May 9, 2013
FORT WORTH – TCU’s women’s tennis team starts the NCAA Tennis Championships Saturday with a match against North Texas. The match will take place at Texas A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday. If the Horned Frogs win, they will play again Sunday at 1 p.m. against the winner of the Texas A&M-Southern match that will take place later on Saturday.
The Horned Frogs are making their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships and 15th in program history. TCU finished the 2013 regular season with a 17-6 overall record and 6-3 Big 12 mark. The Horned Frogs are No. 29 in the ITA rankings.
TCU is represented twice in the ITA singles rankings. All-Big 12 sophomore Stefanie Tan sits at No. 44 in the rankings, which helped her earn a bid to the NCAA Tennis Championships singles competition later this month. Senior Olivia Smith ranks No. 122 in singles. Smith is part of two nationally-ranked doubles teams as the duo of Smith and Millie Nichols is No. 53 and the team of Smith and Tan is No. 79.
The Horned Frogs also have the services of the Big 12 Champion at No. 3 singles at their disposal in Simona Parajova. The Slovakian sophomore leads TCU with a 22-9 overall record, including a 7-2 mark in Big 12 play.
Scouting North Texas
North Texas, No. 60 in the ITA team rankings, finished the regular season 18-5, an undefeated 7-0 in Sun Belt play and the victors at the Sun Belt Conference Championships. The Mean Green come into the NCAA Championships on a six-match winning streak and having prevailed in 11 of the past 12 matches.
Seniors Valentina Starkova and Ilona Serchenko were named to the SBC All-Tournament Team, and Barbora Vykydalova was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Championships. Vykydalova comes into this weekend as UNT’s team leader in spring wins with 15 at the No. 2 singles position, and did not lose in the month of April.
This is not the first time that TCU and North Texas have faced off this year, as the Horned Frogs earned a 4-2 victory in Denton back on Feb. 27. Saturday’s match will be the 35th all-time meeting between the two schools.
No. 20 TCU 4, No. 47 North Texas 2
No. 1 - #54 Stefanie Tan def. Kseniya Bardabush, 7-5, 7-6
No. 2 - #50 Olivia Smith def. Valentina Starkova, 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 - Barbora Vykydalova def. #95 Simona Parajova, 6-1, 7-6
No. 4 - Millie Nichols def. Ilona Serchenko, 7-5, 7-5
No. 5 - Federica Denti def. Franziska Sprinkmeyer, 7-5, 6-0
No. 6 - Kelsey Sundaram vs. Agustina Valenzuela, 4-6, 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
No. 1 - #37 Olivia Smith/Millie Nichols def. Valentina Starkova/Barbora Vykydalova, 8-3
No. 2 - Kseniya Bardabush/Franziska Sprinkmeyer def. Federica Denti/Kelsey Sundaram, 9-7
No. 3 - Dane Joubert/Ilona Serchenko def. Gabi Barbosa/Simona Parajova, 8-2
Scouting Texas A&M
The host Aggies, the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tennis Championships and in the ITA team rankings, come into the Championships with a 21-3 season record, including a 12-1 mark in their SEC debut season. The Aggies’ three losses have all come to teams in the top-10. TAMU is one of only two teams to have defeated the No. 1 Florida Gators in 2013.
Texas A&M will have two entries into the NCAA Tennis Championships singles competition later this month in Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina. Sanchez-Quintanar is ranked No. 4 in the ITA singles rankings and is 35-7 on the season for the Aggies. Urbina is ranked No. 52 in the nation, and brings a 17-7 mark to the table. TAMU also has Cristina Stancu ranked No. 68 on the singles chart.
Stancu and Stefania Hristov will take part in the NCAA Tennis Championships doubles event, and are ranked as the No. 18 pairing in the country. A&M’s No. 2 doubles team, Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun, is ranked at No. 49 in the nation.
The Aggies and Horned Frogs have previously played on 42 occasions with TCU leading the all-time series 22-20. However, the Aggies have won the last three meetings, and TCU’s last victory came back in 2009 at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Lady Jaguars are the No. 4 seed in the regional and qualified for the NCAA Tennis Championships by virtue of winning the SWAC Championship over Alcorn State. Southern is making its fourth straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, and eighth in the last 12 years.
SU is led by SWAC Player of the Year Demetria Woods, who went an undefeated 7-0 in conference play. The Lady Jaguars also boast the SWAC Freshman of the Year in Danielle Dixon.
TCU and Southern have never faced each other in women’s tennis.