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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M women’s tennis comes out on top in ranked matchup

Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Senior Jayci Goldsmith‘s prepares to return the ball. 

No. 8 Texas A&M women’s tennis is in uncharted territory. The team is off to its best start in program history and continued its strong play with its win against No. 13 Florida on Sunday, March 6. The victory improved A&M’s season record to 16-1, 2-0 in conference play.
The Aggies got off to a great start in doubles play against the Gators, winning two of the three matches to clinch the first point of the match.
The maroon and white, however, slowed down heading into singles play. Florida’s McCartney Kessler, a graduate student, defeated A&M junior Carson Branstine, but A&M regained the lead behind a straight-set victory from graduate senior Tatiana Makarova.
The two teams split the following two matches to keep A&M’s lead at 3-2, and the Aggies were on the verge of another victory.
They clinched the victory behind a three-set win from senior Jayci Goldsmith against Florida junior Carly Briggs. A&M freshman Mary Stoiana added another three-set victory for good measure to give the maroon and white the 5-2 victory.
Goldsmith praised her teammates for helping her get the job done in a tough singles match.
“After the second set, I knew what I needed to do,” Goldsmith said. “I had to change my attitude and perspective about things and leave that second set in the past. The girls were surrounding me on the courts, and they did such a great job of cheering me on and keeping me in a positive mindset. The momentum kept on going, and we were able to get a huge win as a team today.”
Coach Mark Weaver said he was proud of the way A&M performed against a great program.
“I think that Florida is an excellent team,” Weaver said. “Right now, the rankings are a bit all over the place. I firmly believe that Florida is a top-10 team in the country. Anytime you can beat a program with Florida’s pedigree, it’s huge for your program. Coach Thornqvist has won four national titles in his tenure there, and I have nothing but respect for him and his team. I think it was an excellent performance by our group today.”
Weaver said he was particularly impressed with how A&M defeated the best players Florida had to offer.
“We played an incredible doubles point and took down a pair of top-12 teams in the nation. Their roster has four ranked singles players, and I think we handled the pressure from that extremely well. This is still a very young team, and that was one of their first big-match experiences at home. The matches were on the line there, and the girls truly embraced the support from the crowd to pull this one out.”
Weaver also said the home crowd played a big role in the outcome of the match.
“The 12th Man had a huge impact on the group today,” Weaver said. “It’s a sense of pride that we play for out there. I know a lot of Aggies are pulling for our team right now given our recent success. It was a loud, fun and exciting crowd. It really helped us a great deal in the doubles point, and that momentum carried us through the singles. I want to thank all of the Aggies out there who were able to make it in person, in addition to everyone who tuned in to the livestream of the match online. We always do our best to make the 12th Man proud.”
Next up for the Aggies is a trip to Starkville, Miss., for a matchup against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday, March 11. First serve at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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