Tarleton crops opening match at No. 14 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION — The spring season could hardly start with a tougher task at hand than what Tarleton had to deal with on Sunday, but the way they kept fighting means good things are ahead for the Texans.
Tarleton took on Texas A&M, the No. 14 ranked team in the Division I Women's ITA Collegiate Tennis Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll, on the road at the Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. Although the Texans were ultimately swept 7-0, it wasn't for lack of effort.
The Aggies showed what they were capable of earlier in the day, virtually sweeping the entirety of their match against McNeese. They won 7-0, with four 6-0 6-0 finishes, two 6-1 6-0 finishes, and the other doubles match called with the point in hand.
That was not the case by any means for the Texans, who took several games and made the Aggies work for their second win.
Newcomer junior Deniza Marcinkevica began Tarleton's campaign in the No. 1 position, matched up with senior Jemi Aguilar in doubles. They got to begin the year against the No. 5 ranked doubles pairing across all of NCAA Division I in Jayci Goldsmith and Tatiana Makarova. Marcinkevica and Aguilar took two games against the pair and were down 2-5 before the match was discontinued because the doubles point had already been decided.
Sophomores Martha Makantasi and Elsa Boisson were paired in the No. 2 position, losing 1-6 to Renee McBryde and Gianna Pielet. Celia Vaudiau and Natalia Komar were the final pairing, also losing 1-6 to Elise Robbins and Mary Stoiana.
Marcinkevica made her Tarleton regular season debut in singles against Texas A&M's highest ranked player, Makarova, who ranked No. 122 in the Division I Women's ITA Collegiate Tennis Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll. She dropped her match 1-6 1-6.
Aguilar took on Pielet in the No. 2 position, and after a tough first set (1-6), she rebounded to make it a tighter match, dropping the second set 4-6. Makantasi (No. 3) lost to Jeanette Mireles 1-6 2-6 and Boisson (No. 5) lost to Katya Townsend 2-6 1-6. Vaudiau (No. 5) had the best set overall, taking McBryde to the wire before losing 5-7. With all of her energy spent in the first, she dropped the second set 0-6. Komar (No. 6) had the most consistent outing in singles, taking a back-and-forth affair to the longest match of the day against Isa Di Laura. A tough call by the line judge at the end ended the Texans' bid on Sunday, with Komar losing 3-6 3-6.