Story by Nick Whitley, Texas A&M Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 14 Texas A&M women’s tennis dominated for a pair of 7-0 opening-day sweeps against McNeese and Tarleton on Sunday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Aggies opened the 2022 season in doubles play against McNeese, booking a pair of 6-0 victories and adding another win by default. Graduate Tatiana Makarova and freshman Mary Stoiana teamed up for A&M’s first win of the season at the No. 1 doubles line, with the freshman pairing of Jeanette Mireles and Gianna Pielet sweeping their opponent at the No. 2 slot.
In singles play, the Aggies lost a total of three games across five courts. Jayci Goldsmith raced past her opponent on court two, while Mary Stoiana, Jeanette Mireles, Ellie Pittman and Kayal Gownder each booked their first career dual match singles victories. Due to a default by McNeese on court six, the Aggies finished the first match of the season with a 7-0 victory.
A&M’s second match of the afternoon against Tarleton opened with a strong 6-1 doubles win from Pielet and Renee McBryde on court two over Elsa Boisson and Martha Makantasi. The Aggie tandem of Elise Robbins and Mary Stoiana cemented a 6-1 win of their own on court three, defeating Natalia Komar and Celia Vaudiau. The No. 5-ranked doubles pairing of Goldsmith and Makarova held a 5-2 lead over Jemi Aguilar and Deniza Marcinkevica, but the match went unfinished after the doubles point was clinched.
The transition to singles saw more dominance from the Maroon & White, as all six Aggies came away with first-set victories. Katya Townsend was the first to finish, booking a 6-2, 6-1 result over Boisson. No. 122 Makarova followed with a 6-1, 6-1 result, while Pielet and Mireles both logged their own straight-set wins. Despite trailing 3-5 in the first set, the Wollongong, Australia, native McBryde rallied to win nine consecutive games and pull out a hard-fought 7-5, 6-0 win. Senior Isa Di Laura closed things out with a 6-3, 6-3 finish on court six.
Texas A&M has started every season of the Mark Weaver era with a 2-0 record, dating back to the coach’s hiring before the start of the 2015-16 campaign. Sunday’s match included a number of milestone achievements, as Gownder, Mireles, Pittman, Pielet and Stoiana logged at least one individual victory in their first collegiate dual matches. In addition, Makarova moves closer to the top-10 singles and doubles leaderboards at Texas A&M, needing only four doubles victories and 10 singles wins to make an appearance in the record book.
The No. 14-ranked Aggies return to action Saturday, Jan. 22, with a doubleheader against Houston and Texas State. First serve at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center is slated for noon (CT) against the Cougars, followed by a 4:30 p.m. start with the Bobcats.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Mark Weaver
On his reaction to Sunday’s wins…
“It was a very productive day for us. These doubleheaders are always long days, but it was great for our group. We got a lot of good matches in, and we saw a ton of different players from our team go out and gain some match experience. I think most of us, if not all of us, were battling a few nerves, and that’s exactly why we schedule these types of matches early on. The next time we play, the nerves will be much easier to manage. I thought we took care of business, and handled things very professionally.”
On looking ahead to next week’s matches…
“We’ve done a great job of preparing and making progress early on in the season. Tomorrow is a day off for us, but when we get back to work on Tuesday, we are going to work extremely hard to take our game to another level. The competition will only get better from here, so we have to bring our best effort each and every day.”
Senior Renee McBryde
On her doubles performance alongside Gianna Pielet…
“Doubles was really interesting today. Obviously, it was the first match of the season, and Gianna isn’t a player that I have a lot of experience playing with since I’m a senior and she’s a freshman. But we both came out and played really aggressive tennis. I did my best to take charge at the net, and with Gianna’s great serve, I was able to get on top of things.”
On winning nine-straight games to seal her singles match…
“Singles was a bit of a headscratcher early on. My opponent played a tough style of tennis that was a little frustrating. She sliced a lot during our match, I think she hit a traditional drive ball maybe five times in the entire match. But, once I got settled and Bjorn (Thomson) talked me through everything, I was able to wrap my head around what I needed to do to get the win.”
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
Texas A&M 7, McNeese 0
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – Bryan-College Station, Texas
1. Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. Carlotta Romito (MCN) 6-0, 6-0
2. Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) def. Matilde Mulatero (MCN) 6-0, 6-0
3. Jeanette Mireles (TAMU) def. Natalia Ballo (MCN) 6-1, 6-0
4. Ellie Pittman (TAMU) def. Ariane Monlleo Sanchis (MCN) 6-1, 6-0
5. Kayal Gownder (TAMU) def. Yukina Abe (MCN) 6-0, 6-1
6. Elise Robbins (TAMU) def. No Player (MCN) by default
1. Tatiana Makarova / Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. Ariane Monlleo Sanchis / Carlotta Romito (MCN) 6-0
2. Jeanette Mireles / Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. Natalia Ballo / Matilde Mulatero (MCN) 6-0
3. Isa Di Laura / Katya Townsend (TAMU) def. No Player / No Player (MCN) by default
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,1,4,3,5)
Texas A&M 7, Tarleton 0
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – Bryan-College Station, Texas
1. #122 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. Deniza Marcinkevica (TAR) 6-1, 6-1
2. Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. Jemi Aguilar (TAR) 6-1, 6-4
3. Jeanette Mireles (TAMU) def. Martha Makantasi (TAR) 6-1, 6-2
4. Katya Townsend (TAMU) def. Elsa Boisson (TAR) 6-2, 6-1
5. Renee McBryde (TAMU) def. Celia Vaudiau (TAR) 7-5, 6-0
6. Isa Di Laura (TAMU) def. Natalia Komar (TAR) 6-3, 6-3)
1. #5 Jayci Goldsmith / Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) vs. Jemi Aguilar / Deniza Marcinkevica (TAR) 5-2, unfinished
2. Renee McBryde / Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. Elsa Boisson / Martha Makantasi (TAR) 6-1
3. Elise Robbins / Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. Natalia Komar / Celia Vaudiau (TAR) 6-1
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,1,2,3,5,6)
Texas A&M opens the season 2-0 for the seventh consecutive season.
McNeese and Tarleton both drop to 0-1 following their respective losses.
The Aggies take a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with McNeese and were victorious in their first meeting with Tarleton.
Mark Weaver improves to 112-55 in his head coaching career, dating back to his hiring as the Aggie skipper in 2015-16.