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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

UT-Arlington weekend match to end three-week-long lull

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Cody Franklin — THE BATTALION

This year hasn’t gone according to plan for No. 18 Texas A&M.
After blanking North Texas 4-0 in their season opener, the Aggies went on to drop their next two matches to TCU and No. 1 North Carolina. Still, their most recent loss against the Tar Heels suggests they might not be far off track.
“Obviously you’re never happy when you get beat,” said head women’s tennis coach Howard Joffe. “But on the day I was very pleased based on the fact that North Carolina is a very good team. We played them indoors. We are not an indoors team. And it came down to the last match. Since that match, we’ve worked very diligently and hard. Our main objective is still to get enough wins in the season to be well positioned and playing our best at the end.”
In the time since A&M faced UNC in Houston, the Tar Heels put together dominating victories over No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Georgia en route to capturing this year’s indoor national championship crown. Meanwhile, the Aggies have been idle. Thursday’s match against UT-Arlington wasn’t added to the schedule until two weeks ago, but it will serve as a much needed return to action for A&M.
“Taking the loss to TCU meant that we didn’t qualify for indoors this year,” Joffe said. “To go three weeks without a match is probably too much in the season. So instead of us continuing to beat up on each other in practice every day, which is what we’ve been doing, I think the girls are looking forward to facing a different opponent. They’re excited about tomorrow’s match against UT-Arlington, but they’re also just excited to have someone else to play against.”
In truth, Texas A&M’s opponent was mainly determined by geography — Arlington is only three hours north of College Station — and schedule availability. Still, the Mavericks ­— 5-1 on the season — aren’t making the trip down just to be someone else’s punching bag.
“More than anything, putting it in it’s proper context, we are supposed to be a stronger team than UT-Arlington,” Joffe said. “That being said, they played Missouri, who is a pretty good SEC team, to a match score of 4-3. Aside from the result of our match today, I’ll just be looking to see how we compete. The season obviously hasn’t started off the way we would’ve liked, and yet the improvement from match to match has been significant. If we can continue to do that, then we begin to set ourselves up for the start of SEC play, which is obviously the critical item in our season.”
The match begins at 2 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

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