"Naturally we are disappointed with the outcome of the match,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “The doubles point was very closely contested and we came up a little short in the end. I was pleased with how we acquitted ourselves and hopefully we will bounce back in Sunday against another strong SEC team."
The Crimson Tide took an early edge by claiming the doubles point on courts two and three. A&M’s pair of Anna Mamalat and Rutuja Bhosale fell to Erin Routliffe and Luicelena Perez, 8-3, at the No. 2 line. The 39th-ranked duo of Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov held serve against Mary Anne Daines and Maya Jansen, 8-6, at the top doubles position to force the deciding contest on court three. The late rally by Jana McCord and Saska Gavrilovska came up just short in the final doubles match with Emily Zabor and Danielle Spielmann, 8-6, to give Alabama the early 1-0 lead.
Texas A&M managed to turn the tide through the early portion of the singles matches, posting first-set victories on half of the courts.
Alabama pushed ahead to a 2-0 advantage, however, after Routliffe claimed a straight-set victory at the No. 3 line. Hristov was unable to find a groove as she dropped a 6-3, 6-3 match to 57th-ranked Routliffe.
The Crimson Tide were staked a 3-0 edge after 80th-ranked Perez fought off McCord, 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 6 line.
The Maroon and White chipped into the deficit when Gavrilovska, the ITA’s 62nd-ranked player, cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 victory at the No. 2 line over Spielmann to push the score to 3-1. The freshman earned her 10th victory in dual match play while also posting her fifth conference win.
Alabama would clinch the match when 82nd-ranked Jansen fought off Bhosale, 7-6 (3), 6-3, at the No. 4 line to give the Crimson Tide the victory.
"The singles was equally close with the first set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles likely the turning point in the dual match,” Joffe said.
A&M concludes its SEC road schedule on Sunday at No. 21 Auburn. 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. 5 Alabama 4, No. 10 Texas A&M 1
The University of Alabama Tennis Stadium
April 4, 2014
1. #12 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) vs. #52 Mary Anne Daines (UA) 6-4, 6-7 (2), 1-1
2. #62 Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. Danielle Spielmann (UA) 6-4, 6-3
3. #57 Erin Routliffe (UA) def. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) 6-3, 6-3
4. #82 Maya Jansen (UA) def. Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU) 7-6 (3), 6-3
5. #109 Anna Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Emily Zabor (UA) 6-2, 2-6, 2-4
6. #80 Luicelena Perez (UA) def. Jana McCord (TAMU) 6-3, 7-5
Doubles (Alabama wins the point)
1. #39 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) def. Daines/Jansen (UA) 8-6
2. Routliffe/Perez (UA) def. Bhosale/Mamalat (TAMU) 8-3
3. Zabor/Spielmann (UA) def. McCord/Gavrilovska (TAMU) 8-6
Order of finish
Singles: 3, 6, 2, 4
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Texas A&M: 14-5, 7-3 SEC
Alabama: 17-3, 9-1 SEC