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Tennis teams open Big 12 with wins

The men and women’s tennis teams both opened Big 12 home play with impressive wins. The women shut out No. 54 Nebraska, 7-0, while the men won a close one over No. 61 Oklahoma, 4-3.
“It is a great night,” said women’s Head Coach Bobby Kleinecke. “Anytime you can win a conference match 7-0, we’ll take it. And it’s good to be at home. It’s a lot of fun, a good atmosphere. Having both the men and women play, we haven’t done this in a while.”
While the women defeated Nebraska in a shut out, the Huskers gave the Aggies everything they had, especially in doubles play. The Huskers featured the No. 30 doubles team in the nation of Jana Albers and Imke Reimers, who defeated Aggie seniors Anna Blagodarova and Tiffany Clifford, 9-7. A&M freshmen Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank defeated the Husker duo of Abby Buxton and Stephanie Evans, 8-3, and in a closer match, A&M freshman Christi Liles and sophomore Elze Potgieter defeated Maria Ring and Wiveca Swarting. Liles and Potgieter, as well as Blagodarova and Clifford, were playing together in doubles for the first time this season.
“I felt Nebraska had a good team, and it was everything that we could handle in doubles,” Kleinecke said. “The switch in the doubles, we just did that this week. We still need a little more work there, but I thought Nebraska really came out and played good doubles, and that was everything that we could handle right there. But I was very impressed with the poise and composure that the girls had. In the past, we’ve let some matches pass by because we got nervous and tight. I didn’t think that was the case tonight. I thought that they handled themselves really well.”
The women then swept Nebraska in singles play to complete the shutout.
“I really feel like whether we won the doubles point or lost the doubles point, the singles was going to go the same way,” Kleinecke said. “Obviously, it makes it a little easier on you after winning the doubles point, but I was very impressed. Our goal was to get off to a quick start in singles, and we definitely did that.”
On Sunday, the women came out again and torched Iowa State, 7-0.
The Aggies won the first two of the three doubles matches, with the final coming more than two hours after an initial rain delay. The Aggie dominance spilled over from the doubles court to the singles court as A&M swept every singles match against the Cyclones.
“I told our team this was a taking care of business match,” Kleinecke said. “We needed to go out there and play our game and not make any mistakes.”
The Aggie men’s team defeated Oklahoma while at the same time battling the elements and enduring a venue change. After the Sooners jumped to a 1-0 lead in the doubles matches, an injury and rain delays marred the matchup. The rain forced the games to be moved to the Bryan Indoor Tennis Facility, while an injury to Oklahoma’s Ionut Beleleu gave the Aggies a win by default. In Bryan, freshman Will Spencer defeated Sergey Avdeyev, 6-3, 7-6, to clinch the match for the Aggies. After that, Oklahoma won two matches, the highlight for the Sooners being No. 39 Andrei Daescu downing No. 23 Conner Pollock 6-4, 6-4. Daescu is the highest ranked player on the Sooners.
The men’s second game of the weekend on Sunday faced numerous rain delays due to inclement weather. At the time of press, no results had been announced. Check thebatt.com for updates.
The women are 9-5 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play. On Wednesday, they head to Waco to play Baylor. The women have four wins in the past six games, the two losses coming to No. 6 Georgia and a close one, 3-4, to No. 24 Notre Dame.
The men are 10-6 overall and 1-1 in Big 12 play. Four of their losses come to teams ranked in the Top 25. They have three wins the against the Top 25, their best win arguably coming at No. 12 Duke. They host Baylor on Wednesday before finishing the regular season on the road.

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