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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 advances to Sweet 16

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior Jayci Goldsmith hits a ball back to Leopoldine Boisseau during their singles match at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Friday, May 6, 2022.

It’s all well and good to perform at a high level in the regular season, but what separates the good teams from the great teams is how well they perform in the playoffs. Through two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the seventh seeded Texas A&M women’s tennis team has continued to dominate its opposition en route to a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals, which is more commonly known as the Sweet 16.

In their first round matchup, A&M drew A&M Corpus-Christi. 

The Aggies clinched the doubles point with relative ease behind a pair of 6-1 victories from the duo of junior Carson Branstine and freshman Mary Stoiana. The other A&M pair featured senior Renee McBryde and freshman Giana Pielet.

The Aggies continued to play at a high level as the match moved on into singles play.

Stoiana picked up A&M’s second point behind a straight set victory over junior Camille Townsend. Graduate Tatiana Makarova followed shortly afterward with a straight set victory of her own over junior Mariya Shumeika to put A&M on the brink of advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

A 6-0, 6-0 victory from freshman Jeanette Mireles over sophomore Kateryna Rublevska clinched the Aggies’ spot in the second round. The final score ended up being a 4-0 sweep for the maroon and white.

A&M coach Mark Weaver said he was particularly proud of the way the team performed in the doubles portion of the match against a talented A&M Corpus-Christi team.

“We’re very pleased”, Weaver said. “We talked about bringing in the doubles point like we always do. We won the first 15 points in the doubles out there, which I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that happen before. That’s pretty impressive there. Corpus Christi has now only lost four matches all year and two of them [were] to us. They are a good team. We really played them well, despite the final team score.”

Next up, a matchup against the Baylor Bears. From the outset, the match was competitive.

The doubles point started off great for A&M, with McBryde and Pielet defeating Baylor junior Paula Baranano and freshman Anita Sahdiieva 6-3. A&M’s duo of Makarova and senior Jayci Goldsmith got out to an early 5-2 lead over Baylor’s No. 7 ranked senior duo of Alicia Herrero and Mel Krywoj. 

However, Herrero and Krywoj went on a bit of a run to win the next two games and push the following game to a deuce point. Makarova and Goldsmith dug deep to win the match, clinching the point and picking up the doubles point for the Aggies.

Singles play was more of the same for the Aggies. 

The Bears, while talented in their own right, made it difficult for the Aggies, but just couldn’t put together dominant stretches of tennis to be competitive in the second round matchup. 

Makarova’s defeat in straight sets of Herrero increased A&M’s lead to 2-0. Stoiana followed with a straight sets victory of her own over Krywoj, and Mireles picked up her second match-clinching victory in as many days to send A&M to the Super Regionals. 

Weaver said he was proud of the way A&M took care of a good Baylor team. He said he was especially impressed with how Makarova and Goldsmith dealt with Baylor’s top doubles team.

“I think the doubles point was key,” Weaver said. “[Baylor has] a very strong No. 1 team that we haven’t had a lot of success with, so getting that one there today made a really big difference. Baylor is a very good team. To beat them that decisively is really impressive for our group. We’re just a really confident team that is playing at a high level right now.”

Makarova said A&M has its sights set on winning a National Championship in the coming weeks.

“We’re a really confident team,” Makarova said. “Right now, we’re on this ride and the sky’s the limit for us. We all really and truly believe that we’re going to win it [all].”

The Aggies will face the winner of No. 10 Ohio State and Vanderbilt at Mitchell Tennis Center in the next round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, May 14. The matchup’s start time is not yet determined as of press time. 

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