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    SEC Hardcourt Update - Friday, 3/29

    Gamecocks Look Strong in 5-2 Win at Arkansas South Carolina Improves to 3-5 in SEC Play

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (March 29, 2013) — The 31st-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team won its second straight SEC contest Friday in Fayetteville, Ark., downing No. 44 Arkansas by a 5-2 score to improve to 10-8 and 3-5 in the league. The Razorbacks dropped to 10-11 and 3-6 in conference play.

    The Gamecocks picked up the doubles point for the 14th time in 18 matches this season, but Arkansas claimed the first contest at No. 3 doubles. Kimberley-Ann Surin and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez defeated Elixane Lechemia and Ximena Siles Luna 8-3, handing the Gamecock duo just their second loss in SEC competition.

    South Carolina responded quickly with a win at No. 1 doubles from the 50th-ranked duo of Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova. They upended No. 74 Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker 8-3 to mark their third win in a row against a ranked doubles opponent. The win also marked the 21st of the season for Alawi and Kanakova, making them the winningest Gamecock duo since the 2001-02 season.

    Carolina’s No. 2 squad of Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova secured the doubles point for the Gamecocks. Trailing 5-4 to Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley, the Gamecocks strung together four of the next five games to snag the 8-6 victory. They improved to 16-8 and 12-3 in duals with the win.

    The Gamecocks wasted no time in singles, securing the team win with four consecutive victories. Lechemia won first, bouncing back from her defeat in doubles play to beat Surin 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 3 position. Andersson made the score 3-0, coming out on top of the first set 7-5 after it was tied 5-all and then coasting to a 6-1 triumph in the second versus Hernandez on court six. Kanakova, the current SEC Player of the Week, provided the clinching point on four by ousting Sarah McLean 6-3, 6-3.

    No. 98 Popova and No. 97 Paulson split the first two sets of their match-up on court two, but with the match in hand, the two played a super tiebreaker for the third. With the 5-7, 6-2, (10-6) win for Popova, she became the team leader in singles victories this season with a 17-8 record. She leads the squad in dual match wins with an 11-5 mark as well.

    The Razorbacks managed to take the final two matches on court. Huxley beat Siles Luna in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 5 spot and No. 87 Alawi fell short against No. 47 Pang at the top slot 5-7, 6-4, (10-3).
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    Rebel Netters Win 24th Straight Against State
     
    OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team won the doubles point and two of the top three in singles before freshman Marija Milutinovic clinched the Rebels 24th straight win against Mississippi State, 4-1, here Friday at the Gillom Sports Center.

    The match had to be played indoors due to inclement weather. It marked the fifth consecutive SEC home match to move inside.  With the win, the Rebels improved to 8-9 overall and 4-5 in the SEC.  They will host Southern Miss in a doubleheader Sunday at 9 a.m. and Noon.

    “It was a tough match, that’s a much-improved Mississippi State team,” head coach Mark Beyers said.  “A lot of credit to our doubles. We did a great job there, and then Caroline (Rohde-Moe) and Mai (El Kamash) winning in straight sets.  Marija played one of her best matches all year, really took it to the girl.”

    The Rebels jumped on the Lady Bulldogs early in doubles at one and two and never let up.   Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven dominated at No. 2, 8-0 and then Caroline Rohde-Moe and Milutitnovic won 8-3 at No. 1 to clinch the point.

    Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 45 in the nation, gave Ole Miss a 2-0 lead, beating Georgiana Patrasc 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles.  

    State got on the board when Alexandra Perper, who played No.1 for them last year, defeated sophomore Julia Jones 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.

    Moments later, freshman Mai El Kamash finished off Naomi Tran 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3 singles to put the Rebels ahead 3-1.

    Milutinovic looked impressive at No. 5 singles, dropping only one game to State’s Roseline Dion in a 6-1, 6-0 win to clinch the Rebel victory.

    “Today was great, all of us played well,” Milutinovic said.  “It feels great right now, I am very happy.  That’s (the win streak) impressive and we are just going to try and keep it going.  

    “People might look at their (State) record (7-10, 1-8) and think that they are not very good, but it was a tough one,” Beyers said.   “It was a bit of a disadvantage to play indoors, because their top three are really good.  We were lucky to win two of those.  Caroline played a solid match, Mai was able to pick up a tough two-set win.   If you don’t do that, then it puts so much pressure on the players at the bottom.”  
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    NO. 32 TIGERS EARN HUGE ROAD WIN AT NO. 14 VANDERBILT, 4-2

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Auburn’s 32nd-ranked men’s tennis team remained unbeaten on the road in Southeastern Conference play this season, earning a 4-2 victory over No. 14 Vanderbilt on Friday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.

    The Tigers (12-6, 4-4 SEC) picked up their second straight win and third this season over a top-25 opponent and pulled back to .500 in conference play with a win over the Commodores (13-7, 4-4).

    “That was a great college tennis match today,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “I’m really proud of the guys. They played hard the whole match, and they played as a team.”

    Auburn got off to a quick start with a pair of strong wins in doubles to take an early 1-0 lead. The team of Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren pulled away early and breezed to an 8-2 win over Vandy’s Rhys Johnson and Jeff Offerdahl at the third doubles line. Auburn secured the point at the No. 2 position as Dennis Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso took care of Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran, 8-5.

    Once again, Auburn’s No. 5-ranked team of Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane had victory in their sights – they led VU’s Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe 7-4 – but were unable to add another in the win column as the doubles matches were halted after Auburn clinched the point.

    The Tigers made it a 2-0 advantage as Lengsfeld, after moving up to the No. 3 singles line this week, defeated Offerdahl in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. But the Commodores fought back at the top of the lineup. Austin, ranked No. 62 in singles, defeated Cochrane at the No. 2 spot, 6-3, 6-3, and the ‘Dores tied things up at 2-2 as 17th-ranked Lipman outlasted Mies at the top spot, 6-2, 7-6 (8).

    But the bottom of the lineup came through for Auburn. Lopasso won an epic battle at the fifth singles position, winning two tiebreakers to defeat van der Merwe, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8). And 105th-ranked Ollert clinched the victory for the Tigers in thrilling fashion with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over Kris Yee at the No. 4 position.

    Van Dooren won his first set over Johnson and was leading 5-4 in the second set when the match was halted.
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    VU women snap losing streak, down AU

    AUBURN, Ala. – No. 19 Vanderbilt put an end to its three-match losing streak with a 5-2 win over No. 22 Auburn Friday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

    With the win, Vanderbilt (12-8, 5-4) has now won 22-straight versus Auburn (14-5, 4-4) and lead the overall series 24-14.

    The Tigers won doubles point after three tough matches in the Nos. 1 and 2 positions. At No. 1, Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva took down Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira, 8-6, in a battle of highly-ranked duos. In the No. 2 position, Emily Flickinger and Jackie Kasler defeated Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares, 8-5.

    Vanderbilt picked up a win in No. 3 doubles with Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn. Altick and Sellyn defeated Jen Pfeifler and Paulina Schippers, 8-4.
    Despite losing the doubles point, the Commodores regrouped to win five of the six matches in singles. Auburn’s lone win in singles came in the No. 1 position where Burgmans defeated Mira, 6-2, 7-6.

    Casares needed three sets to defeat Flickinger in the No. 2 position, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. In the No. 3 spot, Colton also needed three sets to record her 19th victory of the season. The freshman defeated Michala Kucharova, 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.
    Sellyn notched her eighth win (8-1) in conference play by defeating Pfeifler in the No. 4 position, 6-0, 6-4. The Glasgow, Scotland, native is 13-4 in dual play and 19-6 overall.

    In No. 5 singles, Antal took down Kasler, 6-3, 6-1. The win for Antal gives her 20 wins for the season and is 15-2 in dual play. Her 20 wins lead the team, while her eight conference victories are tied for the team lead.

    To wrap up the match, Altick defeated Kurteva, 6-3, 6-4. Altick is one of four Commodores to have at least 19 total wins this season.
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    Alabama Women’s Tennis Downs Kentucky, 6-1

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s tennis team earned a 6-1 win on Friday against Kentucky at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 15-2 on the season and 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference, while the loss drops the Wildcats to 12-8 overall and 3-6 against league opponents.

    Alabama earned the first point of the match after taking doubles wins on courts one and two. Kentucky’s Edmee Morin and CeCe Witten were forced to retire with the Tide’s Antonia Foehse and Maya Jansen leading 3-0. Sixth-ranked Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane would close out doubles with a dominant 8-1 victory on court one over Caitlin McGraw and Nadia Ravita.

    In singles, Alabama won four consecutive matches before Kentucky was able to get on the board to take the overall win. Delivering the match-clincher for the Tide was Foehse, who posted a 6-2, 6-2 win on court four. The Wildcats lone win came on court one before Emily Zabor awarded Alabama the final point of the night with a win on court five.
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    Tide Men Drop Match at No. 8 Kentucky, 7-0

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Alabama men’s tennis team fell to eighth-ranked Kentucky, 7-0, Friday at the Boone Tennis Complex. With the loss, the Crimson Tide dips to 12-8 overall and 3-5 in the Southeastern Conference, while the win lifts the Wildcats to 17-6 on the season and 5-3 against league opponents.

    Kentucky took a 1-0 advantage after earning the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. First to finish was the matchup on court three where the Wildcat duo of Ryuji Hirooka and Beck Pennington topped Alabama’s Stuart Kenyon and Philippe Tsangarides, 8-1. Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai edged out the Tide’s Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra, 8-5, from court one to secure the point.

    From there, Kentucky would take all six singles matches with the clincher coming on court four.
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    No. 5 Georgia Takes Down No. 58 Missouri, 4-0
     
    ST. LOUIS—The No. 5 Georgia women’s tennis team captured its second straight shutout, beating No. 58 Missouri 4-0 Friday afternoon at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis, Mo.
     
    “I thought we really came here and played well,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “We played some really good doubles and were able to get the clinch [on courts two and three] and in singles all of our players were playing at an extremely high level. It was a really good match for us today.”
     
    The match was originally scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. in Columbia, Mo., but was moved to St. Louis at 2 p.m. due to weather concerns.
     
    Georgia took the doubles points with 8-4 wins on courts two and three. The duo of Lilly Kimbell and Mia King beat the Tigers’ Elisha Gabb and Madison Rhyner. Early in the match, Georgia trailed 0-2 but fought back, allowing the Tigers just two more games in the match. Shortly after, Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, ranked 59th in the country, topped Maria Christensen and Rachel Stuhlmann. Georgia’s Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, ranked 4th nationally, led their match 6-4, but play was suspended once the doubles point had been clinched.
     
    In singles, Lilly Kimbell quickly beat Madison Rhyner 6-2, 6-0 to pick up her eighth win of the season and give Georgia a 2-0 lead. Next, 86th-ranked Silvia Garcia topped Maria Christensen 6-1, 6-1. The win marks Garcia’s 15th of the season. Georgia clinched its 14th win of the season when Maho Kowase, ranked 18th in the nation, beat Rachel Stuhlmann, 6-1, 6-1. Kowase leads the team with five match clinchers this spring.
     
    Eighth-ranked Herring led 6-1, 5-1 and Fuller led 6-1, 4-3 when the match was suspended.
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    Gamecocks Push Past Razorbacks 5-1

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 25 South Carolina was aggressive and efficient in singles action to score a 5-1 win over No. 53 Arkansas Friday night at Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks (14-7, 4-3 SEC) dropped the doubles point but quickly turned the page to get in front in singles action, coming within a point of sweeping the six matches. Junior Chip Cox finished off the victory with a win in the No. 4 match after Thiago Pinheiro got things started with a quick win in the No. 3 contest. South Carolina’s four SEC victories are the most for the program since the 2006 squad notched five.

    “After a disappointing doubles point, each guy took it upon himself to get off to a good start in singles,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “They established their games right away, which was the only reason we got a foothold in the match. It was a dangerous scenario for us today, playing with a bullseye on our back for the first time. Playing as the favorite in an SEC match is a different kind of pressure for us to deal with. But every great player, every great team has to go through that at some point. It was a great lesson for us to learn today.”

    The Gamecocks struggled at the top and bottom of the doubles lineup, but the middle remained rock solid. Ranked 55th in the nation this week, Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies stretched their win streak to five matches with an 8-5 win over Hall Fess and Santiago Munoz. The South Carolina duo fell behind early, but a great lob from Koch got the match back on serve at 3-3. Shortly after Arkansas won the match at the top of the order with No. 35 Mike Nott and Manfred Jaske topping No. 21 Cox and Tsvetan Mihov 8-2, Pinheiro and Ben Barnette were looking to make a comeback in the No. 3 match against Victory Hoang and Austin Robles. The South Carolina sophomores had already erased one of their two breaks and were on the verge of erasing the second, but the Arkansas tandem came up with a solid second serve to stave off break point, eventually holding for a 6-4 lead. With Koch and Menzies closing out their win, the doubles point came down to the No. 3 matchup. South Carolina looked to keep up the pressure, but the Razorback duo had bounced back from it scare and held on for the 8-6 win to clinch the early lead.

    South Carolina came out on fire in singles play, led by Pinheiro and Menzies who each were up multiple breaks in the first five games of their Nos. 3 and 6 matches, respectively. Koch needed just six games to get up by two breaks in the No. 5 match, and Adams broke through in the No. 2 match to take a 4-2 lead as well. By that time, though Pinheiro and Menzies had already closed out their 6-1 first sets to set the tone for the match.

    A break forced Koch to play a few extra games, but he eventually punctuated his 6-3 first-set win over Jovan Parlic with an ace. Mihov and Adams were on serve in the Nos. 1 and 2 matches, respectively, although their matches were moving in the opposite direction. Where Mihov and Jaske struggled to hold serve early in the set, Adams, ranked 90th in the nation, and Nott were trading breaks late in their set. Trailing 5-4, Jaske was up early in his service game, but Mihov was resolute, battling back to earn the break and the set 6-4. On the next court, Nott was serving to stay in the set, only to see Adams jump out to an early lead behind a great return game that gave him the 6-4 win as well.

    Cox got off to an inauspicious start in the No. 4 match, trailing Munoz by two service breaks through five games. The never-say-die junior continued to work his way back into the match, though, getting back on serve at 5-5. Cox sustained a long service game to hold on 6-5 before taking advantage of some errors from Munoz, including one on match point to score the 7-5 win and complete the sweep of first sets for the Gamecocks.

    Mihov and Adams carried the momentum of their final-game service breaks into the second set, both establishing 4-0 leads. Pinheiro tied the match at 1-1 by dispatching Hoang in the No. 3 match with a 6-3 second set, which he sealed with an ace. After trading service breaks with Christian Lee early in the second set of the No. 6 match, Menzies nosed in front with a break to go up 5-4. Service for the match, the Gamecock senior had to battle through a long game, but he came back from an early deficit to earn his second-straight win with a half-volley up the line to make it a 2-1 South Carolina lead. With 4-1 leads in the Nos. 1 and 2 matches, Koch and Parlic were heading for a tiebreak on Court 5, trading leads through the first five points. From there, action on all four remaining courts came quickly.

    Mihov broke Jaske’s serve yet again then closed out his 6-1 second set to bring the Gamecocks within a point of the team victory. Adams had established the same 5-1 lead and was serving for the match on Court 2, while Cox edged ahead of Munoz with a break for a 5-3 lead on Court 4 just as Koch took control of his tiebreak, winning three straight points, including a backhand passing shot up the line to set up match point at 6-2. Cox won the sprint to the finish line with a 6-3 second-set win over Munoz just after Koch served what turned out to be match point in his 7-6 (3) final set. Adams had match point as well, but play was suspended before he got the serve up.
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    No. 2 Florida W-Tennis Begins Road Trip with Impressive 4-0 Win at LSU

    BATON ROUGE, La. - The second-ranked Florida women's tennis team opened its road swing with an impressive 4-0 shutout against LSU at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium on Friday evening.

    The Gators (14-2, 7-1 SEC) began the match by winning the doubles point, as the UF's No. 3 pair of Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) blanked Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor, 8-0, before 20th-ranked Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Sofie Oyen (Belgium) clinched the initial point of the dual match with an 8-5 win against Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton.

    Florida then jumped out to win the first set on all six singles courts, as Collins, Oyen and Caroline Hitimana (Belgium) polished off the victory with straight-set victories on courts six, two and five, respectively.

    The win for Hitimana was her 31st straight dual match singles victory, as the Gator senior improved to 44-4 all-time in dual match singles play, including a 20-1 record in SEC action.

    "I was really pleased with today's win," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "I thought we were fantastic on the singles court. We were focused and played smart, efficient tennis. Danielle has been out for the last few matches and was super in her return to the lineup."
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    Rebels, Rain Wash Away Bulldogs

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – The No. 10 Ole Miss men’s tennis team won the doubles point, but lost five of the first six sets in singles against No. 13 Mississippi State, before a three-plus hour rain delay changed the momentum entirely.   After the delay, the Rebels came out firing in singles on their way to a 4-2 win at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

    With the win, the Rebels improved to 13-5 overall and 6-3 in the SEC upped the season series to 2-1 in their favor.  With Texas A&M’s loss at Tennessee, the Rebels are tied with the Aggies atop the SEC Western Division in the loss column.

    After William Kallberg gave Ole Miss a 3-2 lead with his come-from-behind win at three − and with freshman Stefan Lindmark locked at 1-1 in the third at four − senior Jonas Lutjen finished off a rally to defeat long time nemesis Malte Stropp in three sets to clinch the team victory.

    “It was a great comeback by the guys; we knew that it was extremely important to get the doubles point,” head coach Billy Chadwick said.    “This was a great Mississippi State team, and it’s extremely difficult to beat them in Starkville.  We are very proud of the guys for battling back to get the win.”  

    The Rebels took the early lead in the match by winning the all-important doubles point.  Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark got back on the right side, downing State’s Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson 8-2 at No. 2 doubles.  William Kallberg and Zach Wilder teamed up for their first win together, 8-4, against MSU’s Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont to clinch the point. The Rebels are now 11-1 this season when they win the doubles point.

    State took back the momentum by winning five first sets, before the rain came and stopped play at 3:27 p.m.  

    When play resumed at approximately 6:45, the Bulldogs closed out two of the matches they led in to take a 2-1 lead.  Dumont defeated Rebel senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-2, 6-3 on court six to put the Bulldogs on the board, and then Bogaerts finished off Nik Scholtz 6-2, 6-4 at one.

    At the time of those Bulldog wins, the Rebels were battling back on two, three and four and winning at five.  Backstrom led State’s Zach White 3-2 in the second on court five at the delay, but with that court slow to dry, the two moved to court six when that match ended.  The change of court did not alter the outcome, as Backstrom closed White out 6-1, 6-2 to square the overall match at 2.

    Kallberg lost a close first set to Jordan Angus at three, but rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win to give Ole Miss the 3-2 lead.

    At court two, Stropp led Lutjen 6-1, 4-2, but the two Germans have played numerous three-setters, and Friday would not be any different.  Stropp had triple game point for a 5-2 lead, before Lutjen worked it back to break point when play stopped.  Coming out of the stoppage of play, Lutjen broke back and went on to win a second-set tiebreaker, which propelled him to a 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 win for the team victory.

    “State played really well at the start of singles,” Chadwick said.  “It was extremely windy, and they were able to play better in the conditions than we did.  The thing that helped us more than anything is the guys stayed focused. We knew that if we came out strong to start with like we did in the doubles, we could turn the match.  The conditions were much better after the delay, and we were able to get things going our way.”

    When play was suspended, Lindmark was at 1-1 in the third against Bulldog James Chaudry on court four, after the Rebel freshman had won a second set tiebreaker to stay alive.

    “We really appreciate the nice crowd of Ole Miss fans who came to support us, they were a huge boost,” Chadwick said.  “We want to see a big crowd next weekend for our last regular season SEC home matches.”
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    Texas A&M Ties School Record, Stays Undefeated With 4-2 Victory Over No. 23 Tennessee

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 3 Texas A&M tied the school record with its 13th consecutive victory and improved to 8-0 in Southeastern Conference play with a 4-2 win over No. 23 Tennessee tonight at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

    The Aggies aim to break the record and will put their undefeated conference record on the line on Easter Sunday in a top-five showdown against No. 5 Georgia. First serve is at 11 a.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

    A&M, 15-1 overall, got easy wins against the Lady Vols at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to clinch the point and take the early lead. The 72nd-ranked duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun won seven consecutive games to close out an 8-1 victory over Joanna Henderson and Caitlyn Williams at the No. 2 line.

    At the No. 3 line, Aggie twins Ines and Paula Deheza lost their first two games against Tiffany Tavares and Sarah Toti but then reeled off eight consecutive games for the 8-2 victory, giving Texas A&M a 1-0 lead.

    The feature top-10 doubles match-up of the night went unfinished as Tennessee’s third-ranked tandem of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely had won four straight games to take a 5-4 lead over A&M’s seventh-ranked pair of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu at the No. 1 line when the doubles point was decided and play was stopped.

    “Tennessee is a team that is coming on really strong, and so I really consider this to be a good win for us,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “We won the doubles point fairly handily, and yet it took a couple of hours and everything we had to get over the finish line today. I was really proud of our girls, and a lot of credit to the coaches at Tennessee and the Tennessee players. On the road, down the doubles point, they hung in there, and that match could have gone either way, no question.”

    A&M went on to build a 2-0 lead at the start of singles as Hristov sprinted to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Jesse Grace at the No. 6 line. It was the sixth consecutive win for the freshman from Romania, who improved to 9-0 at the No. 6 court and 13-3 in dual matches.

    “(Hristov) is definitely in my view a better player than the girl she played, but she actually surpassed what I thought,” Joffe said.  “I didn’t think she is 6-0, 6-0 better. She played really well. She was very, very focused and that helps. And that also hints at the depth of our team, because at No. 6, that match is over awful quick.”

    Although A&M held a 2-0 lead, the momentum began to shift to Tennessee’s favor as the Lady Vols had first-set leads on four courts. Tavares went on to complete a 6-2, 6-0 win over Sun at the No. 5 line to put Tennessee on the board, and 38th-ranked Szekely immediately followed with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 68 Stancu at the No. 2 court to even the score at 2-2.

    “There is no question that one of the things that as a coach, you don’t want to have the players watch the scoreboard, and yet nothing I can say is going to prevent it,” Joffe said. “All of the kids are all keenly aware of the context of the match, so for Ines and Nazari, they were very well aware that we were tied at 2-2, and our fate somewhat rests on their shoulders.”

    Urbina eventually put the Aggies ahead, 3-2, winning three consecutive games to break away for a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Williams at No. 3. With the win, Urbina improved to 8-0 in SEC matches, including 7-0 at the No. 3 line.

    “I didn’t get to see a ton of (Urbina’s) match, but from what Coach (Mark) Weaver said, she played awful good tennis against a very fine player,” Joffe said. “I feel like based on what I heard, Nazari was always sort of going to win that match, but funny things happen under pressure.”

    Ines Deheza then clinched the match for the Aggies, improving to 5-0 in SEC play after overcoming a 3-1 first-set deficit to win, 6-4, 6-3.

    “I don’t know in the case of Ines that that was her best tennis, but she did an awful good job of fighting and hanging in there to get over the proverbial finish line,” Joffe added. “Ines was doing all the running, and the points were real long and back and forth. While it wasn’t Ines’ best tennis, it does reveal a lot about her character. She’s one tough, tough, cookie, so I was real proud of her.”

    At No. 1 singles, the match was close to splitting sets as 21st-ranked Boren held off No. 5 Sanchez-Quintanar, 7-5, in the opening set, but Sanchez-Quintanar built a 4-1 lead in the second set when A&M captured the team win.
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