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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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A heartbreaker in Athens

No. 14 A&M women’s tennis drops 4-3 match to No. 10 Georgia
Sophomore+Mia+Kupres+returns+the+ball+at+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Florida+on+Sunday%2C+March+3%2C+2024%2C+at+the+Mitchell+Tennis+Center.+%28%C2%A9+Connor+May%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Connor May
Sophomore Mia Kupres returns the ball at Texas A&M’s match against Florida on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at the Mitchell Tennis Center. (© Connor May/The Battalion)

No. 14 Texas A&M women’s tennis lost 4-3 to the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs in SEC play on Friday, March 15 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Riding high on a seven-match win streak and a 30-match unbeaten run in SEC play, the Aggies stared down a rematch against the Bulldogs. The teams last met in the ITA National Team Indoors, when Georgia was able to grab a 4-2 win.

The rematch was another close affair with the Bulldogs holding a 3-2 lead with two singles courts still to play.

No. 30 sophomore Mia Kupres took No. 68 junior Mell Reasco to a third set, where she eked out a victory, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. After Kupres brought the Aggies level at 3, all eyes in the complex turned to Court 1.

No. 1 junior Mary Stoiana was in a duel with Georgia’s No. 29 junior Dasha Vidmanova. Stoiana clawed her way back into the match after losing the first set and took a commanding 5-1 lead in the decisive third set, putting the Aggies on the brink of victory.

Vidmanova fought back to bring herself level as “U-G-A!” chants rained down. Vidmanova finally got the break though when she volleyed a shot that Stoiana could not return.

It was jubilation for the Bulldogs as Vidmanova’s teammates surrounded her in celebration, and it was heartbreak for the Aggies as Stoiana threw her racquet into the air in frustration.

Georgia clinched the 4-3 win with Vidmanova’s 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 triumph.

“That was the longest and the wildest college tennis match that I have ever been a part of,” coach Mark Weaver said. “It was a five-hour match that came down to the wire on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, Georgia came up with a few more of the bigger points than we did, and ultimately that’s the difference when the elite teams are competing against one another.”

The stage was set early for a highly competitive match with a slobberknocker of a doubles point. All six doubles pairings won at least four games to put the pressure on the sixth-ranked Stoiana and Kupres to finish off No. 8 Vidmanova and freshman Aysegul Mert.

Stoiana and Kupres came up huge for the Aggies with a 7-6 win to clinch the point and get A&M on the board first.

Once play moved on to singles, Georgia started to inject life into the home crowd. Bulldog junior Guillermina Grant made quick work of sophomore Daria Smetannikov, 6-1, 6-0. Bulldog wins from No. 78 Mai Nirundorn and No. 98 Anastasiia Lopata put the pressure on A&M

No. 17 Nicole Khirin won a point to keep A&M in the game, but the Aggies could not capitalize and dropped to 12-6, 4-1 in the SEC.

The Maroon and White will look to rebound on Sunday, March 17 with a trip to Barksdale Stadium to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.

“We need to have short term memory and get ourselves ready both physically and mentally for a tough Tennessee team on Sunday,” Weaver said.

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