BATON ROUGE, LA - Texas A&M junior Niall Angus posted his fourth straight win at No. 6 singles for the No. 12-ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team, but the No. 28-ranked LSU Tigers outlasted the Aggies, 4-3, in a dual match played in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday. LSU improves to 5-2 while the Aggies fall to 7-5.
"This was an extremely close match and we were able to win two tiebreakers in doubles to win the doubles point," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "Niall (Angus) got us going in singles with his win, but LSU was able to win at No. 4 and No. 5 to even things up. Our seniors (Colin Hoover and Alexis Klegou) were unable to close it out today. When you go on the road you need everything to work right. Colin (Hoover) was up a set in his match and serving for the win at No. 2 and could not close it out. The LSU player gained confidence and was able to turn that match. I did not think Klegou had a good day at No. 1."
"These types of losses can either shake your confidence or this hurts bad enough that when you have the chance to close it out in the future, you will," Denton explained.
Angus, from London, England, combined with true freshman Jeremy Efferding, from Boca Raton, Florida, to clinch the doubles point by outlasting the LSU duo of Roger Anderson and Stefan Szacinski, 9-8, at the No. 3 doubles. Angus was the first singles match in the books at No. 6 singles with a straight sets 6-4, 6-0 win against James Turbervill of LSU to give A&M a 2-0 lead in the match.
The first doubles match went the way of LSU's Neal Skupski and Turbervill, 8-5, over the A&M tandem of John Lewis, from Birmingham, Alabama, and Colin Hoover, from Victoria, Texas, at No. 2 doubles.
At No. 1 doubles, A&M's tandem of sophomore Junior Ore, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow, from Omaha, Nebraska, who are ranked No. 55 in the country, defeated the No. 23 doubles team of Olivier Borsos and Chris Simpson, 9-8.
LSU would mount its comeback winning the next two matches in straight sets with Tom Knights from LSU defeating Withrow, 6-4, 6-2, at the No. 5 line and that was followed by LSU's Simpson beating Efferding, 7-5, 6-4, at the No. 4 line to square the match at two points.
The final three singles matches were all decided in three sets. The next line in the books was at No. 1 where Borsos from LSU defeated Alexis Klegou, who is ranked No. 15 in the land, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. A&M would tie the score at three at the No. 3 position as A&M's Ore defeated Szacinski, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
The last match standing was at No. 2 singles. Hoover won the first set, 6-4, but Skupski from LSU bounced back to take the second set, 7-5, and then closed out the match with a 6-1 win in the third and deciding set to provide the final 4-3 margin. This marked the first loss for A&M when the Aggies had won the doubles point.
The Aggies return home to try and extend the school-record 41-match home winning streak by hosting UTA and Abilene Christian in a tennis twinbill on Saturday, Mar. 3 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
No. 28 LSU 4, No. 12 Texas A&M 3
1-Olivier Borsos, LSU def. (15) Alexis Klegou, A&M-6-3, 2-6, 7-5
2-Neal Skupski, LSU def. Colin Hoover, A&M-4-6, 7-5, 6-1
3-Junior Ore, A&M def. Stefan Szacinski, LSU-7-5, 3-6, 6-3
4-Chris Simpson, LSU def. Jeremy Efferding, A&M-7-5, 6-4
5-Tom Knights, LSU def. Jackson Withrow, A&M-6-4, 6-2
6-Niall Angus, A&M def. James Turbervill, LSU-6-4, 6-0
1-(55) Ore/Withrow, A&M def. (23) Borsos/Simpson, LSU-9-8
2-Skupski/Turbervill, LSU def. (36) Hoover/Lewis, A&M-8-5
3-Efferding/Angus, A&M def. Roger Anderson/Szacinski, LSU-9-8
Order of Finish:
Doubles 2, 1, 3
Singles 6, 5, 4, 1, 3, 2* (Clinched the match)
Season Records: LSU 5-2, Texas A&M 7-5