The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Women’s tennis falls on Senior Day 4-1 to Texas A&M

In the last dual match of the regular season, Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis fell to No. 2 Texas A&M
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis honored Dasha Kourkina, Marcella Cruz and Anna Ross for senior day on April 16, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics.)

The last match of the year proved the toughest for the Commodores as they fell 4-1 to the No. 2 team in the nation, Texas A&M. The day began with a ceremony for Vanderbilt’s three current seniors that played in what would be the last dual match of their careers. Those included 2022 All-American and Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Regional Honor Award winner Anna Ross, 2021 All-SEC newcomer team member Marcella Cruz and 2021 30-win club member Dasha Kourkina.

After the festivities, doubles kicked off and A&M got off to a fast start, going up a break on courts 1 and 2 while court 3 stayed on serve. The Aggies’ 69th-ranked doubles duo of Mary Stoiana/Mia Kupres kept rolling against Vanderbilt’s 78th-ranked pairing of Marcella Cruz/Celia-Belle Mohr, winning 6-1 on court 2. The other two courts went down to the wire, with the two teams splitting those matches. Vanderbilt’s 3 doubles team of freshman Bridget Stammel and junior Anessa Lee ousted A&M’s Gianna Pielet/Daria Smetannikov 6-4, while Anna Ross and Holly Staff lost a heartbreaker 7-6(2) to the #22 pairing in the nation of Jayci Goldsmith and Salma Ewing.

On the singles courts, three matches finished in relatively routine fashion at around the same time, two of which went in Texas A&M’s direction. The Aggies got their first point on court 4 where Jeanette Mireles defeated sophomore Amy Stevens 6-2, 6-4, and another on court 3 where Lee gave A&M’s Goldsmith all she could handle in the first set, but folded down the stretch, losing 7-5, 6-1. Vanderbilt got on the board on court 6 where Cruz finished her regular season career in prime fashion, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

Texas A&M clinched soon after these three matches finished, as No. 34 Belle-Mohr lost a nail-biter to Stoiana, Texas A&M’s 1-singles player, 7-5, 6-4. It was a good fight, especially considering Stoiana not only sports an 18-1 record on the singles court this year and is ranked second in the nation on the most recent ITA rankings, but plays primarily 1 and 2 singles for a Texas A&M team that went undefeated in the SEC and dropped only one match all year.

The match was clinched before courts 2 and 5 were able to conclude, but both were three-set grinds. On court 2, No. 85 Stammel was on serve down 6-1, 3-6, 2-3 to No. 53 Kupres. This result is nothing to scoff at for the blue-chip recruit playing 2 singles in the SEC as a true freshman. On court 2, junior Staff had just battled back to take the second set 7-5 against #112 Daria Smetannikov after dropping the first set 6-2 when the match was called.

The next thing on tap for the Commodores is the SEC tournament, beginning April 19th in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As the No. 8 seed, Vanderbilt was awarded a first-round bye and will play against No. 9 Alabama at 12 p.m. C.T. Thursday, April 20th.

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About the Contributor
Noah Roslin, Former Staff Writer
Noah Roslin ('26) is planning to double major in human and organizational development and economics in Peabody College. When not writing for The Hustler, you can usually find Noah at the hockey rink, at the tennis courts or at home looking for new Soundcloud remixes.
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