Valle Costa Secures Best Conference Start in 20 Years
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE --- Senior Joana Valle Costa clinched a 4-2 win over the No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies, giving the LSU women’s tennis team their best SEC start in 20 seasons Saturday at the LSU Tennis Complex.
The Tigers improved to 12-4; 5-2 SEC with the win while the Aggies fell to 10-9; 2-5 SEC.
“Texas A&M is a really strong team,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “On paper, they’re one of the strongest teams in the conference and their players are talented at every single spot. Every win in the SEC is huge, and taking it one match at a time is really going to help us moving forward.”
LSU started off the match by dropping the doubles point, falling on courts one and two to give Texas A&M the early 1-0 lead.
The No. 12 pairing of Rachel Pierson and Rutuja Bhosale defeated the No. 20 pairing of Joana Valle Costa and Ryann Foster, 6-2, before Jade Lewis and Becca Weissmann fell to Domenica Gonzalez and Eva Paalma, 6-3.
“We struggled in doubles today,” Sell said. “We came out flat and it was just an off day where we were missing some of our execution, but they came out and did a really good job of being disciplined in singles.”
Foster evened up the score at one apiece as the first one off the court in singles, defeating Saska Gavrilovska 6-4, 6-2 on court three.
Lewis soon followed with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 39 Pierson on court one, giving the Tigers the 2-1 lead.
Saturday marked Lewis’s seventh ranked win of the season on court one and her fourth win in a row in SEC play.
Jessica Golovin raised the overall point total to three for LSU with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Gonzalez on court four, giving Golovin her team-leading 13th win of the spring and her fifth in a row.
Texas A&M brought the score back to within one with a 6-4, 6-3 win on court six, leaving just courts two and five remaining.
While Weissmann was locked in the third set on court five, Valle Costa clinched the match for the Tigers over on court two with an intensely-fought 7-6(1), 7-5 win over No. 91 Bhosale.
“For Joana to come out and take care of that in two sets, it just shows how confidently she’s playing right now,” Sell said.
The Tigers return to the courts Friday, March 31 at Ole Miss, the first of a two-match road trip for LSU next weekend.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
LSU vs. Texas A&M
Mar 25, 2017 at LSU Tennis Complex
(Baton Rouge, La.)
#16 LSU 4, #20 Texas A&M 2
1. #30 Jade Lewis (LSU) def. #39 Rachel Pierson (A&M) 7-5, 6-4
2. #86 Joana Valle Costa (LSU) def. #91 Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) 7-6(1), 7-5
3. #105 Ryann Foster (LSU) def. Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) 6-4, 6-2
4. Jessica Golovin (LSU) def. Domenica Gonzalez (A&M) 6-4, 6-4
5. Macarena Olivares (A&M) vs. Becca Weissmann (LSU) 7-5, 1-6, 2-4, unfinished
6. Tina Bokhua (A&M) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
1. #12 Rachel Pierson/Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) def. #20 Joana Valle Costa/Ryann Foster (LSU) 6-2
2. Domenica Gonzalez/Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Jade Lewis/Becca Weissmann (LSU) 6-3
3. Macarena Olivares/Stefania Hristov vs. Jessica Golovin/Skylar Holloway (LSU) 5-4, unfinished
Texas A&M 10-9; National ranking #20
LSU 12-4; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (3,1,4,6,2)