BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M’s Mary Stoiana was named SEC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. This is Stoiana’s third weekly honor of the season, the seventh of her career, after she finished this week’s matches with a ranked singles win and a pair of doubles wins with partner Carson Branstine.
The Aggies opened their conference slate in Gainesville, Florida, with a battle against the then-No. 24 Gators. Then-No. 10 Stoiana/Branstine opened up their SEC doubles campaign with a commanding, 6-0, victory over Alicia Dudeney/Bente Spee on court 1. As the teams rolled into singles, A&M was down, 1-0, and needed a response. Then-No. 9 Stoiana was in a ranked clash with the Gators’ then-No. 61 Briggs and came away with a tightly fought win with both sets going to tiebreaks (7-6(5), 7-6(4)). Her win on court 1 clinched the match for the Maroon & White as they led, 4-2.
A&M then continued to Columbia, South Carolina, to take on the then-No. 38 Gamecocks. Once again in doubles Stoiana/Branstine set the tone for the Aggies, as the pair bested Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner on court 1 (6-2). In singles she was locked into a top-10 ranked contest with then-No. 10 Akli, the pair split the opening sets, but it was Stoiana carrying all the momentum following a 6-0 sweep of the second set. As she headed into the third set, the Aggies clinched the overall result leaving Stoiana’s match unfinished.
Her recent results have caught the attention of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, as she has improved from a No. 9 singles ranking to the No. 5 spot nationally, while in doubles her and partner Branstine improve from the No. 10 spot to No. 4.
Stoiana and the Aggies return to action Friday as they host Arkansas at 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
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