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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

No. 14 Texas A&M women’s tennis dominates in season opener

Photo by FILE

Senior Katya Townsend opened her fall season with a dominating performance over Houston, winning six straight sets on Friday, Oct. 29. 

With an overall impressive performance, Texas A&M women’s tennis set high standards for the rest of its season.
In the first matchup of a double header on Sunday, Jan. 16, the Aggies faced McNeese University. In the doubles matchup, both graduate student Tatiana Makarova and freshman Mary Stoiana, in addition to freshmen Jeanette Mireles and Gianna Pielet shut out their opponents.
For singles, Stoiana and senior Jayci Goldsmith grabbed 2-0 wins against their opponents. Mireles and freshmen Ellie Pittman and Kayal Gownder all allowed only one point against them. However, these triumphs marked the first dual match singles wins for Stoiana, Mireles, Pittman and Gownder.
The Aggies had two wins by default in their first match with seniors Isa Di Laura and Katya Townsend in doubles and sophomore Elise Robbins in singles.
The day didn’t stop there; A&M also took on the Tarleton Texans, managing a 7-0 victory.
The doubles match featured 6-1 wins from pairs Robbins and Stoiana and Pielet and senior Renee McBryde. The No. 5 ranked tandem of Makarova and Goldsmith held a 5-2 lead before the match was called unfinished as the Aggies clinched the doubles point.
McBryde said her new pairing with Pielet took some adaptation, but both used their strengths to secure the win.
“Doubles was really interesting today,” McBryde said. “Obviously, it was the first match of the season, and Gianna isn’t a player that I have a lot of experience playing with since I’m a senior and she’s a freshman. But we both came out and played really aggressive tennis. I did my best to take charge at the net, and with Gianna’s great serve, I was able to get on top of things.”
The maroon and white dominated the singles matches with all six Aggies managing first-set wins. Mcbryde trailed 3-5 in her first set, but recovered to win ten consecutive games and finish 7-5, 6-0.
McBryde said her early trail was due to her opponent’s, Tarleton junior Celia Vaudiau, unconventional techniques.
“Singles was a bit of a head scratcher early on,” McBryde said. “My opponent played a tough style of tennis that was a little frustrating. She sliced a lot during our match; I think she hit a traditional drive ball maybe five times in the entire match. But, once I got settled and Bjorn [Thomson] talked me through everything, I was able to wrap my head around what I needed to do to get the win.”
The wins mark the seventh-straight 2-0 start for coach Mark Weaver since he was brought on in the 2015-16 campaign. Additionally, the day marked many new initiatives with the freshmen gaining experience and Makarova working her way into both the singles and doubles leaderboard at A&M.
“It was a very productive day for us,” Weaver said. “These doubleheaders are always long days, but it was great for our group. We got a lot of good matches in, and we saw a ton of different players from our team go out and gain some match experience. I think most of us, if not all of us, were battling a few nerves, and that’s exactly why we schedule these types of matches early on. The next time we play, the nerves will be much easier to manage. I thought we took care of business and handled things very professionally.”
With the stakes high for the rest of the season, Weaver said A&M’s victory will not lead to complacency.
“We’ve done a great job of preparing and making progress early on in the season,” Weaver said. “[Monday] is a day off for us, but when we get back to work on Tuesday, we are going to work extremely hard to take our game to another level. The competition will only get better from here, so we have to bring our best effort each and every day.”
The Aggies take the court again on Jan. 22 at Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station with another double header against the University of Houston and Texas State.


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