June 22, 2024

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No. 6 Women’s Tennis Secures Program’s Fifth Conference Title, Defeats Arkansas 6-1

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 6 Texas A&M women’s tennis team secured its fifth conference title in program history on Friday evening, as the Aggies defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks by a 6-1 margin to clinch the 2022 SEC Regular Season Championship. Freshman Mary Stoiana logged the deciding point on court three against Indianna Spink to clinch the team match.

Following its historic victory, the Aggies improve to 26-1 overall and boast an unparalleled 12-0 mark in SEC matches. The team extended its win streak to 17-straight dating back to its only loss of the season against then-No. 4 Cal, the best run of success in school annals. In defeat, Arkansas drops to 14-8 overall with a 7-5 ledger in league play.

The Aggies recorded their second SEC Regular Season Championship in school history, joining the 2013 national runner-up squad as the only two teams to accomplish that feat in Aggieland. Following Alabama’s win over Georgia on Friday evening in Tuscaloosa, the Aggies officially secured the outright league title. The only other team in school history to win an outright league crown was the 1986 Southwest Conference Championship squad that made A&M’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Friday’s match began per usual in doubles play, where the Maroon & White capitalized in the big moments and came away with a clean sweep of all three doubles courts for the first time in the 2022 season. Second-ranked Jayci Goldsmith and Tatiana Makarova rolled to a 6-2 victory against No. 43 Morgan Cross and Tatum Rice on court one. The battle on court two between No. 44 Carson Branstine and Mary Stoiana against Laura Rijkers and Lenka Stara resulted in a 6-3 Aggie win to seal A&M’s early 1-0 edge. Renee McBryde and Gianna Pielet were allowed to complete their rousing 6-4 come-from-behind victory against Kelly Keller and Indianna Spink on court three, resulting in the Aggies first sweep of doubles this year.

Following doubles, the Aggies and Razorbacks turned their attention to singles action, which was briefly interrupted by a short rain delay in the early going. A&M dealt with the adversity by winning five-of-six first sets and ultimately came away with five additional team points, surrendering only one. Goldsmith was first off the courts for the Aggies, as she posted a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Stara on court four. Katya Townsend brought A&M within one point of the league crown on court six, where she published a 6-2, 6-3 effort over Grace O’Donnell. As she has on seven prior occasions, No. 63 Stoiana notched the historic clinch victory on court three. Stoiana, a native of Southbury, Connecticut, defeated Spink in a 6-1, 6-3 performance. The Maroon & White tacked on a pair of freebies on courts two and five and surrendered their only point of the evening at the top-line match.

Following yet another virtuosic performance, Makarova’s historic season continued in both singles and doubles play. The graduate has compiled 104 doubles wins with an additional 98 victories in singles, placing her in third and fourth place, respectively, for career victories in each category. Makarova climbs to an astronomical 25-2 overall record with a historic 21-0 mark in dual match action. Stoiana continues to maintain the winningest singles record on the Aggie roster, boasting a 28-3 overall mark with a 21-1 record since the start of the dual season. Additionally, Stoiana extends her clinch win lead this season to eight following her monumental victory at the No. 3 position.

UP NEXT

No. 6 Texas A&M women’s tennis concludes the 2022 dual match season on Sunday, as the Southeastern Conference Champion Aggies face the Missouri Tigers on the road. First serve from the Mizzou Tennis Complex is slated for 9 a.m. (CT), with the match scheduled to be played indoors due to impending inclement weather.

POSTMATCH QUOTES

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach Mark Weaver

On the accomplishments of the 2022 Texas A&M women’s tennis team…

“What an amazing day for Texas A&M University. I am so proud of this team. We have put in the work every single day this year and being able to reap the rewards from that daily grind is a pretty amazing feeling. Not only do we have an excellent group of tennis players, but we also have an amazing group of young women who represent Texas A&M well. Every Aggie out there should be proud of what this group has accomplished.”

On what claiming the SEC Title means to him personally…

“It just means so much to me. I have been apart of the Texas A&M tennis teams for over half of my life now. I played tennis here for four years. I’m still working on wrapping up my 23rd season as a coach here. To bring some hardware back home to Aggieland is something that I truly cherish. If you take a look at our coaching staff, we have an amazing group of Aggies here. I am just so happy that we can bring an SEC Title back home to the 12th Man.”

Freshman Mary Stoiana

On clinching the 2022 SEC Title…

“It felt really special to clinch the title for this team, because everyone has worked so hard this season and put in so much effort. I feel like each one of us truly deserves this moment. This was a complete team effort. Even though I was the one who clinched the match, everyone shares a part of this win. With this being my first year in Aggieland, this is an incredible memory that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates and my coaches.”

TENNIS MATCH RESULTS

#6 Texas A&M 6, Arkansas 1

Billingsley Tennis Center – Fayetteville, Arkansas

SINGLES

1. #99 Tatum Rice (ARK) def. #16 Carson Branstine (TAMU) 1-6, 7-6(4), 1-0(2)

2. #18 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. Kelly Keller (ARK) 6-3, 6-4

3. #64 Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. Indianna Spink (ARK) 6-1, 6-3

4. Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) def. Lenka Stara (ARK) 6-4, 6-2

5. Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. Morgan Cross (ARK) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0(8)

6. Katya Townsend (TAMU) def. Grace O’Donnell (ARK) 6-2, 6-3

DOUBLES

1. #2 Jayci Goldsmith / Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. #43 Morgan Cross / Tatum Rice (ARK) 6-2

2. #44 Carson Branstine / Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. Laura Rijkers / Lenka Stara (ARK) 6-3

3. Renee McBryde / Gianna Pielet (TAMU) def. Kelly Keller / Indianna Spink (ARK) 6-4

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

POSTMATCH NOTES

  • Texas A&M climbs to a program-record 26-1 overall with an unblemished 12-0 mark in Southeastern Conference matches. A&M is currently ranked No. 6 according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and boasts the No. 4 mark according to the United States Tennis Association.
  • The Aggies secured a share of the 2022 SEC Regular Season Championship with their 6-1 win over Arkansas and locked in the outright league title following Alabama’s 4-3 victory over Georgia in Tuscaloosa.
  • A&M’s outright league title is the second in program history, joined by the 1986 Southwest Conference Champions. The league championship is the fifth overall conference title in school history.
  • Arkansas falls to 14-8 overall and holds a 7-5 mark in SEC play. The Razorbacks are currently ranked No. 33 by the ITA.
  • In the all-time series, Texas A&M extends its lead on Arkansas to 16-8.
  • Mark Weaver becomes the third head coach in program history to secure a conference championship. He joins former head coaches Bobby Kleinecke and Howard Joffe.
  • Weaver’s all-time record as Texas A&M’s skipper improves to 136-56.
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