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Texas A&M Hosts Ole Miss, Mississippi State in Regular Season Finale

April 10, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 10th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team closes out its regular season and aims to wrap up a perfect home slate with a pair of matches this weekend at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, where the Aggies are 9-0.

On Friday at 5 p.m., the Aggies play host to No. 29 Ole Miss. The first 200 fans will receive a free A&M tennis croakie.

In the regular season finale on Sunday, A&M will celebrate “Senior Day” as the Aggies take on Mississippi State. First serve is at noon, and free breakfast tacos will be given to the first 100 fans to the match. A&M’s lone senior, Cristina Stancu, will be honored following the match against the Bulldogs.

A&M (15-5, 8-3 SEC) is in fifth place in the Southeastern Conference standings, one game behind fourth-place Florida and two wins behind Alabama, Georgia and Vanderbilt, who are in a three-way tie for first place. Ole Miss (12-7, 5-6 SEC) is in a four-way tie for seventh place, and Mississippi State, 9-12 overall and 1-10 in SEC matches entering a match at Missouri, is in 13th place.

The Aggies remained 10th in this week’s national team rankings after going 1-1 last week. A&M fell at then-No. 5 Alabama, 4-1, on Friday and defeated then-No. 21 Auburn, 4-2, on Sunday to wrap up a four-match road swing and conclude its regular season road schedule.

Stancu enters the weekend ranked No. 8 in the nation in singles and riding a 10-match win streak, both career highs.  The Romanian is 7-0 in SEC singles matches and is 28-7 overall, including 18-4 against ranked opponents.  

Freshman Saska Gavrilovska and sophomore Anna Mamalat also are listed in the ITA singles rankings at Nos. 65 and 118, respectively.

Stancu is also the team leader in doubles, as she and partner Stefania Hristov are No. 23 with a 21-8 overall record, including 6-1 in SEC matches. The duo is coming off an 8-6 victory against then-19th ranked Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger of Auburn.

Ole Miss is coming off a Sunday doubleheader split in which the Rebels fell to No. 7 Florida, 4-2, and rebounded with a 6-0 victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Oxford.

At No. 91, Julia Jones is the Rebels’ top ranked singles player. She leads the team with a 24-9 record after having won her last six matches, which ranks second to Erin Stephens’ team-leading eight-match win streak. Jones, ranked No. 74 in doubles with partner Zalina Khairudinova, is tied with Mia El Kamash for most singles wins in SEC play with a 7-4 record.

Mississippi State aims to snap a seven-match losing skid on Friday when the Bulldogs take on Missouri, which is winless in SEC play. At No. 66, Georgiana Patrasc is the team’s only ranked singles player. In doubles, Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran are No. 56.

A&M is 3-1 in the all-time series against Ole Miss, which is making its first-ever trip to College Station. Last year, the Aggies defeated the Rebels, 4-0, in Oxford, Miss., in their first meeting as conference foes. Ole Miss’ only victory against A&M was a 4-3 decision in the 2012 spring season opener, Howard Joffe’s first match as head coach of the Aggies.

A&M is 3-0 in the all-time series against Mississippi State, including 2-0 in matches played in College Station. The teams met in the 2014 season opener on Jan. 25 in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Mitchell Tennis Center. A&M defeated the Bulldogs, 4-1, in the non-conference match-up.

The 2014 SEC tennis championship tournament, hosted by Missouri, begins Wednesday, April 16 in Columbia, Mo., with the championship match scheduled for Sunday, April 20. The bracket for the 64-team NCAA Championship will be announced Tuesday, April 29 at 4 p.m. on NCAA.com.

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.

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