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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 remains perfect in SEC play, defeats Tennessee 4-3

Junior+Renee+McBryde+returns+a+backhand+shot.
Photo by Paul Burke

Junior Renee McBryde returns a backhand shot.

The record season for the No. 12 Texas A&M women’s tennis team continued on Friday, March 25, as the Aggies finished on top by a score of 4-3 in a tough battle against Tennessee.
In doubles play, the Aggies secured an early point after close games on courts 1 and 3. The No. 2 ranked duo of graduate Tatiana Makarova and junior Jayci Goldsmith went up against the No. 13 ranked duo of graduate Tenika McGiffin and senior Daria Kuczer in what was arguably one of the best matchups of the day. After a back-and-forth rally, Goldsmith and Makarova were able to earn a 7-5 victory, giving the Aggies a 1-0 advantage.
Makarova and Goldsmith would each strike again in singles play, earning the first two points for A&M after Tennessee senior Rebeka Mertena gained an edge over junior Carson Branstine to make the score 3-1. After the Lady Vols earned another point from Kuczer on Court 5, it all came down to A&M freshman Mary Stoiana on Court 3.
The freshman from Southbury, Conn., faced one of the largest challenges of her young career, taking on No. 88 ranked freshman Elza Tomase with the match on the line. After Stoniana won a tiebreaker in the first set, the two relentlessly battled in the second set to force a second tiebreaker. Both sides went on impressive runs, each earning several consecutive points, but the match was ultimately decided by an overruled line call against Tomase, giving Stoiana the victory and securing the overall win for A&M.
Stoiana reflected post-match on how she was able to avoid letting her frustration from losing the doubles point earlier in the day get the best of her.
“It felt great to turn things around despite a pretty rough loss in doubles. I was really fueled by seeing the rest of my teammates get it together and take the doubles point for us,” Stoiana told 12thman.com. “They inspired me to play well. I was frustrated from the doubles match, but I was able to use it as fuel to come out and play fiery in singles. I’m proud of the way I was able to pull through despite some pretty tough road conditions.”
The Aggies are now 7-0 against SEC teams this season, leading the conference. This season has been one of the best in program history, but there is still work to be done with the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament looming in the coming months. A&M coach Mark Weaver said he is optimistic about the team as they approach a top-10 match-up with Georgia in the coming week.
“We just beat a very good Tennessee team at their place in a very tight 4-3 match,” Weaver told 12thman.com. “On top of that, the even better news is that we can play significantly better than we did today. Despite all of our struggles, we still came away with an extremely tough road victory. We will get a good night’s rest and practice hard in Athens, Ga., tomorrow. I am confident that our team will be able to find another level on Sunday afternoon against the Bulldogs.”
The Aggies will head to Athens, Ga., on Sunday, March 27, as they hope to maintain their perfect SEC record against No. 7 Georgia.

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