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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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Aggies finish up ITA All-American

On Saturday, senior Valentin Vacherot finished one win shy of reaching the final round of the ITA All-American Championship, losing to Florida’s Sam Riffice 6-1 6-3 in the main draw semifinals at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With Vacherot’s loss, A&M wrapped a week of competition at the ITA All-American Championship that saw both the men’s and women’s teams advance in competition.
Vacherot, who entered the tournament ranked No. 45 in the nation, opened main draw play with a comeback victory against No. 21 Adria Soriano Barrera of Miami, winning a crucial tiebreaker on the third set to claim a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5) win. Vacherot dominated in the next three rounds with three straight set victories, including an upset victory over Mississippi State’s Giovanni Oradini in the quarterfinal round, making him the first Aggie under head coach Steve Denton to reach the semifinal round.
In addition to Vacherot, two other Aggies qualified for main draw competition: juniors Hady Habib and Carlos Aguilar. Habib, ranked No. 16, won his first two games by narrow margins, as both matches were decided in the final set. This carried into Habib’s match in the round of 16, where he upset No. 6 Aleks Kovacevic of Illinois 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Habib couldn’t manage to gain any momentum, eventually losing in straight sets to Riffice.
No. 13 Aguilar started off competition with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Florida’s Lukas Greif. He then advanced to the round of 16 after defeating No. 40 Athell Bennett 6-4, 6-1. Aguilar’s luck soon ran out, however, as he lost to Tennessee’s Adam Watlon 6-4, 6-2.
Compared to their performance in single competition, the Aggies struggled in doubles throughout the tournament. The duo of Barnaby Smith and Aguilar, ranked No. 1 in the nation, did not live up to expectations, falling in the first round of main competition against Henrik Korsgarrd and Brandon Perez of Virginia Tech, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.
For the women, tournament play ended Thursday night after being sidelined for most of Wednesday due to inclement weather. To open Thursday, the No. 8 doubles pairing of Jayci Goldsmith and Tatiana Makarova advanced into doubles main draw competition, where they defeated Wake Forest’s duo of Anna Brylin and Saby Nihalani 8-5 in the first round. Later that night, they fell in the second round 8-6 against Yale’s No. 29 pairing of Jessie Gong and Samantha Martinalli. In the qualifying rounds, Riley McQuaid and Lucia Quitero were able to win their consolation match, an 8-3 victory over Oral Roberts’ duo of Reagan Miley and Aliksandra Leyedeya.
In singles competition, sophomore Katya Townsend, ranked No. 28 in the nation, was the only Aggie to advance to the single portion of main draw competition. In the first round, Townsend was defeated by Lisa Marie Rioux of Oklahoma State in straight sets, before falling short against Georgia’s Marta Gonzales in the consolation match. Several Aggies, however, advanced in pre-qualifying rounds, such as Tatiana Makarova, who made it to the third round before falling to Morgan Coppoc of Georgia in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 2-6.
This tournament marked the first time that the women’s tennis team has competed in the ITA All-American since 2016.
Next week, the men will continue their preseason activity as they travel to Houston to compete in the Rice Invitational, hosted at the George R. Brown Tennis Center from Oct. 18 until Oct. 20. Meanwhile, the women’s team will be hosting the ITA Texas Regional from Oct. 17 until Oct. 21 at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

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