April 22, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. – The 46th-ranked University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team dropped a highly-contested 4-3 match to No. 24 Texas A&M on Senior Day at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
Oklahoma (10-12, 5-5 Big 12) fell behind, 1-0, after dropping the doubles point to Texas A&M (16-4, 7-2 Big 12) and then dropped three of the first five in singles action to the Aggies.
“I’m very happy with today’s performance,” Dave Mullins said. “I thought we came out in doubles with a complete lack of energy. I don’t know if they were sad about the seniors leaving or what was going on, but they responded really well in singles. This just shows we have improved tremendously since January because there was no way we could have done this in January or February. I am pleased with the way they finished up the regular season to give ourselves the best chance of being competitive at Big 12s.”
The Sooners efforts fell short in doubles action as the Aggies swept OU to take the early 1-0 advantage.
A&M’s Janelle Cuthbertson and Nazari Urbina took down OU’s Mia Lancaster and Abbi Melroseat the No. 2 position, 8-2, to start off the Aggie’s success.
At the No. 1 position, OU’s Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie, ranked No. 36, fought valiantly at the No. 1 spot as the duo rallied from a 7-2 deficit to come within one, 7-6, of the Aggies’ Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun. However, the OU tandem fell, 8-6, to the nation’s 50th-ranked duo from A&M.
With the doubles point already in control, A&M’s Lauren Santacroce and Sheri Olivier capped off the sweep with an 8-3 win over OU’s Whitney Wofford and Peta Maree Lancaster at the No. 3 position.
In singles action, the Sooners dropped three of the six matches to drop their final match of the regular season.
Huet, a senior from Quebec City, Canada, evened the team score, 1-1, after she finished off the Aggies’ 80th-ranked Urbina at the No. 2 spot in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
Texas A&M’s Oliver pushed the Aggies ahead, 2-1, after her match at the No. 6 spot ended with a 6-2, 6-0, victory over OU’s Lancaster.
The Aggies climbed ahead, 3-1, after A&M’s Sanchez-Quintanar, ranked No. 8, defeated OU’s Ritchie. Ritchie dropped the first set, 6-0, but rallied to take the second set, 6-3. In the end, Sanchez-Quintanar was too much for the Sooner as she took the third set, 6-2.
OU’s Melrose closed the gap, 3-2, on the Aggies after she claimed a 6-4, 7-5 win over A&M’s Santacroce at the No. 4 position.
The match was decided at the No. 3 spot where OU’s Lancaster dropped a straight-set contest to A&M’s 83rd-ranked Sun.
Wofford earned the final point of the match at the No. 5 spot where she took out the Aggies’ Cuthbertson in straight set fashion, 6-3, 7-5.
Between doubles and singles action, the Sooners honored Marie-Pier Huet and Peta Maree Lancaster for their outstanding accomplishments during their careers at the University of Oklahoma.
Mullins reflected on his graduating seniors and how emotional of a day it was to have them play their final match in Norman.
“MJ [Huet] on senior day was outstanding and it was incredible to see her beat a girl ranked No. 80 in the country,” Mullins said. “It was tough for Peta to throw her out there because she hasn’t played a singles match in three years, but she definitely deserved the opportunity. She has brought a lot to this team the last few years and helped me establish the things that I want to do with this team.
“Marie-Pier is just a phenomenal competitor and we are really going to miss her a ton next year. I’m not sure how we are going to make up for the things that she brings to the team, especially on match day.”
Up next, the Sooners travel to College Station, Texas, to compete in the 2012 Big 12 Championships from April 26-29. OU will have a first round bye to start off the conference tournament.
No. 24 Texas A&M 4, No. 46 Oklahoma 3
1. #50 Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun (TAMU) def. #36 Huet/Ritchie (OU), 8-6
2. Cuthbertson/Urbina (TAMU) def. Mia Lancaster/Melrose (OU), 8-2
3. Santacrose/Olivier (TAMU) def. Wofford/Peta Maree Lancaster (OU), 8-3
Order of finish: 2, 1*, 3
1. #8 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. Whitney Ritchie (OU), 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
2. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) def. #80 Nazari Urbina (TAMU), 6-1, 6-2
3. #83 Wen Sun (TAMU) def. Mia Lancaster (OU), 6-2, 7-5
4. Abbi Melrose (OU) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAMU), 6-4, 7-5
5. Whitney Wofford (OU) def. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAMU), 6-3, 7-5
6. Sheri Olivier (TAMU) def. Peta Maree Lancaster (OU), 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 4, 3*, 5