STARKVILLE – The No. 10 Texas A&M men’s tennis team rebounded from a disappointing loss Friday afternoon by defeating No. 18 Mississippi State in the SEC finale for both teams at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The Aggies improved to 21-6 overall and 10-2 in league play, while Mississippi State fell to 18-8 overall and 7-5 in the SEC.
“I am very proud of our guys for the way they bounced back today,” head coach Steve Denton said. “They showed a lot guts. It is great for our team going in to the SEC Championship on a high note”
The A&M doubles team got back into the win column capturing the first point of the day with wins on courts two and three. No. 64 Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant made quick work of Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid on court two, dropping just three games in the match. No. 28 Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp got the better of No. 6 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore on court one winning in a tiebreaker. The point was decided on the third doubles court in a tiebreaker, No. 66 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo pulled out the victory over Rishab Agarwal and Zach White to open scoring on the day.
“Jeremy and Jordan were in the exact same situation as they were in the Ole Miss match and this time they showed a lot of guts and prevailed in the tiebreaker,” Denton said. “Winning the doubles point like that was huge for our team morale.”
As play transitioned into singles action, the Aggies claimed the first set on four of six courts. The Bulldogs were able to put the second point on the board, tying the match with a straight set victory by Angus over Ore.
Texas A&M claimed the next two points with wins on the top-two courts. No. 14 Adams claimed another top-100 win this spring with a straight set victory over No. 72 Florida Lakat. No. 21 Vinsant waited little time to tally the third point for A&M, defeating No. 90 Malte Stropp.
Mississippi State crawled back into the match winning the next point, making the score 3-2. Argawal topped Szabo 6-3, 6-2 on court five to give the Bulldogs their second point on the day.
The Aggies clinched the regular season finale on court three by No. 51 Efferding. The junior from Florida, won the first set in a tiebreaker and narrowly avoided a second tiebreaker winning 7-5 in the second set over White.
“Jeremy had a great get on a ball on set point in the first set of singles which got a chest bump from his coaches,” Denton added. “I would say he was the man of the match as he clinched it for us today.”
Texas A&M will travel to Nashville for the SEC Championship, the Aggies will face the winner 7th-seeded South Carolina and 10th-seeded Alabama. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for information regarding Texas A&M men’s tennis.
No. 10 Texas A&M def. No. 18 Mississippi State, 4-2
Texas A&M (21-6, 10-2); Mississippi State (18-8, 7-5)
No 1 – No. 14 Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. No. 72 Florian Lakat (MSU) 7-5, 6-2
No 2 – No. 21 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. No. 90 Malte Stropp (MSU) 6-0, 7-6(2)
*No 3 – No. 51 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Zach White (MSU) 7-6(5), 7-5
No 4 – Jordan Angus (MSU) def. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-3, 6-2
No 5 – Rishab Agarwal (MSU) def. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-3, 7-6(5)
No 6 – Tassilo Schmid (MSU) vs. Max Lunkin (TAMU) 5-7, 5-5 unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,1,2,5,3)
*clinched the match