Texas A&M Women’s Tennis Dominates on Opening Day

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team completed back-to-back shutouts to open the dual match season today, defeating both University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View A&M, 7-0, on a chilly day at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

A&M senior Macarena Olivares and freshman Iulia Ivascu got off to a quick start to the doubleheader, reeling off six consecutive games to defeat UTRGV’s Dominique Fuster and Lasya Patnaik, 6-0, at No. 2 doubles. The senior pair of Domenica Gonzalez and Eva Paalma then clinched the doubles point for the Aggies with a 6-3 victory over Marine Darzyan and Dominique Ibarra at the No. 1 line.

No. 3 doubles went unfinished as A&M freshmen Dorthea Faa-Hviding and Riley McQuaid were knotted at 5-5 with Doris Aleksovska and Anastasia Belyaeva when the doubles point was decided and play was stopped.

The Aggies won the first set on all six courts against the Vaqueros in singles. Paalma won her first nine games at the No. 3 line before Belyaeva won her only game of the match. Paalma went on to win the match, 6-0, 6-1, to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead.

Gonzalez never trailed against Fuster on Court 1. After pulling away to win the opening set, 6-3, Gonzalez won four straight games to win the second set, 6-1, and complete the sweep to put A&M ahead, 3-0.

Olivares had little trouble against Darzyan at No. 2 and clinched the win for the Aggies. Olivares cruised to a 6-0 win in the opening set, and after Darzyan won her first game to open the second set, Olivares once again won six consecutive games to close out a 6-1 second-set victory to give A&M a 4-0 lead.

A&M’s three active freshmen also were victorious in their career debuts. McQuaid defeated Ibarra, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4, and Faa-Hviding followed with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Aleksovska at No. 5.

Ivascu’s match against Patnaik at No. 6 was close throughout, with Ivascu winning back-to-back games to win the opening set, 6-4. Ivascu was up a break in the second set before Patnaik broke back and put the set back on serve at 3-3. The set remained on serve and had to be decided by a tiebreaker. Patnaik built a 4-2 lead, but Ivascu reeled off three unanswered points to take her first lead, 5-4. Patnaik ended the run to even the score at 5-5, before Ivascu scored the final two points to win the tiebreaker and complete the sweep.

A&M raced to a 7-0 victory against a shorthanded Prairie View team in the second match of the doubleheader. Ivascu and Olivares completed a perfect day in doubles and recorded their second straight shutout with a 6-0 victory over Shaddae Findley and Stacy Lackey at No. 2. Gonzalez and Paalma won four consecutive games to wrap up a 6-2 victory over Constanza Aranguiz and Neharika Rama at No. 1 to clinch the point.

The Panthers, who were unable to field a doubles team at No. 3, quickly fell behind, 2-0, as they only had five players available for singles and had to concede a point at the No. 6 line. The Aggies dominated on the other five courts, racing to 6-0 first-set wins on every court and dropping a total of only five games.

Olivares won the first 10 games of her match against Lackey at No. 2 and won the match, 6-0, 6-1, to put the Aggies ahead, 3-0.

Faa-Hviding’s scoring followed the same path as she won her first 10 games en route to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Jimena Castellanos at No. 5 to clinch the team win.

Paalma blanked Aranguiz, 6-0, 6-0 to give A&M a 5-0 lead, and McQuaid dropped only one game in her 6-0, 6-1 win over Findley at No. 4.

Gonzalez completed the shutout with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Rama at No. 1.

The Aggies (2-0), who have now won six consecutive season openers, return to the Mitchell Tennis Center next Saturday to play host to both Texas State and Sam Houston State in doubleheader. The match against the Bobcats begins at noon, and the contest against the Bearkats starts at 4 p.m.

General admission seating for all regular-season matches is free this season.

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.

Postmatch Quotes

Texas A&M Head Coach Mark Weaver

On his general thoughts on today’s matches…

“I’m very pleased. The first match of the year, there are always those first-match jitters. I thought we really handled it well. We were definitely a little more nervous in the first go around, and we fought through a couple of matches that were tight early. We fought through those and ended up playing pretty well once we got around to the singles.

“With Prairie View, I felt like everyone relaxed, loosened up and went for our shots a little bit more and really pick up our play the second go around against Prairie View. I’m very proud and pleased with the girls today. The doubleheaders can be a little tough on everyone, and I thought everybody handled it really well with the energy. We actually got better and better as the day went through. It was definitely a little chilly out here but the girls were pretty tough today and actually played quite well. There is no doubt our trip to Hawaii got us prepared and ready to go for opening day here. We got several days of good practice in Hawaii and three competitive days out there against some really strong competition, and that definitely got us ready to go for today.”

On what he is most looking to improve upon before next weekend’s doubleheader…

“We definitely emphasize the doubles a lot. We definitely were not pleased with how we played in the doubles out in Hawaii, and we definitely worked hard since we’ve been back on the doubles. That’s been our main focus. There was definite improvement today. We still probably need to take it up another level in the doubles. Eva (Paalma) and Domenica (Gonzalez) are right on track on where they need to be at No. 1. We’ve kind of tinkered with a couple teams at two and three. We feel pretty good with the pairings for now and we are focusing on getting better and a little more aggressive with the shot selection. Definitely emphasizing the doubles but I’m very pleased at where we are this early in the season.”

UT Rio Grande Valley vs Texas A&M

1/13/2018 at College Station, Texas

(George P. Mitchell Tennis Center)

Texas A&M 7, UT Rio Grande Valley 0

Singles competition

1. Domenica Gonzalez (A&M) def. Dominique Fuster (UTRGV) 6-3, 6-1

2. Macarena Olivares (A&M) def. Marine Darzyan (UTRGV) 6-0, 6-1

3. Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Anastasia Belyaeva (UTRGV) 6-0, 6-1

4. Riley McQuaid (A&M) def. Dominique Ibarra (UTRGV) 6-2, 6-2

5. Dorthea Faa-Hviding (A&M) def. Doris Aleksovska (UTRGV) 6-2, 6-4

6. Iulia Ivascu (A&M) def. Lasya Patnaik (UTRGV) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles competition

1. Domenica Gonzalez/Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Marine Darzyan/Dominique Ibarra (UTRGV) 6-3

2. Iulia Ivascu/Macarena Olivares (A&M) def. Dominique Fuster/Lasya Patnaik (UTRGV) 6-0

3. Dorthea Faa-Hviding/Riley McQuaid (A&M) vs. Doris Aleksovska/Anastasia Belyaeva (UTRGV) 5-5, unfinished

Match Notes:

UT Rio Grande Valley 0-1

Texas A&M 1-0

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,1,2,4,5,6)

T-2:29

Prairie View A&M vs Texas A&M

1/13/2018 at College Station, Texas

(George P. Mitchell Tennis Center)

Texas A&M 7, Prairie View A&M 0

Singles competition

1. Domenica Gonzalez (A&M) def. Neharika Rama (PVAMU) 6-0, 6-2

2. Macarena Olivares (A&M) def. Stacy Lackey (PVAMU) 6-0, 6-1

3. Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Constanza Aranguiz (PVAMU) 6-0, 6-0

4. Riley McQuaid (A&M) def. Shaddae Findley (PVAMU) 6-0, 6-1

5. Dorthea Faa-Hviding (A&M) def. Jimena Duran-Castell (PVAMU) 6-0, 6-1

6. Iulia Ivascu (A&M) def. No player (PVAMU), by forfeit

Doubles competition

1. Domenica Gonzalez/Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Constanza Aranguiz/Neharika Rama (PVAMU) 6-2

2. Iulia Ivascu/Macarena Olivares (A&M) def. Shaddae Findley/Stacy Lackey (PVAMU) 6-0

3. Dorthea Faa-Hviding/Riley McQuaid (A&M) def. No player/No player (PVAMU), by forfeit

Match Notes:

Prairie View A&M 0-1

Texas A&M 2-0

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,5,3,4,1)