COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team opens the 2018 dual match season Saturday by hosting the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and Prairie View A&M in a doubleheader at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The match against the Vaqueros begins at noon, and first serve against the Panthers is at 4 p.m.
General admission seating is free. Stadium Club season tickets, valid for all men’s and women’s regular-season home matches, are available for purchase at https://aggi.es/2D87J8f.
“There is definitely excitement in the air as we open our season with a doubleheader against UTRGV and Prairie View A&M,” said Mark Weaver, who is in his third season as head coach of the Aggies. “There will no doubt be some nerves to battle for all the teams, but having just come off of the Hawaii trip, I believe that we put ourselves in a much better situation to be ready to go come game time. Half of our starters will be approaching this as the first match since last season, and the other half will be approaching it as the first match of their careers, so that no doubt makes for an interesting contrast. Our seniors have done a great job as captains and leaders of our team and have done a good job of setting the stage for our young, freshman group.”
The Aggies, who received votes in the Oracle/ITA Division I preseason top-25 team rankings released last week, return seniors Domenica Gonzalez, Macarena Olivares and Eva Paalma from last year’s team that went 18-13 and was No. 16 in the final rankings after reaching the NCAA Sweet 16. The Aggies also list four freshmen on the seven-member roster: Dorthea Faa-Hviding, Iulia Ivascu, Tatiana Makarova and Riley McQuaid.
Olivares led the Aggies in singles victories leading up to the dual match season, winning seven of her last eight matches to finish tournament play, 10-5. Most recently, the Santiago, Chile, native went 3-0 to win the No. 2 singles flight at the Weinman Foundation Invitational last weekend in Honolulu.
Gonzalez, who had foot surgery following the 2017 season and until the Hawaii tournament was limited to only doubles play throughout the fall, and Paalma led the team in doubles victories with a 9-3 record. The pair closed out tournament play by going 3-0 to win the No. 1 doubles flight at Hawaii.
Texas A&M, a winner in its season opener each of the last five years, is 1-0 all-time against UTRGV, previously known as Texas-Pan American. In the only meeting, A&M defeated then-UTPA, 7-0, on Jan. 20, 2007, at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Aggies are 2-0 all-time against Prairie View A&M. The teams met for the first time last season in a doubleheader at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The 22nd-ranked Aggies defeated the Panthers 7-0 and 4-0 on April 9.
Texas A&M plays its first seven matches of the season at the friendly confines of the Mitchell Tennis Center before playing its first road match at Rice in Houston on Feb. 14. The Aggies open Southeastern Conference play March 2 as they play host to Tennessee.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team by following @AggieWTEN on Twitter and Instagram, as well as on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWTEN.