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A&M Advances to National Indoor Championship With Win Over DePaul

January 26, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 7 Texas A&M women’s tennis team punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 4-1 victory over DePaul in the championship match of the ITA Kick-Off Classic today at the sun-splashed George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

It is the second consecutive year the Aggies (2-0) have qualified for the 16-team national tournament, to be held Feb. 7-10, in Charlottesville, Va.

“From the biggest overview, what this (victory) is going to allow our young group to do is to go back up to Virginia and at a minimum play three top-20 teams, which is exactly what this team needs,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “If this match goes a little differently, we miss out on that experience.

“On the basis of getting the win, I’m absolutely thrilled. It gives us a week or so to prepare (for the national indoor tournament), and it’s a great opportunity for us. All in all, this was a good win.”

A&M raced to a 1-0 lead against the Blue Demons, easily winning two of the three doubles matches by identical 6-1 scores. Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, ranked No. 22 in the nation in doubles, took just over 20 minutes to defeat DePaul’s Jasmin Kling and Kelsey Lawson at the No. 1 court. After unable to hold serve in the opening set, the Aggie duo won the next six games to close out the victory.

Saska Gavrilovska and Anna Mamalat quickly followed to clinch the point for the Aggies. The A&M pair broke away from a 1-1 tie against Rebecca Mitrea and Zaina Sufi at the No. 3 line, reeling off five consecutive games to win the match and put the Aggies ahead, 1-0.

DePaul’s Patricia Fargas and Ana Vladutu held a 3-1 lead over Rutuja Bhosale and Ines Deheza at No. 2 when the doubles point was decided and the match was stopped.

Gavrilovska, a freshman who clinched A&M’s victory against Mississippi State on Saturday to send the Aggies to the championship match, gave A&M a 2-0 lead at the start of singles, defeating Kling 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 3 line.

Vladutu, ranked No. 52 in singles, then put the Blue Demons on the board and within 2-1, after breaking away from a 4-4 first-set tie to down Mamalat 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 2 line.

Jana McCord, a freshman making her Aggie debut, had a come-from-behind victory against Mitrea at the No. 6 line to give A&M a 3-1 cushion. McCord dropped the first four games of the match but then won the next three to get within 4-3. Mitrea would go on to win the next three games to close out the set, but McCord cruised to a 6-0 win in the second set to force a 10-point tiebreaker for the decisive third set. McCord built an 8-4 lead before Mitrea rallied to knot the score at 8-all. McCord, however, won the next two points to post the victory.

“Today was her first shot as a freshman,” Joffe said about McCord. “I don’t know if she could have been more nervous or played worse in the beginning of her match. To her credit, she managed to figure stuff out and ended up running out a winner. For her I was thrilled, and for our team it became obvious that if Jana won, we were sort of over the hump. Hristov, as a function of insurance, was closing in on as well, but that was a big win in context of the match.”

Stancu, ranked No. 14 in the nation in singles, then capped the team victory for the Aggies. The lone senior on the team won three consecutive games to close out a 6-2 win in the first set and also won three straight to break away from a 3-3 second-set tie to win the match and secure the team win for the Aggies.

Hristov held a comfortable 6-3, 5-2 lead against Sufi at the No. 5 line, while Lawson had a 7-6 (6), 4-2 edge over Deheza at No. 4 when play was stopped.

In the consolation match played earlier in the day, Mississippi State defeated No. 68 San Jose State, 4-1.

A&M hits the road to take on No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 4 in Chapel Hill, N.C., and then will head to Charlottesville. First serve against the Tar Heels is slated for 4 p.m. (CT).

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.

No. 7 Texas A&M 4, DePaul 1
ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Championship Match)
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
January 26, 2014

Singles
1.     #14 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. Patricia Fargas (DPU), 6-2, 6-3
2.     #52 Ana Vladutu (DPU) def. Anna Mamalat (TAMU), 6-4, 6-0
3.     Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. Jasmin Kling (DPU), 6-2, 6-2
4.     Ines Deheza (TAMU) vs. Kelsey Lawson (DPU), 6-7 (6), 2-4 (unfinished)
5.     Stefania Hristov (TAMU) vs. Zaina Sufi (DPU), 6-3, 5-2 (unfinished)
6.     Jana McCord (TAMU) def. Rebeca Mitrea (DPU) 3-6, 6-0, 1-0 (8)

Doubles (Texas A&M wins the point)
1.     #22 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) def. Kling/Lawson (DPU), 6-1
2.     #51 Rutuja Bhosale/I. Deheza (TAMU) vs. Fargas/Vladutu (DPU), 1-3 (unfinished)
3.     Gavrilovska/Mamalat (TAMU) def. Mitrea/Sufi (DPU), 6-1

Order of finish
Doubles:  1, 3
Singles: 3, 2, 6, 1

Team records
Texas A&M: 2-0
DePaul: 1-1

Mississippi State 4, No. 68 San Jose State 2
ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Consolation Match)
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
January 26, 2014

Singles
1.     Marie Klocker (SJSU) vs. #84 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 6-4, 5-3 unfinished
2.     Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao (SJSU), 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (1)
3.     Timea Guibe (MSU) def. Gaelle Rey (SJSU), 6-4, 7-5
4.     Julianna Bacelar (SJSU) def. Naomi Tran (MSU), 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (8)
5.     Roseline Dion (MSU) def. Jessica Willett (SJSU), 6-2, 6-0
6.     Justine Deleval (SJSU) def. Rosalinda Calderon (MSU), 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (7)

Doubles (MSU wins the point)
1.     Guibe/Perper (MSU) def. Chao/Klocker (SJSU), 7-6 (2)
2.     Patrasc/Tran (MSU) def. Rey/Willett (SJSU), 7-5
3.     Bacelar/Deleval (SJSU) def. Dion/Calderon (MSU), 6-1

Order of finish
Doubles:  3, 2, 1
Singles: 5, 4, 2, 6, 3

Team records
SJSU: 2-3
Mississippi State: 2-1

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