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No. 3 Texas A&M Faces No. 14 Virginia in NCAA Sweet 16

May 16, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
URBANA, Ill. – The No. 3 Texas A&M women’s tennis team continues its run in the NCAA Championship as the Aggies take on No. 14 seed Virginia in the round of 16, Friday at 4 p.m. at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at Atkins Tennis Center.

2013 NCAA WOMEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. (Univ. of Illinois host)

Round of 16, Friday, May 17
No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Virginia, 4 p.m. (CT)

Quarterfinal, Sunday, May 19
Texas A&M-Virginia winner vs. No. 6 Miami-No. 11 Northwestern winner, 4 p.m.

Semifinals, Monday, May 20, 5 p.m.

Championship, Tuesday, May 21, 5 p.m.

Tournament Central (live video/scoring): http://www.fightingillini.com/ncaatennis2013/

Twitter: @NCAATennis13; @AggieWTEN

TEXAS A&M-VIRGINIA TOURNAMENT QUICK FACTS
Texas A&M
Record: 23-3
Ranking: 3
Conference: Southeastern (SEC)
Conf. Record (Finish): 12-1 (1st-tie)
NCAA Appearance: 19th
Last Appearance: 2012
NCAA Championship Record: 14-18
2013 NCAA Results:
  1st Round: def. Southern, 4-0
  2nd Round: def. No. 29 TCU, 4-1
NCAA Best Finish: Round of 16, 2004
All-Time Series vs. Virginia: 2-0
Last meeting: A&M won 5-2, March 13, 2013
Coach: Howard Joffe
Career Record: 90-47 (6th season)
Record at A&M: 42-9 (2nd season)
 
Virginia
Record: 19-9
Ranking: 14
Conference: Atlantic Coast (ACC)
Conf. Record (Finish): 9-2 (2nd-tie)
NCAA Appearance: 14th
Last Appearance: 2012
NCAA Championship Record: 12-13
2013 NCAA Results:
  1st Round: def. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-0
  2nd Round: def. No. 18 Texas, 4-3
NCAA Best Finish: Round of 16 (2011, 2012)
All-Time Series vs. Texas A&M: 0-2
Last meeting: A&M won 5-2, March 13, 2013
Coach: Mark Guilbeau
Career Record: 278-169 ((17th season)
Record at UVA: 124-80 (8th season)
TEXAS A&M NOTES
·         Texas A&M (23-3) is making its 14th consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the NCAA Championship.
·         The Aggies are advancing to the Round of 16 for only the second time in school history, having also reached the Sweet 16 in 2004 before falling to No. 5 seed Clemson, 4-1.
·         A&M is a school-record No. 3 seed in the 64-team field. A&M was the No. 12 seed in the 2004 tournament, marking the only other time the Aggies have been seeded.
·         A&M is 14-18 all-time in NCAA tournament matches.
·         A&M entered the 2013 NCAA Championship 15-3 record against the tournament field this season, including a 4-3 victory over two-time defending national champion Florida, which helped propel the Aggies to a share of the SEC regular season title.
·         A&M is 5-3 this season against teams in the Round of 16, including 2-0 against Virginia.
·         Texas A&M is one of seven schools to have both its men’s and women’s teams competing in the Round of 16.
SERIES NOTES VS. VIRGINIA
·         Texas A&M is 2-0 all-time against Virginia with both meetings occurring this season.
·         Then-No. 13 A&M defeated host and then-12th-ranked UVA, 4-1, on Feb. 10 at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va., in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
·         The teams also met March 13 in College Station, with the third-ranked Aggies defeating No. 47 UVA, 5-2, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

HOW TEXAS A&M REACHED THE ROUND OF 16
The Aggies defeated Southern, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday, May 11. It marked the first time the Aggies had competed since falling to Florida on April 20 in the semifinals of the SEC Championship. A&M won the doubles point against the Jaguars with 8-1 victories at both the Nos. 2 and 3 lines. A&M continued its dominance in the singles, winning all six first sets and going a combined 67-6 in games on all six courts. Cristina Stancu didn’t drop a game as she gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Danielle Dixon at the No. 2 line. Ines Deheza also nearly completed a shutout, defeating Camara Davis, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4 to put A&M ahead, 3-0. Fourth-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar capped the team victory with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Gabrielle Moore at the No. 1 line.

A&M defeated No. 29 TCU, 4-1, in the NCAA second round match on Sunday. The 49th-ranked senior tandem of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun Wen gave the Aggies the edge in the race for the doubles point, winning their first six games en route to an 8-1 victory over TCU’s Federica Denti and Kelsey Sundaram at the No. 2 line. Freshmen twins Ines and Paula Deheza clinched the point for the Aggies and ran their winning streak to seven with a win at the No. 3 line. They were tied, 2-2, with Monika Sirilova and Stefanie Tan before reeling off six consecutive games to close out the 8-2 victory that gave A&M a 1-0 lead.

Singles began with A&M quickly notching straight-set victories at the Nos. 3 and 4 courts to take a 3-0 lead. Senior Nazari Urbina posted her 98th career victory with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 122nd-ranked Smith at the No. 3 line to put the Aggies ahead, 2-0. Ines Deheza won four consecutive games to close out a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Sundaram at No. 4 to give the Aggies a 3-0 lead.

Despite the deficit, TCU began gaining the momentum. Sirilova put the Horned Frogs on the board and cut the margin to 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Sun at the No. 5 line. TCU also won first sets on courts 1, 2 and Denti had built a 5-0 first set lead over Hristov at the No. 6 line.  Never one to be counted out, Hristov charged back, winning the next five games to tie the set at 5-5. Denti took a 6-5 lead, but Hristov fought off five set points to tie the frame at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker. Hristov won the first three points in the tiebreaker and went on to win, 7-4, to take the set. Hristov didn’t drop a game in the second set to complete the 7-6 (4), 6-0 victory to clinch the winning point and send the Aggies on to the round of 16.

Sanchez-Quintanar, ranked No. 4, had lost her first set, 6-4, to 44th-ranked Tan at the No. 1 court and the score was tied, 5-5, in the second set when Hristov clinched the match. Also 68th-ranked Stancu had struggled at No. 2, playing through an ankle injury suffered early in the first set. Stancu was leading Simona Parajova, 3-2, in the opening frame before suffering the injury. Although Stancu went on to win the game to take a 4-2 lead, Parajova took advantage of the situation and came back to win the set, 7-5. Stancu then won the second set, 6-0, to force a third set and was leading 3-2 when play was stopped.

 TEXAS A&M IN THE ITA RANKINGS
·        Texas A&M is No. 3 in the latest ITA team rankings, released May 2. The ranking equals the highest ranking in school history set earlier this season. The Aggies received their first-ever No. 3 ranking on March 12 and also held the No. 3 spot on March 19, March 26 and April 9.  Entering the season, the previous all-time highest team ranking was a No. 9 showing on March 28, 2001.
·        Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, who came to A&M with coach Howard Joffe in 2012 after playing one year at Maryland, became the highest ranked singles player in Texas A&M history when she was ranked No. 4 on Feb. 28, 2012. She broke her own record this season as she was listed No. 3 in the Jan. 3 preseason singles ranking. She has been ranked in the top seven for the entire 2012-13 season and entered the NCAA tournament ranked No. 4.
·        After not being listed in the January 3 preseason singles rankings, senior Nazari Urbina has worked her way up to a No. 52 ranking. Junior Cristina Stancu is No. 68, rounding out A&M’s nationally ranked singles players.
·        In doubles, Stancu and freshman Stefania Hristov are No. 18. They have been ranked as high as No. 7 (March 26), the highest doubles ranking in school history. Sanchez-Quintanar and senior partner Wen Sun also are listed in the doubles rankings, as they entered NCAAs ranked No. 49.
 
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH HOWARD JOFFE
Texas A&M head coach Howard Joffe (pronounced JOFF-ee) continues to lead the program to new heights in his second season at the helm of the Aggies, including an all-time high No. 3 national ranking. In A&M’s inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference, he also led the women’s tennis team to the school’s first SEC regular season championship title in any sport. This season, Joffe has directed A&M to a 23-3 record, including 21-3 against ranked opponents and 12-1 in SEC matches. Six wins were against teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation, including a win against two-time defending champion and fourth-ranked Florida to mark the biggest win in program history. It was the Gators’ first regular-season SEC loss since 2009, and the loss snapped their 45-match overall win streak against SEC opponents. Joffe’s Aggies also tied the school record for consecutive wins with 13, tying the record set in Joffe’s first season at A&M. Joffe is 90-47 (.657) record in his sixth season as a head coach, including a 42-9 (.824) mark in two seasons at the helm of the Aggies.
 
Joffe played college tennis at Pepperdine from 1990-92 and led the Wave to three consecutive West Coast Conference titles. He was an ITA All-American in 1992, the same year he was the 1992 WCC singles champion and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. After three years (1992-94) on the professional tour, Joffe began his coaching career in South Africa. In 2002, he was hired as the women’s assistant coach at perennial power USC, where he finished his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006. The two-time ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year and a runner-up for the 2006 national award, Joffe left USC in 2007 to be the head coach at Miami (Ohio). In his second season, Joffe was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading the RedHawks to a 16-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. He then left to become the head coach at Maryland, where he led the Terrapins to an NCAA tournament berth in 2011.
 
SANCHEZ-QUINTANAR IS A&M’S FIRST TWO-TIME ALL-AMERICAN
Texas A&M senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar became the school’s first two-time All-American in women’s tennis after receiving a school record-high No. 4 seed in the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship 64-player field. Sanchez-Quintanar first guaranteed herself All-America honors from the ITA last year after being named the No. 7 seed in the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship. She was A&M’s first All-American since 2005 and fifth overall, but she became the first in school history to garner the distinction by virtue of being a top 16 seed. Sanchez-Quintanar advanced to the quarterfinals in 2012, tying former Aggie All-American Kim Labuschagne (1987) for the best finish in program history. Sanchez-Quintanar is the first All-American coached by Howard Joffe, who is in his second year at A&M and in the sixth season of his head coaching career.
 
A&M SENDS FOUR TO NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Seniors Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina will compete in singles, and the Aggie tandem of freshman Stefania Hristov and junior Cristina Stancu will compete in doubles at the NCAA Individual Championships to be conducted May 22-27 at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. All matches will be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.
 
Sanchez-Quintanar is making her third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Singles Championship. Last year, she received a No. 7 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals, tying former Aggie All-American Kim Labuschagne (1987) for the best finish in A&M history. Sanchez-Quintanar made her first tournament appearance in 2011, her only season at Maryland. The then-sophomore became the Terrapins’ first-ever player to reach the singles round of 32 after defeating Urbina in the first round.
 
Urbina also is making history, as she is making a school-record fourth consecutive appearance. In 2010, Urbina became A&M’s first-ever freshman to compete in the elite event, and last year she became the first Aggie to compete in three NCAA singles tournaments.
 
Stancu, in her first year at A&M after transferring from Maryland, and Hristov are 19-9 overall and ranked No. 18 in the nation in doubles. They set the school record for the highest doubles ranking in program history earlier this season when they were tabbed No. 7 in the nation. In the fall, the duo won the ITA Texas Regional, including a 9-7 victory over then sixth-ranked Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo of Texas Tech to earn an automatic berth to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in New York.
 
CHART CHASERS
·         Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar enters the NCAA championships boasting a .854 (76-13) career winning percentage in singles. She will obliterate the school record of .765 (91-28) held by Morgan Frank (2008-11).
·         Sanchez-Quintanar ranks third in the A&M records for most singles wins in a season with a 36-7 record. Last year, she went 40-6 (.870), ranking second in the A&M records for most wins and shattering the school record for highest winning percentage in a single season.
·         Senior Nazari Urbina’s 98 career singles victories places her fourth in the A&M records. Anna Blagodarova holds down the No. 3 spot with 100 victories from 2005 to 2008, and the all-time record is 113 held by Nicki Mechem (2003-04, 2006-07).
 
AGGIES GARNER ALL-SEC ACCOLADES
Texas A&M seniors Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina were named to the All-SEC first team for women’s tennis and Aggie junior Cristina Stancu was named to the second team, according to a vote of the league’s head tennis coaches.
 
Playing in the nation’s toughest conference, which boasts four teams ranked in the Top 10, the trio helped the Aggie women’s tennis team capture the school’s first SEC regular season championship in any sport as A&M went 12-1 in conference play to tie two-time defending national champion Florida and No. 4-ranked Georgia for the overall league title. The Aggies also won the SEC Western Division, finishing with a two-game lead over second-place Alabama, ranked No. 9 in the nation.
 
PASSING SHOTS
·         A win against Virginia would not only send A&M to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, but it also will give the Aggies a 24-3 record, matching the 2004 team for the most wins in history.
·         A&M’s 2004 trip to its only other Round of 16 appearance also began with a 4-0 victory over Southern in College Station.
·         Texas A&M entered the 2013 NCAA Championship 15-3 against the tournament field, including a 4-3 victory over two-time defending national champion Florida.
·         A&M is 5-3 this season against teams in the Round of 16.
·         The Aggies are 21-3 against ranked opponents, including a 4-3 victory against then-No. 4 Florida, marking A&M’s highest ranked win in school history.
·         A&M is 10-3 against Top 25 foes and 6-3 against teams ranked in the top 10.
·         A&M is 17-0 when No. 1 singles wins, 14-0 when No. 2 singles wins, 14-0 when No. 3 singles wins, and 11-0 when No. 5 singles wins. The Aggies also are 17-1 when winning the doubles point.
·         The No. 6 line has the most singles wins with a 19-4 record, including a 13-1 record from freshman Stefania Hristov.
·         The Aggies are a combined 45-14 at the No. 1, 2 and 3 singles lines.
·         A&M is a combined 43-24 at the three doubles lines.
·         The doubles team of twin sisters Ines and Paula Deheza is riding a team-best seven-match winning streak. They also lead the team in doubles victories with a 17-5 record in dual matches.
·         Texas A&M has won eight of its last nine matches with the only loss coming against current No. 1-ranked Florida in the semifinals of the SEC Championship tournament.
·         A&M has three seniors who are concluding their Aggie careers: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Wen Sun and Nazari Urbina.
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