Texans take winning streak to Louisiana Tech for makeup match Monday

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RUSTON, La. – Tarleton and Louisiana Tech were supposed to meet three weeks ago, with the Texans riding a high and the Lady Techsters alternating wins and losses. Weather postponed the meeting on Feb. 5, and now the Texans will take on LA Tech on Monday at 2 p.m. CT in Ruston, Louisiana.

The Texans have yet to come down from that high, winners of six straight matches to improve to 7-2 this season. Somehow, they aren’t the hottest team in the matchup, with Louisiana Tech victors of their last eight matches, their fifth longest winning streak in program history. They’re 10-2 on the year.

Tarleton’s winning streak is their longest in eight years, since Feb. 22 through March 21, 2014 (seven straight). They’ve swept their last two opponents, and three of their last four. Their 7-2 mark is their best start to a season through the first nine matches in six years, since 2015-16.

“The team’s grit and focus on our game plan have been getting us the results we’ve been looking for,” head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron said. “Since the fall, the girls have locked in every time they step on the court. We are getting stronger with every opportunity given to us and it’s been so fun as a coach getting to watch everyone’s game grow from match to match.

“I’m extremely proud of them and know the team will continue to push hard to bring home the wins as we head into the rest of the season.”

This will be Tarleton’s first road match in nearly a month, last playing away from Stephenville on Jan. 29 at Belmont, a 4-3 victory. Since that intensely close contest, it’s been smooth sailing for the purple and white, who have outscored their last four opponents 26-2.

The Lady Techsters have yet to lose at home this season, 8-0 at the LA Tech Tennis Complex. They’ve played two other Western Athletic Conference programs, losing 3-4 to Stephen F. Austin and winning 4-3 over Sam Houston. Tarleton has had two mutual opponents thus far, Montana State and McNeese State, whom Louisiana Tech swept 7-0 and 4-0, respectively.

If Tarleton and Louisiana Tech’s lineups stay pat, we should see these matches:

No. 1 Deniza Marcinkevica vs. Leonie Schuknect – Marcinkevica is 5-3 in the No. 1 position, bouncing back against UTRGV’s Isabelle Bahr 6-1, 6-1 after having a three-match winning streak snapped the match before. Schuknecht has won three straight to get back above .500 at 6-5. She had lost three straight before that to the No. 1’s of Oral Roberts, Texas State and Sam Houston.

No. 2 Jemi Aguilar vs. Olga Bienzobas – Aguilar has hit her stride, winning three straight to get back to .500 at 4-4 after a tough 1-4 start. Aguilar has been no stranger to grinding it out, proving her toughness after being shut out in the first set against Southwestern on a frigid night to coming back for the victory, or taking a 10-point tiebreaker set to win her most recent match. Bienzobas also had a slower start, beginning the year 1-3, but rattled off four straight and is now 7-4. On Sunday against Arkansas State, she battled Najla Zukic 7-5, 7-6(3).

No. 3 Martha Makantasi vs. Najah Dawson – Dawson began the year at No. 4, where she played her first five matches, but she’s played her last seven at No. 3, impressing the Lady Techsters with a 5-1 record, 8-3 overall. She’ll have her work cut out for her against the reigning WAC Singles Athlete of the Week, Makantasi, who’s won six straight matches, the last four in dominating fashion. The sophomore is coming off of a perfect 4-0 week with three 6-0, 6-0 sweeps at No. 3 and a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 1. Makantasi is 7-2.

No. 4 Elsa Boisson vs. Ilana Tetruashvili – Like Makantasi, Boisson has been incredible of late, winning six straight matches herself to improve to 7-2 on the year. She has four straight-set wins during this run, last winning 6-3, 7-5 over UTRGV’s Barbara Martinez. Tetruashvili has played the last five matches at No. 4 after beginning the season with seven straight at No. 5. She’s 2-2 at No. 4 after going 6-1 at No. 5.

No. 5 Celia Vaudiau vs. Alexia Romero – Vaudiau owns the best singles record at Tarleton, 7-1 this season with seven straight wins. Her only loss was to Texas A&M’s Renee McBride to open the spring in College Station. Romero has spent all year at No. 6 before sliding into No. 5 on Sunday. She’s won six straight matches, 8-3 on the year.

No. 6 Natalia Komar vs. Ana Rodrigues – It’s been tough sledding for the Louisiana Tech freshman, who started at No. 3, then went to No. 4, then went to No. 5, and is now at No. 6. Rodriguez is 4-7 overall, losing her first No. 6 matchup against Arkansas State’s Rebecca Brody 4-6, 6-4, 0-1 (6-10). Komar has won two straight and three of her last four matches, including a No. 4 win over UTPB’s Krystal Smith 6-2, 6-1. The Texan sophomore is 3-5 this year.

In doubles, it should be an epic match between presumed No. 1 pairs of Marcinkevica-Aguilar and Rodrigues-Schuknect. The Tarleton duo is 6-1 together, losing their last match against UTRGV. Louisiana Tech’s top duo is 9-2, losing their last match, 2-6 against Arkansas State.

Also in doubles, Makatansi and Boisson will likely be together, sporting a 6-2 record as a pair and the most recent winners of the WAC Doubles Team of the Week award.

There is no scheduled stream or live stats for this match, as of publication Sunday evening.

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