“Give Kentucky a lot of credit,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “They fought very hard. The match became very exciting in the end. We’re just happy to get away with a win this evening.”
A&M was able to jump out to an early lead by claiming the doubles point with victories on courts one and two. The tandem of Ines Deheza and Saska Gavrilovska remained perfect at the No. 2 line this season as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead on their way to an 8-2 win over the 57th-ranked pair of Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi. Moments later, the Aggies would clinch the point when the duo of Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov ousted Caitlin McGraw and CeCe Witten, 8-4, at the No. 1 line. The top-team for the Maroon and White improved to 6-2 with the victory.
After Kentucky evened the match at 1-1, A&M’s 57th-ranked Gavrilovska dispatched Kelsey Dieters, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 3 line to regain the lead. The freshman jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and won the final four games in the second set on her way to the victory.
A&M would expand its lead to 3-1 when Hristov battled back from a 0-3 deficit in the second set to post a 6-4, 6-3 win over Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff at the No. 4 singles line to put even more pressure on the Wildcats. The sophomore won her first four games in the first set before she secured the win.
Needing only one more singles victory to secure the overall team victory, A&M’s highest-ranked individual and lone senior, Stancu, cruised to a 6-0 victory in the pivotal third set, dropping 51st-ranked Ravita, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, at the No. 1 line to give the Aggies the win. The nation’s 15th-ranked player also built a four-game cushion in the first set before posting her sixth win of the season.
“The young lady that Cristina played is a very fine, young player,” Joffe said on his senior. “They had a very strange match. Stancu got off to a great start and was reeled in a little in the first set. She had some opportunities in the second set to close the door. I don’t feel she did anything wrong. Ravita of Kentucky played some of the big points better. I’ve got to give Stancu a lot of credit. She came out with the match on the line and performed her best to give us the victory.”
The team will be in action again on Sunday for a top-10 showdown with the seventh-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. First serve in that contest is slated for noon. To learn more about the women’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieWTEN on Twitter.
No. 10 Texas A&M 4, No. 22 Kentucky 2
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
March 7, 2014
*1. #15 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) def. #51 Nadia Ravita (UK) 6-2, 5-7, 6-0
2. Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. Ines Deheza (TAMU) 7-5, 6-2
3. #57 Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. Kelsey Dieters (UK) 6-2, 6-2
4. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 6-4, 6-3
5. #118 Anna Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Kirsten Lewis (UK) 7-5, 4-4 (unfinished)
6. Caitlin McGraw (UK) def. Jana McCord (TAMU) 6-1, 6-1
Doubles (TAMU wins the point)
1. Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) def. Witten/McGraw (UK) 8-4
2. Deheza/Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. #57 Ravita/Sutjiadi (UK) 8-2
3. McCord/Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Lewis/Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 2-7 (unfinished)
Order of finish
Singles: 6, 3, 4, 2, 1*
Doubles: 2, 1
Texas A&M: 8-3, 2-1 SEC
Kentucky: 12-3, 2-1 SEC