"I played much better today," the junior from Campo de Criptana, Spain said. "I was a little more relaxed and a lot more comfortable today."
Sanchez-Quintanar, the No. 7 seed in the 64-player field, nearly didn't make it past the first round, finding herself down triple match point but then rallying to defeat 52nd-ranked Alexa Guarachi of Alabama, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (3) in yesterday's opener.
"Today I was feeling the ball better and was more used to the court," Sanchez-Quintanar said. "My first serve was working, my shots were going where I wanted them to go, and as the match went on, I just got a lot more confident in my entire game. Today when the ball was coming, I was not scared or nervous, and in the last two or three games of the match, I was playing my best. It felt nice to play better today."
Sanchez-Quintanar broke Kissell's serve in her first two opportunities to jump out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the match and led the entire contest as she improved to 39-5.
Sanchez-Quintanar, who opens doubles play this afternoon with partner Wen Sun, becomes only the third player in A&M history to reach the round of 16, joining Helga Vieira (2005) and Kim Labuschagne, who advanced to the quarterfinals in 1987.
Sanchez-Quintanar will take on a familiar foe in the round of 16 on Friday, as she will face the winner between 16th-ranked Diana Nakic of Baylor and 29th-ranked Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State. Sanchez-Quintanar, the 2012 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year after going 9-0 in league action, went a combined 4-0 against the two during the Big 12 regular season and in the conference tournament. All four matches were hard-fought straight-set victories.
Nakic, a No. 9-16 seed, did post a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Sanchez-Quintanar in the finals of the ITA Texas Regional in October. Sanchez-Quintanar also played Niedermayerova, the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year, once in the fall, defeating the Wildcat, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3, in the consolation quarterfinals at the ITA National Indoor Championships.
"No matter who I play, it is going to be really hard," Sanchez-Quintanar said. "They are the two best players that I played in the Big 12. They fight hard and are just really good players."