Aggies travel to face No. 11 South Carolina, No. 22 Florida

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Match #13

Texas A&M Aggies (10-2, 1-1 SEC) vs. #11 South Carolina (10-2, 2-0 SEC)

Friday, March 9, 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET)

Carolina Tennis Center

Columbia, South Carolina


Match #14

Texas A&M Aggies vs. #22 Florida (7-4, 2-0 SEC entering Friday match vs. LSU)

Sunday, March 11, 12 p.m. (1 p.m. ET)

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Florida

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team embarks on its first Southeastern Conference road trip of the season this weekend and will face back-to-back Top 25 teams as the Aggies are at No. 11 South Carolina on Friday and at No. 22 Florida on Sunday. The match against the Gamecocks has been changed to a 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) start at the Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, and the match against the defending national champion and 22nd-ranked Gators begins at 12 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville.

“We definitely have some challenges ahead of us this weekend playing against No. 11 South Carolina and the defending national champions in Florida,” said Mark Weaver, who is in his third season as head coach of the Aggies. “We are playing some very good tennis at the moment, and rising to the occasion is what it is all about this time of the year. We have prepared well this week and all semester, and now it is time to lay it on the line this weekend, and that will be the message for the remainder of the season.”

Texas A&M (10-2, 1-1 SEC), No. 25 in the USTA collegiate rankings and No. 35 in the ITA rankings, opened SEC play last weekend by upsetting previously undefeated and then-No. 17 Tennessee, 4-1, in the conference opener on Friday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Maroon and White then battled SEC preseason-favorite and 10th-ranked Georgia on Saturday and fell to the Bulldogs, 4-2.

The Aggies are led by Domenica Gonzalez who boasts an 11-0 dual match record in singles, all at the No. 1 line. The senior is ranked 111th in the ITA singles rankings and is riding a 13-match win streak overall. Senior Macarena Olivares is 11-1 in dual matches, all at No. 2, and freshman Riley McQuaid is 10-1, having seen action at the No. 4 line, where she is 6-0, as well as the No. 5 court.

In doubles, the freshman pair of McQuaid and Dorthea Faa-Hviding leads the Aggies with a 5-1 mark in dual matches, while Gonzalez and senior partner Eva Paalma have the most wins overall with a 13-5 ledger.

The Gamecocks, 6-0 in home matches, improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in SEC matches after defeating Mississippi State, 4-2, and blanking then-No. 7 Ole Miss, 4-0, both on the road last weekend. They have three players listed in the ITA singles rankings: No. 29 Hadley Berg, the reigning SEC Player of the week; No. 110 Ingrid Gamarra Martins and No. 121 Megan Davies. In doubles, Davies and Silvia Chinellato are No. 63, and Gamarra Martins and Paige Cline are No. 79.

Florida, which last year upended Texas A&M in the NCAA round of 16 on its way to capturing the national championship, is 7-4 overall, including 2-0 in SEC matches as well as 2-0 at home entering a home contest against No. 36 LSU on Friday. The Gators, who like A&M have only seniors and freshmen listed on their seven-player roster, enter the weekend having won their last four matches, including a 4-3 victory at No. 7 Ole Miss last Friday and a 4-0 shutout at Mississippi State on Sunday.

The Gators have four players ranked in singles, including senior Anna Danilina, who is a team-high No. 15 with a 5-4 record at the No. 1 court. Senior and two-time SEC Player of the Year Brooke Austin is No. 44, but she has not played a match since October. Senior Josie Kuhlman and Victoria Emma, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, are No. 45 and No. 100, respectively.

In doubles, Danilina and Emma are ranked 15th with an 8-3 record in dual matches.

South Carolina owns an 8-5 lead in the all-time series against A&M, including a 4-2 victory on the Aggies’ home court last season. A&M upset then-No. 8 South Carolina, 6-1, in 2016, the last time the two teams met in Columbia.

Florida has won the last four meetings against the Aggies and is 6-2 in the all-time series, including 2-0 in matches played in Gainesville. A&M’s most recent victory was in the quarterfinals of the 2014 SEC Tournament, as the Aggies upset the then-No. 4 Gators, 4-3, in Columbia, Missouri.

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