No. 21 Auburn drops home finale to No. 10 Texas A&M, 4-2

April 6, 2014

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#10 Texas A&M 4, #21 Auburn 2
Women's Singles Results
 No. 1 #12 Stancu (TAMU) def. #32 Burgmans (AU) 6-2, 6-2
 No. 2 #75 Flickinger (AU) vs. Gavrilovska (TAMU) 7-5, 6-6, uf
 No. 3 Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. de Man (AU) 6-2, 7-5
 No. 4  Bhosale (TAMU) def. Kucharova (AU) 7-5, 6-0
 No. 5 Kasler (AU) def. #109 Mamalat (TAMU) 6-3, 6-1
 No. 6 Pfeifler (AU) def. Strickland (TAMU) 6-0, 6-3
 Order of Finish 1, 5, 4, 6, 3  
Women's Doubles Results
 No. 1 #39 Hritov/Stancu (TAMU) def. #19 Burgmans/Flickinger (AU) 8-6
 No. 2 Kasler/Pfeifler (AU) def. Bhosale/Mamalat (TAMU) 8-5
 No. 3 McCord/Gavrilovska (TAMU) def. Kucharova/de Man (AU) 8-4
 Order of Finish 2, 1, 3  

AUBURN, Ala. – Jackie Kasler picked up her first career singles win over a ranked opponent on Sunday, but the No. 21 Auburn women’s tennis team fell, 4-2, to No. 10 Texas A&M indoors at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

“I thought it was a good fight, but we still let fear and doubt creep in. When you play a top-10 team you can’t do that. You’ve got to go out there and play brave, taking advantage of every opportunity,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “This young team is still going through doubting how good they really are. I thought the fight was there, but we were timid on some points and (those points) turned out to be very crucial for us.”

Auburn (16-7, 6-5 SEC) was led by its two captains,  Kasler and Jen Pfeifler, who provided the Tigers a win at the No. 2 line in doubles, taking down the Aggies’ Rutuja Bhosale/Anna Marmalat, 8-5, in the first match off the court. The victory by the Gulf Breeze, Fla., duo was their tenth doubles win in dual match play this season.

“I was pleased with Jackie and Jen’s performance, this was their day. In singles and doubles, they led us as captains,” Meisner said.

In what was the tightest match on court in doubles, 19th-ranked Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger battled to the end, but were outlasted by A&M’s No. 32 tandem of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, 8-6. The Aggies claimed the point as the Tigers’ Michala Kucharova and Paula de Man were defeated, 8-4, on court three by Saska Gavrilovska and Jana McCord.

In singles, Auburn fell down 2-0 to Texas A&M (15-5, 8-3 SEC), but mounted rally behind wins from Kasler and Pfeifler. After No. 12 Stancu defeated Auburn’s No. 32 Burgmans, 6-2, 6-2 on court one, Kasler turned in a 6-3, 6-1 victory at the No. 5 line in her final home match of her stellar career, by defeating the Aggies’ No. 109 Mamalat.

Texas A&M’s pushed the Aggies’ lead to 3-1 when the Aggies’ Bhosale defeated Auburn’s Kucharova 7-5, 6-0 on court four. Pfeifler took control of her match early, leading from wire-to-wire to win 6-0, 6-3 on court six.

“It was great to have the bottom of the lineup pick up wins for us. Those wins were a big confidence booster. The fact that we could have gone 4-3 with a top-10 team lets us take a lot of positives out of this performance,” Meisner said.

Paula de Man fell in a back-and-forth battle on court three to the Aggies’ Hristov, allowing Texas A&M to clinch the match. Auburn’s No. 75 Flickinger was up a set and in a second-set tiebreaker when play was suspended. The junior had trailed 5-0 in the first half, but won seven straight game to take the first set, 7-5.

The Tigers wrap up the regular season next weekend with their final road swing of the season. Auburn opens play next Friday at Tennessee with the match set to start at 3 p.m. in Knoxville, Tenn., and wraps up the regular season at Georgia next Sunday at noon.

For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.