Goldsmith Stars as No. 8 Women’s Tennis Defeats No. 13 Florida
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Senior Jayci Goldsmith dominated in the final set of her singles match, clinching the deciding point as No. 8 Texas A&M women’s tennis defeated the No. 13 Florida Gators by a 5-2 margin Sunday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Goldsmith split sets with Florida’s Carly Briggs before cruising to a 6-2 decision in the final stanza to seal the team win.
Through 17 matches played, the 2022 Aggies boast the best start in program history with a 16-1 overall record and a 2-0 start to Southeastern Conference play. In defeat, Florida falls to 8-3 with a 1-1 ledger through the league’s opening weekend. A&M is riding a seven-match win streak dating back to the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships, the longest active streak among SEC members.
Sunday’s match began in the doubles competition, with both sides splitting matches on courts one and three, driving the attention to court two to decide the point. In the top-line match, No. 3 Jayci Goldsmith and Tatiana Makarova notched their second top-10 victory of the season, cruising past No. 10 Carly Briggs and Marlee Zein in a 6-2 performance. Florida seized a match on court three, as McCartney Kessler and Emma Shelton defeated Jeanette Mireles and Gianna Pielet in a hard-fought 6-4 battle.
In the deciding doubles match, Carson Branstine and Mary Stoiana opened with a 2-0 deficit after being broken in the first game. Both sides remained on serve for the next five games, as Florida’s No. 12-ranked tandem of Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee held a 4-3 edge. The Aggies dominated in the next three games, breaking Florida’s serve twice and holding their own for a 6-4 win to clinch the early 1-0 lead.
After a brief intermission, the Aggies and Gators returned to action in the singles competition, where the Maroon & White raced ahead to take four-of-six first sets. No. 41 Makarova dismantled No. 47 Zein in the second set, capping off a 6-3, 6-0 victory to push A&M ahead by a 2-0 edge. The Gators responded on court one with No. 49 Kessler’s straight-set win over No. 27 Branstine. Pielet, a native of El Paso, Texas, reasserted the Aggie lead after dominating in the second set to seal a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 106 Shelton. Pielet’s victory marked the first ranked singles win in her young collegiate career. Florida added another point on court six moments later with Sara Dahlstrom defeating Mireles in straight sets.
The Aggies held a 3-2 lead with two singles matches left standing, needing only one court to seal A&M’s 16th win of the season. On court three, No. 91 Stoiana took her first set against No. 119 Dudeney 6-3 before dropping the second frame 6-2. Goldsmith’s match on court four was tightly contested, with both her and Briggs booking 7-5 frames. Goldsmith finished first, notching her fifth-straight win and second SEC singles victory following a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 effort. Stoiana booked the insurance point shortly thereafter, winning a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3) marathon to lock in the 5-2 score.
Individually, Makarova became the sixth player to reach the top-10 in both singles and doubles career victories at Texas A&M. Her doubles win alongside Goldsmith pushed Makarova into a tie for fourth with A&M great Stephanie Davidson, while her 88th career singles victory saw her tie All-American Kim Labuschagne for 10th place in the record book. Makarova owns the longest active singles win streak on the roster at 11-straight, boasting four individually ranked wins in that span. Goldsmith, a native of Dripping Springs, Texas, booked her second clinch win this season and improves to 14-3 in overall singles play.
No. 8 Texas A&M women’s tennis hits the road for the first time in SEC play, as the Aggies travel to the Magnolia State to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday, March 11 at 4 p.m. from the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Mark Weaver
On the significance of defeating No. 13 Florida…
“I think that Florida is an excellent team. Right now, the rankings are a bit all over the place. I firmly believe that Florida is a top-10 team in the country. Anytime you can beat a program with Florida’s pedigree, it’s huge for your program. Coach (Roland) Thornqvist has won four national titles in his tenure there, and I have nothing but respect for him and his team. I think it was an excellent performance by our group today. We played an incredible doubles point and took down a pair of top-12 teams in the nation. Their roster has four ranked singles players, and I think we handled the pressure from that extremely well. This is still a very young team, and that was one of their first big-match experiences at home. The matches were on the line there, and the girls truly embraced the support from the crowd to pull this one out.”
On the impact of the 12th Man…
“The 12th Man had a huge impact on the group today. It is a sense of pride that we play for out there. I know a lot of Aggies are pulling for our team right now given our recent success. It was a loud, fun and exciting crowd. It really helped us a great deal in the doubles point, and that momentum carried us through the singles. I want to thank all of the Aggies out there who were able to make it in person, in addition to everyone who tuned in to the live stream of the match online. We always do our best to make the 12th Man proud.”
Senior Jayci Goldsmith
On her doubles performance and the support from the 12th Man…
“Tati (Tatiana Makarova) and I are super pumped. We played really well today. I think we did a great job of going out there and really attacking our shots. The conditions today were crazy, especially the wind, but I think both of us handled it really well. Having the crowd behind us was awesome too. It brought a ton of positive energy that our team needed. I am so thankful for all of the Aggies who were able to make it out to see us play.”
On her singles match and clinching the team win…
“After the second set, I knew what I needed to do. I had to change my attitude and perspective about things and leave that second set in the past. The girls were surrounding me on the courts and they did such a great job of cheering me on and keeping me in a positive mindset. The momentum kept on going, and we were able to get a huge win as a team today.”
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
#8 Texas A&M 5, #13 Florida 2
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – Bryan-College Station, Texas
1. #49 McCartney Kessler (UF) def. #27 Carson Branstine (TAMU) 6-2, 7-5
2. #41 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. #47 Marlee Zein (UF) 6-3, 6-0
3. #91 Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. #119 Alicia Dudeney (UF) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3)
4. Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) def. Carly Briggs (UF) 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
5. Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. #106 Emma Shelton (UF) 6-4, 6-2
6. Sara Dahlstrom (UF) def. Jeanette Mireles (TAMU) 6-3, 6-4
1. #3 Jayci Goldsmith / Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. #10 Carly Briggs / Marlee Zein (UF) 6-2
2. Carson Branstine / Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. #12 Alicia Dudeney / Bente Spee (UF) 6-4
3. McCartney Kessler / Emma Shelton (UF) def. Jeanette Mireles / Gianna Pielet (TAMU) 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,1,5,6,4*,3)
- The 2022 Aggies boast the best start in program history with a 16-1 overall record and a 2-0 start to Southeastern Conference play. Texas A&M is the No. 8-ranked team in the nation according to the ITA and owns the No. 7 ranking in the USTA poll.
- A&M is riding a seven-match win streak dating back to the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships, the longest active streak among SEC members.
- In defeat, Florida falls to 8-3 with a 1-1 ledger through the league’s opening weekend. The Gators are ranked No. 13 by the ITA and No. 12 by the USTA.
- In the all-time series between Texas A&M and Florida, the Gator lead has been trimmed to 9-4. A&M has won two of the last three meetings.
- Tatiana Makarova became the sixth Aggie in program history to reach the top-10 in both singles and doubles career victories at Texas A&M.
- In doubles, Makarova has recorded 97 career doubles wins, tying Aggie great Stephanie Davidson for fourth in program annals.
- Makarova has won 88 singles matches, putting her in a tie for 10th place in the record book with All American and Aggie legend Kim Labuschagne.
- The graduate owns the longest active singles win streak on the team at 11-straight.
- Goldsmith recorded the clinch win, booking her second deciding point of the 2022 season. Her previous clinch win came in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Regional Final against Texas Tech.
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