Women’s tennis freshman shines in ITA Texas Regionals

Nathan Han

Freshman Lexi Ryngler had her coming out party at the ITA Texas Regionals in College Station last week.

The California native didn’t drop a single set in her five singles matches.

Ryngler concluded her impressive run with a 6-4, 6-3 win in the semifinals Sunday against the top seed in the tournament, No. 28 Katya Townsend of Texas A&M, who had just taken down Ryngler’s teammate junior Fernanda Labraña in the quarterfinals.

She started off with a 4-0 lead in the opening set and fended off a 4-0 run from Townsend to win the first set 6-4 and closed out the second set 6-3.

“It’s very encouraging that Lexi has seen this level of success so early into her career as a freshman in her first semester,” Texas head coach Howard Joffe said. “It’s a great sign for our team looking forward in the year.”

Ryngler withdrew from the finals against another Aggie, Lucia Quiterio. Head coach Howard Joffe declined to comment about why Ryngler dropped out but did say that the withdrawal was not directly injury-related.

Ryngler played in the H-E-B Women’s Pro Tennis Open this Wednesday, where she fell 7-5, 6-3.

Sophomore Marta Perez Mur also had an impressive showing at the ITA Texas Regionals. In both the round of 16 and the quarterfinals, Perez Mur lost the first set and battled to win a second-set tiebreaker and the third set, taking down Sahaja Yamalpalli of Sam Houston State University, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 and Lisa Mays of Texas Tech, 0-6, 7-6, (11-9), 6-3.

She fell in the semifinals to Quiterio of Texas A&M 6-3, 6-0.

“It’s great to see Marta return to form after her injuries last year,” Joffe said. “She showed a ton of progress and a ton of grit.”

As Perez Mur, Ryngler and other players on the women’s tennis team headed straight into the H-E-B Pro Tennis Open this week only a few days of rest, Joffe said he’s encouraged by the team’s performance so far this fall season.

“We’ve made good steps forward as a team working on our accountability and discipline,” Joffe said. “But it’s still a really big aspect of our game we need to focus on every day.”