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Aggies, Longhorns Clash on Senior Night

April 16, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M women's tennis team closes out its regular season home schedule Tuesday as the 20th-ranked Aggies play host to No. 13 Texas in a State Farm Lone Star Showdown. First serve is at 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

It will be Senior Night at the courts, and Aggie seniors Sheri Olivier and Lauren Santacroce will be recognized prior to the match.

In addition, free Double Dave's pizza rolls will be available inside the main entrance while supplies last. Gates open at 5 p.m. Also a free Babolat racket will be given away to one lucky fan at the match. Fans can sign up for the contest upon entering at the main gate, and the winning name will be drawn during the break between doubles and singles.

The Aggies (13-3, 4-1 Big 12), who will be facing their fourth consecutive Top 25 opponent, are in fourth place in the Big 12 Conference with three matches remaining. They will be looking to end a three-match losing skid, which includes a 4-3 setback to No. 22 and then-Big 12 leader Texas Tech in their most recent outing.

Texas (13-5, 6-0 Big 12) has won six consecutive matches and has taken over sole possession of first place in the league standings after knocking off both No. 12 Baylor and the Lady Raiders last weekend. After defeating Baylor (19-6, 5-2 Big 12) 4-3 on Saturday, the Longhorns handed Tech (16-4, 6-1 Big 12) its first conference loss of the year, defeating the Lady Raiders, 4-2, in Austin on Sunday. Only singles were played due to the threat of rain.

Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar leads the Aggies with a 16-1 record in dual matches, including a 6-0 Big 12 mark at the No. 1 line. Her No. 5 national singles ranking is the highest in the Big 12, and her 29-5 overall record puts her in a tie for ninth in the A&M all-time records for most wins in a season. Sanchez-Quintanar needs one more win to reach the 30-victory milestone, which also will move her into a tie for seventh in the Aggie season records.

Juniors Nazari Urbina and Wen Sun are 5-1 at the Nos. 2 and 3 lines, respectively, in Big 12 play. Urbina, who enters the week ranked No. 84 in singles, is 14-3 in dual matches, including 9-1 in her last 10 outings.

Sun is ranked No. 78 and is 13-4 in dual matches, all at the No. 3 line. She has won eight of her last 10 matches.

The Aggies have won the doubles point in all but three matches - the season opener and each of the last two matches - and are a combined 36-14 at the three doubles lines. Urbina and Janelle Cuthbertson, who missed the last two matches with an injury, are riding a 12-match winning streak and are 12-1 at the No. 2 line, including 5-0 in conference matches. Cuthbertson, who also plays No. 5 singles for the Aggies, is listed as day-to-day.

Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun are 11-6, including 4-2 in conference play, at the No. 1 line, and Olivier and Santacroce are 12-3 at the No. 3 line, including 4-2 in Big 12 matches.

The Longhorns enter the week with two ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams. (New rankings will be released on Tuesday.) Junior Aeriel Ellis is No. 26 and senior Krista Damico is No. 64 in singles. In doubles, the freshmen duo of Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott is No. 42, and Ellis and sophomore Cierra Gaytan-Leach are No. 71.

Gaytan-Leach, who clinched both of Texas' most recent victories from the No. 4 line, was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday. She has won her last five conference matches and is on a four-match winning streak. Gaytan-Leach is currently 11-7 in dual matches and 5-1 in Big 12 contests.

Texas owns a commanding 43-6 lead in the all-time series and has won the last nine meetings. Last year, the Longhorns topped A&M, 6-1, in Austin. The Aggies have not defeated the Longhorns since a 6-1 victory in 2006 in College Station.

A&M finishes out the regular season at No. 46 Oklahoma State and at No. 49 Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday. The Aggies will then host the men's and women's Big 12 Tennis Championships, April 26-29, at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

Tickets for the Big 12 Championships can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-888-99-AGGIE.

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