ITA Kickoff Recap

Junior Tatiana Makarova follows through on her serve.

The Texas A&M women’s tennis team experienced highs and lows throughout the weekend while competing at the 13th annual ITA Kickoff Weekend. Ultimately, the Aggies dropped to 3-1 this season and did not earn a spot in the upcoming ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships.

A&M’s match against Washington State, scheduled for Saturday, was postponed until Sunday due to inclement weather in Los Angeles. Despite the delay, the Aggies showed out on the court and earned their first win of the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Cougars at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

A&M’s duo of senior Tatiana Makarova and junior Jaci Goldsmith, ranked No. 39, earned the Aggies’ first win in doubles competition and senior Riley McQuaid and sophomore Jessica Anzo secured the doubles point with another victory.

Junior Katya Townsend garnered another point for the maroon and white in singles play with a pair of 6-1 victories. Goldsmith was also victorious in singles and dominated her opponent 6-4 and 6-2. A&M’s junior Renee McBryde concluded the match with a pair of 6-1 wins and ultimately clinched the Aggies’ final point of the day.

The Aggies bested Washington State 4-1 in the opening day, advancing the team to day two. A&M has yet to lose in the opening round of the annual tournament since Mark Weaver took over as coach in 2015-16.

Weaver said the recurring rain delays made for a hectic beginning of the tournament but said he’s proud of the way the girls competed and feels good about where they stand.

“It’s always a really tough time getting the courts to dry, so there were a few delays,” Weaver told 12thman.com. “One of the things I always try and tell the girls is that we need to control what we can control, and that applied today. We have to be ready for anything.”

Following A&M’s win, No. 2 UCLA and No. 19 California competed for the opportunity to advance to face the Aggies the following day and earn a spot to the ITA National Women’s Indoor Championships. California replaced the originally scheduled Kansas as the No. 4 seed.

UCLA was victorious over California and the Aggies faced off against the Bruins on Monday afternoon.

Despite great effort, A&M did not have an answer for UCLA’s stacked roster. The Bruins battled on their home court to a dominating 4-0 win over the Aggies. UCLA improved to 2-0 this season while A&M experienced its first loss and dropped to 3-1.

Weaver commended the Bruins for the tough competition they are and recognized some of his own players for the fight they showed, despite the loss.

"At the end of the day, UCLA played at a very high level and it shows us where we need to get to. UCLA is absolutely loaded with talent throughout their lineup, especially on the doubles side,” Weaver told 12thman.com. “For us, I thought Renee [McBryde] played some excellent tennis, and Katya [Townsend] did as well. It was very encouraging to see them fight the way that they did and that is a positive that we can take away from this match.”

The maroon and white will be back in action this weekend at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. The Aggies are scheduled to host SMU on Saturday, Jan. 30 at noon and Abilene Christian at 5 p.m.

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