STEPHENVILLE – If a trend lasts long enough, it stops becoming a trend and instead becomes reality. That’s what seems to have happened with the Tarleton tennis team and winning.
The “trend” started at the end of last season for Tarleton, winners of five of their final six matches to end the year. After Saturday’s doubleheader domination, the Texans have now won five straight matches to improve to 6-2 on the year. Dating back to last season, that’s 11 wins in their last 14 matches. That’s no longer a trend, but the reality of head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron’s team.
Tarleton beat Montana State 5-2 and UTPB 7-0 on Saturday at the Potishman-Lard Tennis Courts in Stephenville, Texas. They dropped the Bobcats to 4-8 and the Falcons to 1-4.
The five straight wins for the Texans is their longest winning streak since March 11-23, 2019. Like their best start through six games five years ago, Tarleton has matched their best start through eight games since that same 2016-17 season. That year, the Texans fell to 6-3 in their ninth match.
This season, the Texans have three 7-0 sweeps in eight matches.
On Saturday, Tarleton won both doubles points, making it three straight. In the six doubles matches, they won five of them, including two more by Tarleton’s top pair, Deniza Marcinkevica and Jemi Aguilar. They remained undefeated as a duo in doubles, now 6-0 on the year, all at No. 1. They beat Montana State’s Mirte Van Baelen and Marta Garcia-Reboredo 6-4, followed up by a 6-2 win over UTPB’s Lore Mewis and Lisa Guitton.
Also in doubles, Martha Makantasi and Elsa Boisson went 2-0 as a pair to improve to 5-2 together, 1-1 at No. 2 and 4-1 at No. 3. They took down Jazmin Lerman and Maria Villarejo 6-3 from MSU, and Lea Mjertan and Monika Cantu 6-0 from UTPB. Faustine Palatte and Celia Vaudiau split their doubles matches, beating Montana State’s JJ Chen and Andrea Cuquerella 6-1, losing to UTPB’s Teodora Vrucan and Brooke Runyan 6-7(5-7).
In singles, the most impressive player has been Makantasi, who’s putting together quite the case to be the Western Athletic Conference Singles Athlete of the Week. She swept her second straight opponent to start the day, this time the 6-0, 6-0 victim being MSU’s Cuquerella at No. 3. Against UTPB, she played in the No. 1 position, and still rolled over the competition, beating Vrucan 6-2, 6-1. That’s five straight wins for Makantasi, now 6-2 on the year.
Vaudiau maintained the best singles record on the team, now 6-1, with a No. 5 position win over MSU’s Chen 6-4, 6-2, and a No. 3 position win 6-1, 6-2 over Guitton. Vaudiau has won six straight matches.
Boisson also won two singles matches Saturday for Tarleton to improve to 6-2, with five straight wins overall. She beat Montana State’s Villarejo 7-5, 6-4 at No. 4 and the Falcons’ Mewis 6-1, 4-6, [10-5] in the No. 2 slot.
Tarleton’s top two singles players, Marcinkevica and Aguilar, participated in the first match but not the second. Aguilar got her second straight win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Montana State’s Van Baelen at No. 2. Marcinkevica had her three-match winning streak snapped with a tough loss against MSU’s Garcia-Reboredo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6 at No. 1.
Natalia Komar split her matches, losing to MSU’s Lerman 4-6, 5-7 at No. 6, then beating UTPB’s Krystal Smith 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4.
Anna Davidson and Rose Watanabe participated in Marcinkevica’s and Aguilar’s stead against UTPB, Watanabe her first action of the spring. It was clear she was ready, sweeping her Falcons opponent at No. 6, Anaya Singh, 6-0, 6-0. Davidson won her first singles match as a member of the purple and white, beating UTPB’s Runyan 2-6, 6-0 [10-1].
Tarleton will conclude their four-match homestand against their first conference opponent of the spring on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT. The Texans will meet UTRGV, a team they beat twice last season, at the Potishman-Lard Tennis Courts in Stephenville.