AUSTIN, Texas -- The 10th-ranked University of Texas women's tennis team defeated conference rival Texas A&M, 5-2, in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Wednesday evening at Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The Longhorns improved to 15-5 overall and 8-1 in the Big 12, while the 31st-ranked Aggies fell to 12-11 overall and 6-3 in conference.
"I was extremely impressed with the way our players persevered through innumerable obstacles today," Texas head coach Jeff Moore said. "Everything the Aggies and Mother Nature could throw at them did hit them, but they never flinched. This is another end-of-the-regular-season type match that we can build on."
After almost a three hour rain delay, the players took the court for the start of doubles. The Longhorns came out ready to play as the 31st-ranked duo of juniors Katie Ruckert (Vienna, Va.) and Kendra Strohm (Tucson, Ariz.) handled Anna Lubinsky and Lauren Walker at the No. 1 spot, 8-3, and improved to 6-2 in conference action.
Texas' tandems continued their dominance over the Aggies in doubles play as they took the final two matches for the 1-0 lead heading into singles. Sophomore Petra Dizdar (Split, Croatia) and junior Mia Marovic (Split, Croatia) clinched the doubles point with their 8-4 win over Anna Blagodarova and Tiffany Clifford at No. 2, while junior Kelly Baritot (Allison Park, Pa.) and freshman Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas) recorded the sweep with an 8-6 decision over Seva Iwinski and Helga Vieira at No. 3.
First off the court in singles was Ruckert, who defeated Blagodarova 6-4, 6-1 at the fourth spot and improved to 5-2 in duals when playing at this position. Dizdar followed with her seventh conference win at the top of the lineup. The sophomore, ranked 58th nationally, gave up only two games to No. 77-ranked Vieira, taking the match 6-1, 6-1.
The dual was clinched by sophomore Ristine Olson (Missoula, Mont.) at the bottom of the lineup where she posted identical 6-3, 6-3 scores over Marisa Druss. Olson remains undefeated in conference play with an 8-0 record.
At No. 2 singles, Walker needed a super tiebreaker to defeat Marovic 1-6, 6-2 (10-6) and record the Aggies' first win of the dual.
With Texas leading 4-1, Zauft closed out the Longhorns' scoring drive with her 6-2, 7-6 (3) mark over Clifford at the fifth spot. The freshman recorded her 10th win at the No. 5 position and is now 6-3 in conference matches.
Texas A&M won the final match of the evening at No. 3 where Strohm dropped a 1-6, 6-2, (10-6) decision to Lubinsky.
The Texas women return to action on Saturday, April 23 when they travel to Missouri for a conference match against the Tigers. First serve is set for noon.
Singles (Order of finish: 4, 1, 6, 2, 5, 3)
1. Petra Dizdar (UT) def. Helga Vieira (TAMU) 6-1, 6-1
2. Lauren Walker (TAMU) def. Mia Marovic (UT) 1-6, 6-2, (10-6)
3. Anna Lubinsky (TAMU) def. Kendra Strohm (UT) 0-6, 6-3, (10-2)
4. Katie Ruckert (UT) def. Anna Blagodarova (TAMU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Courtney Zauft (UT) def. Tiffany Clifford (TAMU) 6-2, 7-6 (3)
6. Ristine Olson (UT) def. Marisa Druss (TAMU) 6-3, 6-3
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 2, 3)
1. Ruckert/Strohm (UT) def. Lubinsky/Walker (TAMU) 8-3
2. Dizdar/Marovic (UT) def. Blagodarova/Clifford (TAMU) 8-4
3. Kelly Baritot/Zauft (UT) def. Seva Iwinski/Vieira (TAMU) 8-6