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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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A&M women’s tennis competes at ITA Texas Regional

Sophomore+Gianna+Pielet+hits+the+ball+during+a+game+vs.+Stanford+at+the+NCAA+Womens+Tennis+quarterfinals+in+Orlando%2C+Florida+on+Wednesday%2C+May+17%2C+2023.
Photo by Photo by Megan Williams

Sophomore Gianna Pielet hits the ball during a game vs. Stanford at the NCAA Women’s Tennis quarterfinals in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

The highly-touted Texas A&M women’s tennis team showed out in the ITA Texas Regional from Oct. 12-16 in Waco at the Hurd Tennis Center. The women are looking for another dominant season this year, and a strong start to the ITA tournaments is the exact kind of boost they can use.
Starting with open doubles play, the pair of junior Kayal Gownder and sophomore Avery Esquivel fell 8-1 in the first round to UTSA’s graduate Cassie McLay and senior Aleksandra Zlatarova.
A&M’s pair of juniors Ellie Pittman and Jeanette Mireles made it to the round of 16 before being bounced by a strong SMU duo. The score read 8-4 with the Mustangs’ junior Maja Makoril and freshman Caroline McGliney ending up on top.
Another duo of Aggies fell in the round of 16 when graduate Sydney Fitch and sophomore Daria Smetannikov lost 8-6 to Texas graduate Tanya Sasnouskaya and junior Sabina Zeynalova.
The best duo of Aggies proved to be junior Gianna Pielet and sophomore Lizanne Boyer, who made it to the quarterfinals of the open doubles bracket. They eventually fell to the Roadrunners’ McLay and Zlatarova, who won 8-2 and sent A&M’s final doubles team packing.
In singles, seven Aggies looked to take home the regional championship. Qualifying play which saw Gowdner fall in two sets to UTSA’s sophomore Fatima Gutierrez by scores of 6-2 and 6-1, respectively.
The next Aggie to be eliminated was Boyer, who played her way out of the qualification bracket but eventually fell in the first round of the main playoff bracket. She was defeated by UT-Arlington junior Tara Gorinsek in two sets with scores that read 6-2 and 6-0.
Fitch faltered in the first round to TCU junior Helena Narmont. Despite being the newest to the program, Fitch showed good effort, losing in three close sets. The scores that saw the new Aggie head out were 6-3, 7-6 and 7-5, respectively. Coming to A&M from Air Force, Fitch hopes to find playing time with the Aggies.
Pielet was eliminated next in three sets to Texas Tech freshman Jermine Sherif. If Pielet wants to shine in singles play, she’ll need to work on what were some tough sets. The scores for this match read 6-3, 6-7 and 7-3, respectively. That made it three Aggies eliminated in the first round of 64.
Pittman did well for herself, making it to the next round of 32 before losing to Texas sophomore Vivian Ovrootsky 6-4 and 6-2, respectively.
Mireles went all the way to the Sweet 16, where she faced off against Baylor graduate Isabella Harvinson. The Bear toppled the Aggie in two sets that saw identical scores of 6-4 and 6-4.
Smetannikov made it the farthest of any A&M singles competitor, reaching the quarterfinals with some dominant performances along the way. TCU’s senior Destinee Martins eventually cut off A&M’s last hope in three sets that read 6-2, 6-4 and 6-1, respectively.
Fitch and Boyer made it to the round of 16 in the consolation bracket while Pielet reached the consolation final. Pielet fell in the final to UT-Arlington junior Ana Paula Jimenez in two sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-4, respectively. Pielet showed resilience in her run to the final and might earn herself some singles glory this season.
It was not the best performance the Aggies could have asked for, but there were decent showings from new and returning faces. A&M will be in action again at the ITF Tyler 80k Tournament on Monday, Oct. 23, in Tyler.

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Matthew Seaver
Matthew Seaver, Sports Reporter
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