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The Battalion

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A&M women’s tennis advances to SEC semifinals with 4-0 win
Freshman+Lucciana+Perez+reacts+to+the+match+winning+point+at+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Alabama+at+the+Outdoor+Mitchell+Tennis+Center+on+Sunday%2C+April+14%2C+2024.+%5BConnor+May%2FThe+Battlion+%C2%A9%5D
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Freshman Lucciana Perez reacts to the match winning point at Texas A&M’s match against Alabama at the Outdoor Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, April 14, 2024. [Connor May/The Battlion ©]

The No. 12 Texas A&M women’s tennis team shipped off the No. 32 Vanderbilt Commodores 4-0 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.

After a 25-minute delay, the match opened with doubles play. The No. 3 duo of junior Mary Stoiana and sophomore Mia Kupres took on junior Celia-Belle Mohr and senior Holly Staff, falling 6-2. Kupres countered relentless lob shots, but it was not enough as the pair succumbed to its opponents, marking the lone setback in doubles play.

Sophomore Nicole Khirin and senior Carson Branstine were the first Aggies to win in doubles, taking down sophomore Bridget Stammel and freshman Valeria Ray, 6-3.

Freshman Lucciana Perez and junior Jeanette Mireles took down senior Anessa Lee and junior Amy Stevens, 6-3. Perez had no issue responding to both Commodores from the baseline and her quick thinking led to A&M having the lead after doubles.

“When it is your first match of any championship it always takes a little bit to get your feet under you and I felt that somewhat in the doubles today,” coach Mark Weaver said. “Vanderbilt had already had a match from the day before, so they came out and played well early on.”

No. 1 Stoiana went up against Stammel and had much better luck during singles. The Aggie was quick to maneuver from the baseline to the front and deftly responded to Stammel’s volley shots. She was the first to finish, 6-1, 6-3. Stoiana has now won eight games in a row.

Following Stoiana’s win, Khirin took on Ray on Court 3, winning 6-1, 6-2 for her 20th win of the season.

The Maroon and White dominated Vanderbilt in their previous meeting this season, notching a 7-0 sweep at home. Perez solidified this dominance by clinching the match against Staff, 6-3, 6-3.

Kurpres went up against Lee on Court 4. Kupres slid from the baseline to respond to many topspins, leading her match before it was deemed unfinished.

Mohr, who also holds the most wins for Vanderbilt at 27, went up against Branstine, who recently rejoined the squad following an injury suffered last season. Branstine had trouble responding to Mohr’s smash shots, but the match was also left unfinished.

A&M now holds a 12-6 record versus the Commodores all-time and has won the last eight matchups.

“Overall, I am very pleased with our performance,” Weaver said. “We played excellent in singles and performed at a very high level overall as a group.”

Riding a nine-match win streak, A&M is set to play the No. 3 seed Florida Gators in the SEC semifinals on Saturday, April 20 in Athens, Georgia.

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About the Contributor
Shalina Sabih
Shalina Sabih, Sports writer
Shalina is a Pakistani-American journalism major from Dallas, TX. She is also minoring in communications. Shalina's favorite sport is football and she loves the Dallas Cowboys. She wants to pursue a career in journalism after college and also plans on attending law school.
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