No. 33 Mustangs Top No. 56 Aggies

Nate ReganContributor IMarch 10, 2010

The No. 33 SMU women’s tennis team beat No. 56 Texas A&M Tuesday, 5-2, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station.


The Mustangs (13-2) picked up the doubles point against the Aggies (4-5) even though sophomores Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova lost their duel at the top spot.


Freshman Shahzoda Hatamova and senior Casey Kennedy upset the No. 48-ranked tandem of Stephanie Davidson and Sheri Oliver, 8-3, before freshman Edyta Cieplucha teamed with senior Pavi Francis to secure the doubles point with a 9-7 win at No. 2.


“A&M has really good doubles,” head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner said on “So for us to fight hard after being down at No. 2 doubles and come back and clinch the point was really awesome.”


Freshman Katerina Vankova, playing in just her second match of the spring for the Mustangs, fell behind 5-0 at No. 2 singles before retiring with an injury.


With the score tied, Hatamova recorded a straight-set victory (6-2, 6-2) at No. 4 while Lesniak, ranked No. 59 among singles players by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, did the same (6-4, 6-3) against No. 57 Elzé Potgieter of Texas A&M.


Lesniak was named the Conference USA Player of the Week Tuesday after she won at both doubles and singles in SMU’s 4-3 loss to the Texas Longhorns.


Francis notched the match with a straight-set win of her own (7-5, 6-2) over the Aggies’ Oliver at No. 6 singles.


“I was happy that we came out in singles and kept fighting hard,” Longbotham-Meisner said. “It wasn’t our prettiest performance, but it was a really big team effort in a tough atmosphere. I was proud of the way they fought tonight after the tough loss on Saturday.”


The team will return home for a doubleheader on Friday against Penn State and Abilene Christian University. First set against the Nittany Lions (3-8) will be at 12 noon before the Mustangs face the Wildcats (12-2) at 6 p.m., and both matches will be held at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Center.