Texas A&M’s 2022 women’s tennis team is on a historic run.
With one regular season game left, the Mark Weavers Aggies are 26-1 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the Southeastern Conference game.
The Aggies secured a share of the SEC Championship by beating Arkansas in Fayetteville on Friday. A few hours later, the Maroon & White watched as No. 10 Georgia — who sat one game behind the Aggies in the SEC standings — fell to unranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
UGA’s loss on Friday night gave Texas A&M its first full conference championship since 1986 when Bobby Kleineckes Aggies captured the Southwest Conference crown with 19-8 aggregate and 6-2 in league play.
“What a great day for Texas A&M University,” Weaver said. “Not only do we have an outstanding 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 achieved.”
In 1986, A&M left the NCAA tournament in the first round. These Aggies are designed to go much further.
Ranked 14th in the ITA preseason poll, the Aggies have climbed to fifth and are currently the sixth-ranked team in the nation.
Texas A&M has three players with perfect SEC records as Tatiana Makarova, Jayci Goldsmith and Mary Stoiana are each 12-0. Gianna Pielet is 8-4 and Katya Townsend is 7-1. Court no. 1 player Carson Branstine is 7-5 against the best the league has to offer. Overall, the Aggies have lost just 10 individual conference games and have a win percentage of .848.
A&M is also extremely strong in doubles, led by the pairing of Makarova and Goldsmith. The duo is 28-5 overall and 8-1 in SEC action. The Aggies are 24-7 in league doubles and haven’t lost a double in the conference.
“What a great day for Texas A&M University. Not only do we have an outstanding group of tennis players, 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 achieved.”
– A&M head coach Mark Weaver
This season has been full of highlights for Maroon & White.
A&M is riding a 17-game winning streak, and the team’s only loss came on Feb. 11 to then-No. 4 California, 4-3, at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wisc.
In a Feb. 13 bout with the No. 10 Southern California, Branstine beat the nation’s top-ranked singles player, beating Eryn Cayetano in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). The Aggies won the match against the Trojans 4-1 and Branstine was named SEC Player of the Week.
Speaking of conference awards, Texas A&M has won the SEC’s weekly awards four times this season. Branstine and Makarova are both two-time recipients of the league’s Player of the Week honors, while Stoiana has been named SEC’s Freshman of the Week on four separate occasions.
Texas A&M was ranked second to Georgia in preseason polls, but on March 27 the Aggies upset the Bulldogs in Athens. A&M defeated the SEC favorites 7-0 and jumped into the driver’s seat for the conference crown.
Other bright spots this season include a perfect 18-0 home record at Mitchell Tennis Center, an 11-0 record against in-state foes, and a 5-1 record against ranked opponents.
Texas A&M finishes the regular season against Missouri in Columbia on Sunday, and the SEC tournament begins next Friday, April 22 in Gainesville. The Aggies are also a shoo-in to host (at least) the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament in Aggieland, which begins May 6th.
While the job is certainly not finished yet, Weaver and his historical Aggies are well on their way.