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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

No. 2 Oklahoma knocks No. 7 A&M out of race for national title

Junior+Carson+Branstine+prepares+to+serve+the+ball+during+her+singles+match+at+the+Mitchell+Tennis+Center+on+Saturday%2C+May+7%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior Carson Branstine prepares to serve the ball during her singles match at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

The Texas A&M women’s tennis team finally was able to step on the court for the NCAA quarterfinals held on May 20 in Campaign, Ill. Despite efforts from the maroon and white, Oklahoma took home the win 4-3 to move onto the semifinals.
The matchup began with sixth-ranked senior Jayci Goldsmith and graduate Tatiana Makarova on Court 1, where they battled it out with the Sooners. Oklahoma took a 6-3 win while 47th-ranked junior Carson Branstine and freshman Mary Stoiana attempted to get the Aggies back on top on Court 2. The Aggies were able to pull off a 6-3 win, tying the doubles matchups 1-1. The Aggies and Sooners traded blows in the final doubles match leading to an even 5-5 score with senior Renee McBryde to serve. Oklahoma managed to pull off the 7-5 win and won the doubles round, 2-1.
With the Aggies’ last hope at advancing being the singles matchups, eighth-ranked Branstine took to Court 1 but was unable to overcome Oklahoma’s No. 10 junior Layne Seeth, and lost with scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Meanwhile on Court 2, No. 24 Marakova was able to win the first set 3-6, but she lost the final two 6-2 and 6-3. 74th-ranked Stoiana was able to secure a win on Court 3 after beating her opponent with scores of 6-2 and 6-1. Courts 4 and 5 showed similar results with Goldsmith beating sophomore Dana Guzman 6-4 and 6-2 and freshman Gianna Pielet defeating senior Alexandra Pisareva 6-2 and 6-3.
The final singles matchup was the deciding match to potentially send the Aggies to the semifinals, with freshman Jeanette Mireles going up against Oklahoma’s freshman Emma Staker. Mireles won the first set 3-6, but was unable to win the final two, losing 6-3 and 6-4. The Sooners won the matchup with a final score of 4-3.
The Aggies finished off their best season in program history with a final record of 33-2 and boast both SEC regular season and tournament championships.
The NCAA Individual Championships are set to begin on Monday, May 23 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana-Campaign Ill., with Branstine and Marakova competing in the first round of the singles championships. Marakova joins Goldsmith in the first round of doubles matchups on Tuesday, May 24.
For the women’s tennis team, the results from the quarterfinals were heartbreaking according to head coach Mark Weaver.
“It was definitely the heartbreaker of all heartbreakers. We definitely had the doubles point on our racquets, and we won five first sets in singles,” Weaver said to 12thMan.com. “At multiple points, it looked like we might have [had] a chance to run away with the match. I give credit to Oklahoma. They were able to pull out multiple 4-3 victories this season, and they did so again tonight.”
Despite the disappointing end to the season, Weaver said he was still proud of all his team accomplished this season.
“It was such an amazing season,” Weaver told 12thMan.com. “We went undefeated at home, undefeated on the road and undefeated in matches played outdoors. Our only two losses of the season were 4-3 matches indoors, and we were playing for a national title on both occasions.”
While it might be hard coming back to Aggieland without any hardware, Weaver said the team can still be content with their accomplishments this season and look forward to coming back even stronger.
“The good news is that we will be back,” Weaver said. “This was only the beginning of something special here in Aggieland.”

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