FORT WORTH, Texas – Tarleton’s Martha Makantasi and Deniza Marcinkevica were among the limited number of participants invited to compete in the ITA Division I Women’s Texas Regional Championship. They sure made their mark in front of the other Texas NCAA Division I schools, proving the Tarleton program is not one to take lightly.
Makantasi and Marcinkevica knocked off opponents from Texas, SMU, Sam Houston and Incarnate Word as part of their main draw regionals run in Fort Worth, Texas, in the tournament hosted by TCU at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center that began on Thursday.
Both were assigned to the qualification singles round on Thursday, meaning each would need to go 2-0 on the day in order to advance to the main draw. Both Texans indeed went 2-0 in extremely impressive fashion.
Makantasi got things started with a 6-0 6-1 win over Texas’ Gabby Cusano. Marcinkevica played next, winning 6-3 6-4 over Sam Houston’s Sunskrithi Damera, who went 5-1 in singles for the Bearkats last season. In the second and final qualifiers round, Makantasi beat Incarnate Word’s Lauren Fulgenzi 6-3 6-4. Marcinkevica completed the perfect day for Tarleton with a 6-2 6-4 win over No. 8 seeded Winslow Huth from SMU.
Friday was a tougher day when it came to straight results, but the effort and play were prevalent, especially since the Texans faced fresh competition who hadn’t logged multiple matches yet. They dropped a close doubles match 5-8 in the single-elimination tournament. In the main draw, Makantasi fell to star Texas A&M freshman Mary Stoiana 1-6 1-6. Stoiana was ranked No. 11 in the main draw. Marcinkevica took No. 5 Kylie Collins from Texas to the wire, dropping it 4-6 4-6.
In the consolation bracket, Makantasi dropped a heartbreaker to Rice’s Anastasia Smirnova 6-7(5) 3-6. Marcinkevica had run out of gas from her bout with Collins and fell to UTA’s Ana Paula Jimenez 1-6 1-6.
There is a lot to build on from the regionals tournament. Tarleton gets a chance to do that quickly, as the Texans will host Weatherford College in the Texan Invite on Friday.