The early schedule isn’t getting much easier yet for the Tarleton tennis program. After opening their spring slate at No. 14 Texas A&M in College Station on Sunday, the Texans now head to Norman to take on the No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday.
Tarleton fared well in their first two matches in College Station, playing the Aggies extremely tough on their home court, followed up by a sweep of McNeese at the same Mitchell Tennis Center on Monday. Thus, the Texans are 1-1 this year.
The Sooners opened their spring campaign on Monday at home against Wyoming, promptly sweeping the match 7-0. In three of the six singles matches, Oklahoma didn’t allow Wyoming to win a single game, and in the other three matches, there was at least one set scored 6-0. In doubles, the Sooners’ pairs clinched the point after 6-0 and 6-1 wins.
On Tuesday, it was a closer win for the 2-0 Sooners, as they beat No. 23 Princeton in Norman 4-3. The clincher in a tied 3-3 match was an upset by No. 105 Carmen Corley over No. 4 Daria Frayman 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The Texans will have their work cut out for them Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Headington Family Tennis Center. Four Sooners are ranked in the top-125 across all of NCAA Division I in the ITA Collegiate Tennis Division I Women’s National Rankings; Layne Sleeth is No. 16, Ivana Corley is No. 83, Emma Staker is No. 101 and Corley is No. 105.
In doubles, the hardest competition should be behind the Texans, whose top pair got to match up with the No. 5 ranked pair in the nation at Texas A&M. Tarleton’s Deniza Marcinkevica and Jemi Aguilar faced Jayci Goldsmith and Tatiana Makarova, and they stayed competitive throughout. The match was unfinished with the doubles point already in hand with Tarleton trailing 2-5.
For that match against the Aggies and a 6-1 win over McNeese’s Carlotta Romito and Ariane Monlleo-Sanchis, Marcinkevica and Aguilar were named the Western Athletic Conference Doubles Team of the Week.
Tarleton’s other doubles pairings were Martha Makantasi–Elsa Boisson and Celia Vaudiau–Natalia Komar. The No. 2 position lost their match against the Aggies 1-6 and beat McNeese’s pair 6-1. Vaudiau and Komar, the No. 3 position, lost 1-6 against Texas A&M and won by default against McNeese.
In singles in the first two matches, the Texans had Marcinkevica at No. 1, Aguilar at No. 2, Makantasi at No. 3, Boisson at No. 4, Vaudiau at No. 5, and Komar at No. 6. Vaudiau won the WAC Singles Athlete of the Week award after playing Texas A&M’s Renee McBryde tight, losing 5-7, 0-6, and then sweeping McNeese’s Yukina Aba 6-0, 6-0.
Against McNeese, Marcinkevica beat Romito 6-2, 7-5; Aguilar beat Matilde Mulatero 6-3, 5-7, 1-0(10-6); Makantasi beat Natalia Ballo 7-6(8-6), 6-2; Boisson beat Monlleo-Sanchis 2-6, 6-2, 7-5; and Komar won by default.
Saturday at Oklahoma was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader at 10 a.m. CT and 2 p.m. CT, but it is now a single match at 3 p.m. CT. This will be No. 3 of eight straight matches away from home for Tarleton. They’ll play in Nashville next on Friday-Saturday against Lipscomb and Belmont.