. 47 Virginia 2
March 13, 2013
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
1. #6 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. #13 Julia Elbaba (UVA), 6-4, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (2)
2. #83 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. #71 Stephanie Nauta (UVA), 7-5, 6-4
3. Hana Tomljanovic (UVA) def. #67 Nazari Urbina (TAMU), 6-3, 7-6 (2)
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Li Xi (UVA), 6-1, 6-4
5. Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Erin Vierra (UVA), 6-4, 6-0
6. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Caryssa Peretz (UVA), 6-2, 6-2
(UVA wins the point)
1. #9 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) def. Maria Fuccillo/Tomljanovic (UVA), 8-3
2. Nauta/Vierra (UVA) def. Sanchez-Quintanar/Urbina (TAMU), 8-2
3. Elbaba/Xi (UVA) def. I. Deheza/Paula Deheza (TAMU), 8-3
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Singles: 6, 5, 4, 2*, 3, 1
Texas A&M: 11-1