The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1

Photo by CJ Smith
Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Coming off of an impressive Sweet 16 victory against North Carolina, the Aggies looked to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2013.

The Maroon and White continued their dominant run, taking down Virginia, 4-1.

“We all knew we were capable [of] playing at this level,” junior Mary Stoiana said. “We know we can take down any team in any way. We’re really confident and excited to keep it rolling. We’re trying to do something really special here.”

Beginning with doubles play, the Maroon and White duo of senior Carson Branstine and freshman Lucciana Perez started things off strong, taking down Virginia’s senior Hibah Shaikh and graduate Natasha Subhash, 7-5.

Virginia stormed back as senior Sara Ziodato and sophomore Meggie Navarro took down the Aggies’ duo of sophomore Nicole Khirin and junior Jeanette Mireles, 6-4.

The Aggies’ duo of Stoiana and sophomore Mia Kupres fought hard but were unable to secure the point as UVA’s junior duo of Melodie Collard and Elaine Chervinsky came out on top, 7-6(5).

“It was an exciting doubles point that came down to the wire,” A&M coach Mark Weaver said. “There were a lot of nerves on both sides. Those doubles points are kind of a roll of the dice and sometimes they can go either way.”

Moving onto singles play, the Aggies were determined to comeback. On Court 3, Khirin evened the score at 1 as she took down Ziodato in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.

On Court 1, SEC Player of the Year Stoiana secured her 20th ranked win after taking down Shaikh in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

The Aggies continued to dominate on Court 6 as Mireles captured the third point of the day for the Maroon and White after defeating Collard, 6-4, 6-2.

Sending the Aggies to the Final Four, on Court 5, Perez illustrated why she was the SEC Freshman of the Year as she knocked off Chervinsky in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

“That was a very impressive performance by our group,” Weaver said. Excellent composure by the girls to win all six first sets [in singles] and really set the tone there. We brought it, and you could see the confidence growing on our side of the court. It’s a big stage out there and we really handled it well, especially in singles. I’m very proud of our group.”

A&M will play the winner of No. 16 Tennessee versus No. 8 UCLA on Saturday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m.

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