HOUSTON, Texas – The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team topped No. 14 Tennessee 4-1 at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Center Saturday evening in front of a spirited crowd. The Aggies will conclude their participation in the ITA Indoor Championship Sunday against No. 22 Illinois at 2 p.m. at the Galleria.
“I was really happy for our guys to get a win over a quality team like Tennessee,” head coach Steve Denton said. “We had a couple close matches with them last year that did not go our way, but we finally got them in Texas and we were able to pull through.”
Once again the Aggie men captured the doubles point to start the match, No. 29 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo topped Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner 6-2 on court three. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant clinched the point with an identical score line over Jarryd Capline and Brandon Fickey on the second court.
“Really excited about our doubles teams being able to get that point it ended up being huge for us,” Denton said. “Today was a great chance to get back on the courts with a lot of fire and our guys were just hungry and prevailed tonight.”
The maroon and white quickly raced out to a 3-0 lead after Szabo dispatched of Dromsky (6-3, 6-3) on court five followed by No. 25 Efferding defeating Fickey (6-1, 6-3) on court three. The lone blemish on the score line came at court one as No. 45 Mikelis Libietis upset No. 22 Adams 6-5, 6-5 with both sets going into a tie breaker. Freshman Max Lunkin finished off the Vols on court six coming back from 3-5 to win in the tiebreaker 7-4 over Markus Kerner (4-6, 6-3, 6-5).
“It was big for Jordan to get us off to a good start in singles,” Denton said. “It was good for Jeremy to bounce back from last night, I know he was disappointed with that match and Max coming back from 5-3 in the third was huge for us to clinch the match.”
The Aggies will match up with No. 22 Illinois just nine days after falling to the Illini 4-0 in Champaign. The rematch is set for 2 pm at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club.
“We are looking forward to facing Illinois they pretty well handled us a couple Fridays ago,” Denton said. “The guys will look forward to competing with them tomorrow and they are a really good team. We will have to play well on all the courts to have a chance to beat them.”
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. 8 Texas A&M def. No. 14 Tennessee, 4-1
A&M (7-3); Tennessee (9-3)
No 1 - #45 Mikelis Libietis (TENN) def. #22 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-5 (8-6), 6-5 (7-1)
No 2 - #17 Hunter Reese (TENN) vs. #43 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 4-6, 6-2, 2-4, unfinished
No 3 - #25 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Brandon Fickey (TENN) 6-1, 6-3
No 4 - Jarryd Chaplin (TENN) vs. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-3, 4-6, 5-5 (3-3), unfinished
No 5 - Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Andrew Dromsky (TENN) 6-3, 6-3
*No 6 - Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Markus Kerner (TENN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-5 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,3,1,6*)
*clinched the match