No. 17 Women’s Tennis Goes the Distance to Defeat No. 15 Tennessee
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The newly-ranked No. 17 Texas A&M women’s tennis team battled back from a 3-2 deficit to win a hotly contested 4-3 match on Wednesday, as the Aggies defeated the No. 15 Tennessee Lady Volunteers at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
During Wednesday’s match, the latest Oracle ITA Women’s Team Rankings were released, which saw the Aggies climb three spots to the No. 17 spot nationally, while Tennessee improved to the No. 15 slot. After the match, Texas A&M climbs to 16-5 overall this season with an 8-3 record against Southeastern Conference opponents. Meanwhile, the Lady Volunteers drop to 14-7 with an 8-5 SEC record.
In an atypical formatting decision, the match began with the singles competition for the first time this year. Katya Townsend got things started with a dominating 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 45-ranked singles player in Carly Briggs. Jayci Goldsmith extended the Aggies lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 performance against No. 68 Eleonora Molinaro on court two. The Lady Volunteers then proceeded to rattle off three consecutive singles victories on courts four, six and five to take a 3-2 lead with one singles court outstanding. In one of the most high-stakes situations this season, No. 22 Tatiana Makarova got the better of No. 96 Rebeka Mertena in a three-set thriller on court one to deadlock the match at 3-3 heading into doubles play.
In the doubles competition, Townsend continued her streak of clutch performances after teaming up with Riley McQuaid for a 6-4 win over Daria Kuczer and Kylie Duckworth on court three. With the match on the line, the Aggie doubles pairing of Renee McBryde and Dorthea Faa-Hviding came away with a 6-4 win on court two over Briggs and Esther Adeshina to clinch the doubles point and push the Maroon & White over the top in a 4-3 thriller.
Following her clutch performance at the No. 1 singles line, the Moscow, Russia, native Makarova sees her overall singles record improve to 22-5 with an astronomical 14-3 record in the dual match campaign. The senior is riding a 12-match win streak and has an equally impressive 14-match unbeaten streak. The Dripping Springs, Texas, native, Goldsmith, returns to the win column with her performance on court two and climbs to 8-5 at the No. 2 singles position.
With the team victory in hand, the Aggies have matched their longest win streak of the season with three consecutive wins for the fifth time this season. The Maroon & White now hold a 10-1 record at the Mitchell Tennis Center and have won six straight home matches at the facility dating back to the team’s 7-0 sweep of the Utah Utes on Feb. 12. A&M has now recorded the doubles point for the 12th time in the 2021 season and took wins on the top three singles courts for the seventh time this year.
Texas A&M women’s tennis remains in Aggieland for its final home match of the 2021 campaign, as the Aggies get set to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in a 10 a.m. first serve on Saturday, April 17th from the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Mark Weaver
On playing the singles matches before doubles…
“This match definitely had a different feel to it with the singles first. Back in the old days when I played, that was how we did it. I always felt that it was more exciting to do the singles first and the doubles second. One of the things we discussed in the locker room before the match was that we needed to bring the energy and have some fun while embracing the challenge. We always have to expect the unexpected, and I believe that the girls handled the situation very well. That was one of the best doubles points we’ve had all season.”
On Katya Townsend’s performance…
“It was a very dominating performance by Katya today in both the singles and the doubles. You could tell during warmups that she was sharp and ready to go. Katya really came through for us today, and I know that she’s been working very hard to find her form. She sets the bar very high for herself, and I was pleased with her ability to play at the level she always strives for. Her performance was key for us today.”
Junior Katya Townsend
On the keys to success in singles…
“It was a strange day today starting with singles first. I feel like that gives a different energy to the match. We are a very solid singles team overall. For me, it was all about focusing on every single point and avoiding giving away free points. I think I did a lot better this time of going about that. As a team overall, we fought on every single court in the singles competition, and we all did a great job of supporting each other during those matches.”
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
No. 17 Texas A&M 4, No. 15 Tennessee 3
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – Bryan-College Station, Texas
1. #22 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. #96 Rebeka Mertena (TENN) 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1
2. Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) def. #68 Eleonora Molinaro (TENN) 6-1, 6-4
3. Katya Townsend (TAMU) def. #45 Carly Briggs (TENN) 6-3, 6-2
4. Daria Kuczer (TENN) def. Dorthea Faa-Hviding (TAMU) 6-1, 7-6(4)
5. Tenika McGiffin (TENN) def. Renee McBryde (TAMU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
6. Johanna Silva (TENN) def. Riley McQuaid (TAMU) 6-3, 7-6(3)
1. #43 Tatiana Makarova / Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) vs. Tenika McGiffin / Eleonora Molinaro (TENN) 5-3, unfinished
2. Renee McBryde / Dorthea Faa-Hviding (TAMU) def. Esther Adeshina / Carly Briggs (TENN) 6-4
3. Riley McQuaid / Katya Townsend (TAMU) def. Daria Kuczer / Kylie Duckworth (TENN) 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,4,6,5,1)
· During the match, Texas A&M climbed three spots to No. 17 in the latest Oracle ITA Women’s Team Rankings. The Aggies improve to 16-5 with an 8-3 SEC record.
· Tennessee drops to 14-7 overall this season with an 8-5 record against Southeastern Conference foes. The Lady Volunteers are currently ranked as the No. 15 team in the nation.
· In the all-time series between the Aggies and Lady Volunteers, Texas A&M holds a 10-7 advantage.
· The order of finish in Wednesday’s match was as follows: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,4,6,5,1)