COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - In his first match ever as an Aggie at the No. 1 line, Junior Ore started slow, but came back to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and the rest of the Aggies all closed out their wins as the No. 25 Texas A&M men's Tennis team (12-9, 1-1) defeated the No. 39 Rice Owls (15-6) by a score of 7-0 in front of 298 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Wednesday night.
"I thought the match was a lot tougher than the score indicated," remarked Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton after the match. "The doubles was really hotly contested and it came down to our seniors who pulled it out for us, which was a big key for us. And obviously to win all those matches means that our guys are really fighting and staying in there because we were down on a lot of courts and we hung in there and came back for the wins in them all."
The Aggies were down early in the race for the doubles point after senior John Lewis and junior Niall Angus dropped their first attempt of the season at the No. 2 line by a score of 8-4. The 30th ranked duo of sophomore Junior Ore and redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow evened the score in the doubles with a 8-4 win at the No. 1 line. Senior co-captains Alexis Klegou and Colin Hoover were locked in a close match at the No. 3 line, but tied at 5-5 the Aggie seniors won the next three games to take the match 8-5 and clinch the doubles point for the team.
Lewis was the first one off the courts as he won 6-2, 7-5 on court four to extend his winning streak to five games, the current longest streak for the Aggies.
"I thought Hoover played exceptionally well, and hit the ball really well tonight," Denton said. Hoover won by dominating in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 3 line; and combined with his win at the doubles, it was a great night for the senior.
Angus clinched the victory for the Aggies, securing the fourth point with a 7-5, 6-2 win at the No. 5 line.
Freshman Jeremy Efferding won his match on court six by a score of 7-6, 6-4. "Jeremy had been struggling a little bit and lost some close matches, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to let him get some confidence back by dropping him down. It worked out great for him tonight because he won in straight sets." Denton said of Efferding's play.
Klegou, who is ranked No. 29 nationally, played his first match of the season at the No. 2 line, and came out with the victory in an extremely hard fought match by a score of 5-7, 7-6, 10-6.
The Aggies return to action this weekend in Lubbock as they take on the No. 23 Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-6, 1-0) at 1:00 pm on Saturday.
No. 25 Texas A&M 7, No. 39 Rice 0
1 - Junior Ore, A&M def Sam Garforth-Bles, Rice - 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2 - (29) Alexis Klegou, A&M def Christian Saravia, Rice - 5-7, 7-6, 10-6
3 - Colin Hoover, A&M def Peter Frank, Rice - 6-1, 6-1
4 - (103) John Lewis, A&M def Jonathan Chang, Rice - 6-2, 7-5
5 - Niall Angus, A&M def Michael Nuesslein, Rice - 7-5, 6-2
6 - Jeremy Efferding, A&M def Philipp Seifert, Rice - 7-6, 6-4
1 - (30) Ore/Withrow, A&M def. Saravia/To, Rice - 8-4
2 - Nuesslein/Chang, Rice def. Angus/Lewis, A&M - 8-4
3 - Klegou/Hoover, A&M def. Garforth/ Berger, Rice - 8-5
Order of Finish:
Doubles 2, 1, 3
Singles 4,3,5*,6,2,1 (* - Clinched match)
Season Records: Texas A&M 12-9(1-1), Rice (15-6)