HOUSTON , Texas - The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to No. 6 Baylor in the tightest match of the opening day of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston on Friday. The Aggies and Bears met in the final first round match at the Downtown Club at the Met.
“Missed opportunities were the key thing we are taking to learn from today’s match,” head coach Steve Denton said. “We had set point on tiebreakers and could not take advantage similar to last Sunday at Ohio State.”
Texas A&M (6-3) opened the night capturing the doubles point over Baylor (7-0) off a valiant come-from-behind win on doubles court three by No. 29 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo in an 8-6 tiebreaker over Julien Lenz and Robert Verzaal. No. 3 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore continued their hot-streak winning on court one in the tie break 7-5 over Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsiga. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant were tripped up by Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri 6-4 on court 2.
Moving to singles Withrow was able to capture the first set 6-3 quickly on court five, but the match was far from over. Tony Lupieri handled Jordan Szabo 6-2, 6-4 on court 6 followed by a 6-4, 6-1 win by No. 6 Lenz over #22 Adams on court 1, to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
No. 43 Vinsant brought the team score back to even dispatching No. 9 Pradella 6-3, 6-2. The win was the highest ranked win in Vinsant’s career bettering defeating No. 23 Roberto Quiroz (USC) 6-3, 6-3. The Bears retook the match lead after No 18 Galeano bested No. 25 Efferding 6-4, 6-4 on court 3.
“Shane is playing really well as of late,” Denton said. “He played solid tonight and kept us in the match with an opportunity to get another point and win the match against a very good team.”
All of the tension in the building shifted to court 4 and 5 were the Aggies were facing a deficit required to put the Aggies on top. Following Withrow’s first set win he dropped the second set 4-6 and the third set had grown to 5-5 with a tiebreaker all that stood between a Baylor victory or putting the match point on Ore on court 4. Withrow prevailed in a grueling match breaker 7-4 to defeat Michael Dornbusch.
“Really played of how Jackson played gutting his match out playing really well at the end of that match,” Denton said. “His determination put him over the edge against a really good opponent.”
Ore faced a tie break in set one and had a couple set points opportunities before Zsiga prevailed 9-7 to take set one. Ore dominated set two 6-3 to force a winner takes all set three. Ore was unable to get started in the third set and fell 6-0, giving Baylor to clinching fourth point.
“We fought one of the better teams in the country even the whole night,” Denton said. “Now we just have to get a little bit better on the big points and the key sets on the big matches. I think will solve our problem seeing as how we are right there with the best teams.”
The Aggies will be back in action against No 14 Tennessee Saturday night at 6 pm at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club. A complete draw, live scoring of matches and complete results can be found at itatennis.com. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for coverage of Texas A&M at the ITA Championship.
No. 6 Baylor def. No. 8 Texas A&M, 4-3
Baylor (7-0); A&M (6-3)
No 1 - #6 Julian Lenz (BU) def. #22 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-4, 6-1
No 2 - #43 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. #9 Patrick Pradella (BU) 6-3, 6-2
No 3 - #18 Diego Galeano (BU) def. #25 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-4, 6-4
*No 4 - Mate Zsiga (BU) def. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-5 (9-7), 3-6, 6-0
No 5 - Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. Michel Dornbusch (BU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-5 (7-4)
No 6 - Tony Lupieri (BU) def. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-2, 6-4
No. 1 - #3 Jackson Withrow/Junior Ore (TAMU) def. Patrick Pradella/Mate Zsiga (BU) 6-5 (7-5)
No 2 - Diego Galeano/Tony Lupieri (BU) def. Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4
No 3 - #29 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Julian Lenz/Robert Verzaal (BU) 6-5 (8-6)
Order of finish: Doubles 2,1,3 ; Singles 6,1,2,3,5,4*
*clinched the match