Tarleton starts hot at ITA Texas Regional Championship, ends with Final 16 run

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FORT WORTH – If last year wasn’t enough of an indication that Tarleton tennis is one of the top programs in Texas, then the ITA Texas Regional Championship certainly proved that.

The Texans had eight players receive invites to one of the top fall tournaments, and they began the event 5-0, held at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on campus of TCU in Fort Worth. Their run finally ended on Saturday in the singles main draw Final 16, an exceptional accomplishment, with nearly every NCAA Division I program in Texas sending their top players.

Newcomer Emma Persson had the longest singles run, advancing to the singles main draw Round of 16 Saturday before falling to SMU’s Jackie Nylander 6-1 6-0. To get to the Round of 16, Persson went 2-0 in the singles main draw on Friday, defeating North Texas’ Matilde Morais 6-4 3-6 [13-11] before beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Sofia Pinto 7-6(4) 4-6 [11-9]. Persson had automatically been placed in the singles main draw based on her Universal Tennis Rating.

Elif Albayrak and Elsa Boisson also advanced to the singles main draw after each going 2-0 in the qualifying draw on Thursday. Albayrak defeated Texas State’s Maria Lora 6-2 6-7(5) [10-8] and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Valeriia Cherfus 2-6 6-3 [10-7]. Albayrak withdrew from her Round of 64 singles main draw matchup due to injury on Friday. In Boisson’s qualifying singles round, she defeated UTSA’s Adeliya Mukhutdinova 6-7(1) 6-3 [10-5] and North Texas’ Sophia Hummel 6-2 4-6 [11-9]. On Friday, she lost to Houston’s Sonya Kovalenko 2-6 6-7(5).

“I am very proud of our team this weekend,” head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron said. “Overall, we competed well and won some big matches. Elsa and Elif were impressive getting through tough matches in the qualification draw, showing their competitive spirit, which defines our team. With Emma getting to the Round of 16, that shows we are pushing the level of our program to new heights and want to be considered one of the best non-Power Five teams in Texas. We still have a lot of opportunities to compete this fall and I’m excited to watch us compete again.”

In doubles, Albayrak and Martha Makantasi won their main draw Round of 64 match against Houston’s Blanca Cortijo Parreno and Azul Pedemonti 8-6. In the Round of 32 on Friday, they lost 6-8 to SMU’s Winslow Huth and Maja Makoric.

In the qualifying singles draw besides Albayrak and Boisson, the trio of Makantasi, Ximena Morales and Clara Sobius each won their first match. Makantasi beat Lamar’s Emma Shasteen 6-1 6-2, Morales defeated Lamar’s Elena Rubio 6-3 7-5, and Sobius won 6-3 7-5 over Texas’ Simran Kortikere. Celia Vaudiau also played in the singles qualifying draw opening round, losing to North Texas’ Olivia Halvorsen 3-6 5-7. In the second round of the singles qualifying draw, Makantasi, Morales and Sobius were all defeated.

Besides Makantasi and Albayrak in doubles, Tarleton pairs of Boisson-Morales, Laure Razet-Sobius, and Vaudiau-Persson all played.

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