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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Star freshman wins Rice Invitational Singles

Photo by FILE

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

In a day of debuts and wins, Texas A&M freshman Gianna Pielet took first in singles at the Rice Invitational Tournament in Houston, which concluded Oct. 30.
Pielet won the singles competition defeating Rice’s Allison Zipoli 6-3, 6-4, bringing her weekend record to 3-0. In singles play, the Aggies went 15-6 as a team, including a 7-0 record on Friday, Oct. 29. Nationally ranked senior Katya Townsend made her debut on Friday with a dominating win over Houston’s Manasi Reddy 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets. Townsend was followed by six more A&M victories. Freshman and Cypress native Kayal Gownder also made her season debut this weekend going 1-1 in singles competition and a loss in doubles play.
Assistant coach Jordan Szabo said the team played better as the tournament progressed.
“I think we needed to be a little more poised in some of our singles matches, but we got better as the weekend went on,” Szabo told “We competed with great intensity today, and I’m looking forward to seeing our progress over the next few weeks.”
The maroon and white went 4-6 in doubles play, and multiple Aggies made their season debuts at the Invitational, which started on Thursday, Oct. 28. Sophomore Elise Robbins and freshman Jeanette Mireles opened their seasons with a 8-5 win in doubles play over the SMU duo Cambelle Bouchard and Emma Gretsky. A&M senior Isa Di Laura and freshman Ellie Pittman were defeated in their doubles debut by Ana Paula Jiminez and Carla Pons from UT Arlington, 8-5. Senior Renee McBryde and Pielet took in a win in their doubles debut 9-7 over Drew Morris and Reka Patel of SMU.
Szabo said the team was slow to hit their competitive stride in doubles play on Thursday.
“Today was a productive day,” Szabo told “We took four to five games to really hit our stride, which is far too long in a shortened doubles format.”
The Aggies will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 4, at the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego.

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