FIU tennis comes up short against No. 7 Texas A&M, 4-1

Senior Carson Branstine for Texas A&M (left) and junior Salma Loudili for FIU (left). Photos courtesy of FIU and Texas A&M Athletics.

Brian Olmo | Sports Director

FIU tennis fell to No. 7 Texas A&M 4-1 on Friday, Feb. 24, at UTSA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.

The team earned the doubles point but came away empty-handed during a singles rally that sealed the win for the Aggies.

It was a promising start for the Panthers at first when junior Salma Loudili and freshman Katerina Mandelikova recorded their fourth win together at the No. 3 position against TAMU’s Mia Kupres and Gianna Pielet, 6-4.

Sophomore Yasmine Kabbaj and freshman Oyinlomo Quadre earned themselves a top-40 ranked win over the No. 34 duo of Salma Ewing and Jayci Goldsmith at the No. 2 spot, 7-5, to keep their four-match winning streak alive and clinch the point for FIU.

Everything seemed to be in the Panthers’ control, but like Frankenstein’s monster, the Aggies came alive, with Kupress tying the match with a win over graduate Kamila Umarova in No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-0. Texas A&M then rattled off five first-set wins.

Freshman Ekaterina Khairutdinova’s three-match win streak at the No. 2 singles spot was cut by the Aggies’ Carson Branstine, 6-3, 6-3, to give Texas A&M the lead. Loudili’s loss in No. 6 singles to Jeanette Mireles, 6-7 (4), 2-6, was the nail in the coffin for the Panthers as the Aggies win this one 4-1.

The Panthers now prepare themselves for a matchup against North Texas on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the FIU Tennis Courts. First serve is at noon.

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11

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