“Naturally our group is bitterly disappointed with the loss,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said, “however Northwestern deserves a ton of credit for playing with great passion and skill. I was very proud of our fight, and hopefully we learn and profit from the experience."
The Aggies (3-1) got off to a slow start and dropped the doubles point for the first time this season. A&M’s 22nd-ranked pair of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu suffered its first loss in three decisions, falling to 35th-ranked Alicia Barnett and Veronica Corning, 6-3, at the No. 1 line.
The Wildcats (3-1) then took a 1-0 lead as Nida Hamilton and Maddie Lipp finished off 57th-ranked Rutuja Bhosale and Ines Deheza, 7-5, at No. 2. Northwestern also held a 5-4 lead at the No. 3 line when play was stopped.
"We missed out on a number of opportunities in the doubles, which is unfortunate,” Joffe said. “That made the pressure and task for a young team too great tonight."
The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead at the start of singles with Hamilton defeating Bhosale, 7-5, 6-1, at the No. 6 line before Hristov put A&M within 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jillian Rooney at No. 5.
Northwestern then went up 3-1 as Corning held off 14th-ranked Stancu in a contentious three-set match at No. 1. Stancu pulled away from a 4-4 tie to win the first set, 6-4, but Corning won three straight games to close out a 6-3 win in the second set to force a third-set super tiebreaker. Corning was serving for the match leading 9-7. Stancu claimed the ball went through the net on the server and therefore did not play the ball. The umpire overruled Stancu, and Corning was awarded the match-winning point that gave the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Mamalat and Deheza kept the Aggies alive and knotted the team score at 3-3 with wins at the Nos. 3 and 4 lines, respectively. Mamalat defeated Barnett, 6-3, 7-6 (4), and Deheza held off Lok Sze Leung, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9).
The match came down to the No. 2 court, where 105th-ranked Nia topped Gavrilovska, 7-5, 6-2, to give the Wildcats the victory.
The Aggies will play host and 14th-ranked Virginia Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 CT) in a consolation match. Live scoring and video will be available at AggieAthletics.com.
Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.
Visit the official ITA event page for complete coverage of the 2014 ITA Division I National Women's Team Indoor Championship, including access to draws and live scores and more.
No. 16 Northwestern 4, No. 7 Texas A&M 3
ITA National Team Indoor Championship
Boar’s Head Sports Club Chapel Hill, N.C.
February 7, 2014
1. Veronica Corning (NU) def. #14 Cristina Stancu (TAMU), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (7)
2. #105 Belinda Niu (NU) def. Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU), 7-5, 6-2
3. Anna Mamalat (TAMU) def. Alicia Barnett (NU), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Lok Sze Leung (NU), 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (9)
5. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Jillian Rooney (NU), 6-3, 6-2
6. Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU), 7-5, 6-1
Doubles (Northwestern wins the point)
1. Barnett/Corning (NU) def. #22 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU), 6-3
2. Hamilton/Maddie Lipp (NU) def. #51 Bhosale/I. Deheza (TAMU), 7-5
3. Gavrilovska/Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Niu/Manon Peri (NU), 4-5 unfinished
Order of finish
Doubles: 1, 2
Singles: 6, 5, 1, 3, 4, 2
Texas A&M: 3-1