Women’s Tennis Drops SEC Contest at No. 8 Texas A&M

STATION COLLEGE, Texas – In a battle between two top-15 opponents, Florida’s No. 13 women’s tennis gave No. 8 Texas A&M all it could handle in College Station, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Aggies, falling in a close battle, 4- 3.

The doubles competition was hotly contested on Sunday afternoon, with the two teams drawing to a 1-1 draw with the doubles point on the line after a victory of McCartney Kessler and Emma Shelton, 6-4, over Jeanette Mireles and Gianna Pielet to three doubles. The Gators (8-3, 1-1 SEC) would fall short though, with the Aggies (16-1, 2-0 SEC) handing Florida their first double-point loss of the season.

With the Aggies holding a 1-0 game advantage, the Gators would need four singles wins to claim victory. Texas A&M would quickly extend their lead to 2-0, but No. 49 Kessler would knock out No. 27 Carson Branstine for first place in straight sets singles: 6-2, 7-5, to bring the Gators back 2-1 .

Second year Sara Dahlstrom would keep the Orange & Blue within one of the overall game score, winning on court six against Mireles: 6-3, 6-4, making it 3-2 on aggregate in favor of the Aggies. The Gators wouldn’t be able to make up the deficit though, with the home side winning the last two games, holding off UF for a 5-2 win.

For the weekend, Florida got a tie, opening 1-1 after beating LSU in its SEC opener on Friday night. The Gators will be back in action on Friday, March 11 when they host No. 36 Georgia at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex for a match at 5 p.m. ET.

SIMPLE

No. 49 McCartney Kessler def. No. 27 Carson Branstine (TAMU): 6-2, 7-5
#41 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. No. 47 Marlee Zein: 6-3, 6-0
#91 Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. No. 119 Alicia Dudeney: 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3)
Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) defeated. Carly Briggs: 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
Gianna Pielet (TAMU) defeated. No. 106 Emma Shelton: 6-4, 6-2
Sara Dahlstrom def. Jeanette Mireles (TAMU): 6-3, 6-4

DOUBLE

#3 Jayci Goldsmith/Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) def. No. 10 Carly Briggs/Marlee Zein: 6-2
Carson Branstine/Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. No. 12 Alicia Dudeney/Bente Spee: 6-4
McCartney Kessler/Emma Shelton def. Jeanette Mireles / Gianna Pielet (TAMU): 6-4

QUOTES
The head coach Roland Thornqvist
On general thoughts on Sunday’s game…
“Texas A&M did a great job today defending their home turf. I thought they had the best team we’ve played so far this year and playing them at home makes that challenge even bigger. That being said , I felt like we definitely had some real chances in doubles to get the point We played really good three-doubles and two-doubles tennis, we were on a break, but we couldn’t close the door and not closing the door was a theme throughout the day Texas A&M came out of traffic when we had them on the ropes and when you play in the SEC on the road you only have a limited number of chances against the best teams, and when you do, you have to be ruthless to seize them.”

On how the Gators will move forward…
“To Texas A&M’s credit, they resisted what we threw at them and we certainly need to re-evaluate or improve, I should say, to seize the opportunities. Be a little more ruthless, perhaps, in our decision-making. when there’s pressure – filled moments.”

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