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No. 7 Texas A&M Faces No. 14 Baylor

March 18, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
USTA College MatchDay
No. 7 Texas A&M (11-3, 5-1 SEC) at No. 14 Baylor (10-5, 1-0 Big 12)
Wednesday, March 19, 5 p.m.
Hurd Tennis Center, Waco, Texas
Video: ESPN3, WatchESPN

Match Preview
No. 7 Texas A&M (11-3) takes a break from Southeastern Conference play to take on former Big 12 foe and 14th-ranked Baylor (10-5) on Wednesday at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco. First serve is at 5 p.m. The match between the Aggies and Bears is part of USTA’s College MatchDay, similar to ESPN’s College Game Day for football. Singles will be played first, followed by doubles if the score is tied 3-3. Live video of the match can be seen on ESPN3 or by using the WatchESPN app.

Texas A&M Notes

·         Texas A&M, a finalist at the 2013 NCAA Championship, is riding a five-match win streak and has won eight of its last nine matches.

·         The Aggies improved to 11-3 by defeating No. 57 LSU, 4-0, on Sunday.

·         A&M remained at No. 7 in this week’s ITA team rankings, equaling its highest ranking of the season.

·         The Aggies are 8-3 against nationally ranked opponents, including a 4-3 victory at No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 4, marking the highest ranked win in program history. A&M also posted a 4-2 victory against No. 7 Vanderbilt, giving A&M a 2-1 record against top-10 teams.

·         Texas A&M head coach Howard Joffe posted the 100th victory of his head coaching career in the SEC opener at South Carolina on March 2. He enters the Baylor match 104-51 in the seventh season of his head coaching career and 56-13 in his third season at A&M.

·         Last year in A&M’s inaugural season in the SEC, the Aggies won their first eight league matches -- including a 4-3 win against No. 4 Florida -- before suffering their only conference loss, a 4-2 setback to No. 3 Georgia. A&M ended the conference season 12-1, winning the SEC Western Division and tying Florida and Georgia for the SEC regular season championship.

Texas A&M in the ITA National Rankings

·         Texas A&M stayed at No. 7 for the second consecutive week, equaling its highest ranking of the season.

·         Senior Cristina Stancu climbed one spot to No. 14 in singles, tying her career high set in the Jan. 2 preseason poll.

·         Freshman Saska Gavrilovska is No. 56 in singles and sophomore Anna Mamalat is a career-high No. 100.

·         In doubles, Stefania Hristov and Stancu are No. 23, and Gavrilovska and Ines Deheza are ranked for the first time, coming in at No. 60.

Baylor Notes

·         Baylor is 10-5 after falling to No. 15 Miami, 4-0, Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla.

·         Three Bears are ranked in singles: No. 52 Kiah Generette, No. 68 Ema Burgic and No. 122 Jordaan Sanford, who is riding a five-match win streak, including a victory over No. 9 Chanelle Van Nguyen of UCLA.

·         In doubles, Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle are No. 34 in the national rankings.

·         Baylor is 8-2 in home matches and 6-5 against ranked opponents.

Series Notes vs. Baylor

·         Texas A&M has won the last four meetings against the Bears to improve to 24-20 in the all-time series.

·         A&M is 10-9 in matches played at Baylor.

·         Earlier this season in College Station, then-No. 10 A&M defeated then-No. 15 Baylor, 4-3, as Aggie sophomore Ines Deheza came from behind to defeat Victoria Kisialeva, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3 singles to win the last match standing and clinch the 4-3 victory for the Aggies.

·         Last year in their first season as a member of the SEC, the Aggies swept the home-and-home series against the former Big 12 Conference foe, defeating the Bears 4-0 at the Mitchell Tennis Center and 4-2 at Baylor’s new Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center in Waco.

·         Baylor’s most recent victory against A&M was a 5-2 decision on April 5, 2012, in Waco.

 Passing Shots

·         Gavrilovska posted the highest ranked win by a freshman in A&M history, defeating fifth-ranked Haley Carter of North Carolina, 0-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10) to help the Aggies defeat the No. 3 Tar Heels, 4-3, on Feb. 4, in Chapel Hill.

·         A&M is 2-2 in away matches, defeating No. 3 North Carolina, 4-3, and No. 42 South Carolina, 5-2, and falling at No. 14 Virginia, 4-0, and at No. 5 Florida, 4-0.

·         A&M is 10-0 in SEC doubles matches only and 20-7 in all doubles dual matches.

·         Stancu is riding a team-leading seven-match win streak in singles, and Bhosale and Mamalat are riding a team-best six-match win streak in doubles.

·         Baylor associate head coach Alison Ojeda was an assistant coach at Texas A&M in 2003 and 2004 seasons and helped guide the Aggies to a Big 12 regular season title and a Big 12 tournament championship, under former head coach Bobby Kleinecke.

·         Baylor’s Jordaan Sanford played for A&M head coach Howard Joffe at Maryland.

 Up Next;

Texas A&M returns to SEC action Sunday, March 23 as the Aggies host Missouri. First serve is at 12 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, where the Aggies are 8-0 this season.

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