The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
Instagram

Mustangs draw A&M in NCAA first round

Freshman Aleksandra Malyarchikova serves against TCU last month at Turpin Tennis Stadium.
Stuart Palley
Freshman Aleksandra Malyarchikova serves against TCU last month at Turpin Tennis Stadium.

Freshman Aleksandra Malyarchikova serves against TCU last month at Turpin Tennis Stadium. (Stuart Palley)

In order to reach the NCAA Championships’ round of 16, the Conference USA champion Mustangs (27-2) likely have to go through two teams from the powerful Big 12 Conference.

The championships’ field of 64 teams was announced Tuesday afternoon and SMU was placed in the same region as Texas A&M University, the University of Baylor and the University of Texas at Arlington.

The Mustangs open up the tournament against Texas A&M (14-10) in Waco. Matches begin either May 8 or 9, with a time yet to be determined.

The winner of the SMU-Texas A&M match faces the winner of the match between No. 5-ranked Baylor (24-4) and UT-Arlington (18-6). The winner of the four-team regional advances to the tournament’s final weekend in College Station May 15.

SMU rides a 17-match win streak into the tournament, capped by a victory over the University of Tulsa in the conference championship April 19 in Houston. Since losing to the University of Missouri on Valentine’s Day, only one team (TCU) has come within one point of the Mustangs.

SMU is led by a trio of sensational doubles teams.

The No. 1 squad of Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova is ranked No. 28 in the country. At No. 2, the experienced duo of senior Natalia Bubien and junior Pavi Francis are 19-4 this season and 9-2 in the No. 2 slot.

Perhaps the most impressive squad has been the No. 3 team of Nicole Briceno and Kseniia Tokarieva, who have won 19 straight matches and are 21-1 overall.

Tokarieva, a senior, also has been sensational in the No. 6 singles spot. She has breezed by all 14 of her opponents in that position and is 17-1 overall in singles matches.

At the other end of the lineup, Lesniak ascended all the way to the No. 60 player in the country in No. 1 singles. She throttled Tulsa’s Alexandra Kichoutkin 6-2, 6-2 in the conference tournament finals.

Malyarchikova, a freshman from Belarus, is 13-0 this season in the No. 3 singles spot and has earned a No. 110 ranking in the country.

More to Discover