The 17th-ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team travels north this weekend to face No. 2-ranked Ohio State and No. 20-ranked Illinois in dual matches. The Aggies (9-5) and Buckeyes (15-1) face off at 6 p.m. on Friday (Mar. 9) in Columbus, while the Fighting Illini (7-3) and the Aggies hit the court for a 1 p.m. first serve on Sunday, Mar. 11.
"We have two great opportunities this weekend against Ohio State and Illinois," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "These matches have been hotly contested recently and I expect more of the same. I am sure that Ohio State and Coach Tucker have circled this rematch after last year. They are on a roll and we will have to come up with a great effort to pull off the upset."
The Aggies were ranked No. 17 last year when Ohio State came to College Station and the Aggies prevailed, 4-0, before a George P. Mitchell Tennis Center record regular-season crowd of 1,093. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 5 at the time.
"What I am excited about is that we will be a better team after this weekend as I know our team will give great effort," Denton explained. "A road win against either one of these quality teams would be a huge confidence builder for our team."
The Aggies faced Illinois, who was ranked No. 6 at the time, in College Station last spring and A&M won, 7-0, to tie the school record for consecutive home wins at 27.The Aggies current home winning streak is at 43 straight matches and the streak gets a huge test when A&M returns home next week to face the three-time defending NCAA champion and current top-ranked team in the land in the USC Trojans. The Aggies and Trojans play at 6 p.m. next Thursday (Mar. 15) at the Mitchell Tennis Center.