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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M women’s tennis shuts out Auburn 7-0

Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Junior Renee McBryde returns a backhand shot.

Deep into West Campus lies the Mitchell Tennis Center, a building that, when asked three months ago, most Aggies could not direct you to. However, it is in this building, under stadium lights, where the No. 7 Texas A&M women’s tennis team continues to make history.
On Friday, April 1, A&M faced No. 9 Auburn Tigers in a showdown of SEC power. The Aggies emerged with a 7-0 victory, making history on many fronts. The win marks A&M’s second consecutive shut-out win over a top-10 ranked school and leaves the Aggies 23-1 and 9-0 in the conference, all for the first time in the history of the program.
Coach Mark Weaver said that despite some hiccups and room for “sharper” play, the team’s performance was overall dominant.
“It was just another great performance by our team,” Weaver said. “I think that in doubles today we didn’t necessarily have our best showing. With that being said, any time you can get the doubles point over a top-10 opponent, you need to be somewhat pleased. We were able to come up with the big shots when we needed them … There are a lot of things to be proud of and excited about, but there is more work to be done.”
The Aggies started off slow in the doubles matches with the No. 2 pair of senior Jayci Goldsmith and graduate Tatiana Makarova falling to the No. 22 Tigers duo of sophomore Ariana Arseneault and junior Selin Ovunc. However, A&M came rushing back with a win from senior Renee McBryde and freshman Gianna Pielet to even the odds. The doubles point was decided in favor of the Aggies with the 6-3 victory by junior Carson Branstine and freshman Mary Stoiana.
Pielet said her chemistry with McBryde allows them to play at their best.
“Renee [McBryde] is an unbelievable doubles player, so it is super easy to play alongside her every day in practice and during our matches,” Pielet said. “It’s so fun playing with somebody who hits the ball so hard. It gives me a ton of opportunities to be aggressive at the net and help secure points for our team.”
Moving into the singles event, the momentum carried in favor of the maroon and white. A&M locked in five of the first six sets early. Pielet stole the first point of the match, settling the Aggies at 2-0. Wins from No. 23 Branstine and senior Katya Townsend put A&M at a comfortable 4-0 lead. No. 29 Makarova locked in the maroon and white’s final straight-set win of the night. No. 93 Stoiana turned the tables after a 2-6 deficit in the first set to take the match in the proceeding two sets. Goldsmith secured the final point in A&M’s historic 7-0 sweep with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win.
Pielet said she used the support of the people around her to push forward in her singles play.
“It was really great to have the support of the crowd and my coaches today,” Pielet said. “I have been working really hard this week, and I feel like my game is truly coming together. Seeing my teammates compete makes me want to give even more effort to try and win for them. I wanted to help our team and get my point extra early today. At the end of the day, it paid off and we are in a great position as a team.”
Following the match against the Tigers, Makarova moved to 18-0 in doubles play and stands as the sixth winningest player in school history with 95 singles wins to her name. Stoiana stands as the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week and 18-1 in dual match play and 10-2 against nationally-ranked opponents.
A&M will have its final home match of the regular season on Sunday, April 3 against Alabama. First serve is set for noon, and McBryde, Makarova, Townsend and senior Isa Di Laura will be honored following the event.

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