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Aggies Eliminated at NCAA Singles Championship

May 21, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M’s Saska Gavrilovska and Cristina Stancu both suffered straight-set losses and were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championship, today at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Gavrilovska, the second freshman in Texas A&M history to earn a berth in the prestigious tournament, fell to two-time All-American Anett Schutting of California, 6-4, 6-1. Schutting is a No. 9-16 seed in the 64-player field, and she is 18th in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national singles rankings.

Stancu, a No. 9-16 seed who is currently 10th in the ITA singles rankings, then dropped a 6-0, 6-4 decision to Cal’s 23rd-ranked Zsofi Susanyi. After a lopsided first set, the second set was on serve until Susanyi came away with the only break in the set to go up 4-3. Each player then held serve to close out the match.

"Unfortunately both Tina and Saska performed below their capabilities and even looked tired on court,” Texas A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “The opposition was as good as one can find, and on that basis we weren't really in the matches. Certainly today does not obscure the fact that Stancu has had a magnificent career for the Aggies, and Gavrilovska as a freshmen will be a force to be reckoned with for anyone in college in the future."

Gavrilovska, the 2014 ITA Texas Region Rookie Player of the Year who entered the tournament with a No. 56 ranking and riding a career-best seven-match win streak, completes her inaugural  campaign 20-8 overall.

Stancu, who earned A&M’s seventh All-America certificate by virtue of her top 16 seed in the NCAA tournament, finishes 33-9 in singles, tying for fifth in the A&M all-time season records for most victories.

Although eliminated from the singles portion of the tournament, Stancu and sophomore teammate Stefania Hristov begin competition in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday. They will open against Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State at a time to be determined.

"Hopefully our doubles will come out with renewed energy tomorrow,” Joffe added. “It's a wonderful opportunity."

Stancu and Hristov enter the doubles tournament 24-10 overall and ranked No. 14 after having reached a season-high No. 12 ranking on April 22.  This is the second NCAA appearance by the Romanian duo, which suffered a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 opening-round loss to No. 5-8 seed Hermon Brhane and Whitney Ritchie of Oklahoma in 2013 in Urbana, Ill.

The Georgia State tandem also is making its second consecutive appearance in the doubles championship. Tere-Apisah, one of the most decorated student-athletes in Georgia State athletic history, and Grgan are ranked 25th with a 23-4 overall record, and they enter the tournament riding a nine-match win streak. They helped lead the Panthers to a 13-8 record this season, including a historic first-round 4-3 victory over Tennessee which marked the first time a Panthers women’s athletic program posted a win in NCAA tournament play.

Last year, Tere-Apisah and Grgan pushed No. 3-seeded Patricia Veresova and Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska to the limit before suffering a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6) opening-round loss.

This marks the 14th year A&M has competed in the NCAA Doubles Championship. A&M, which sent two teams to the 1986 tournament, is 2-14 all-time with Jessica Roland and Helga Vieira reaching the round of 16 in 2004 and Tiffany Clifford and Sarah Foster getting a first-round victory in 2006.

Live scoring of the match will be available at georgiadogs.com. All matches will be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at 6-all will be used. The national championship match will be played Monday, May 26.

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.

Texas A&M History in the NCAA Individual Championships:

 

Individual Appearances

      Singles: 1987, ’90, ’93, 2003, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’10 (2), ‘11, ‘12 (2), ‘13 (2), ‘14 (2)

      Doubles: 1986 (2), ’88, ’89, ’94, ’96, ’97, 2002, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’07, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14

 

Best Finish

      Singles: Quarterfinals ( Kim Labuschagne, 1987; Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, 2012)

      Doubles: Round of 16 ( Jessica Roland/Helga Vieira 2004; Tiffany Clifford/Sarah Foster, 2006)

 

All-Time Record

        Singles: 13-17

        Doubles: 2-14

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