COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Tenth-ranked Texas A&M held serve at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Friday evening, defeating 22nd-ranked Kentucky 4-2. The Aggies improve to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in SEC play while the Wildcats fall to 12-3 and 2-1 in conference action.
“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 against 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 against 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.