COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - The two senior co-captains Alexis Klegou and Colin Hoover each won their singles matches on Senior Night, but it wasn't enough as the No. 29 Texas A&M Men's Tennis team (12-13, 1-4) fell to No. 27 Baylor (15-10, 3-2) by a score of 4-3 in front of 399 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Wednesday night.
"I feel badly for the guys, I mean were struggling right now to win four points." Remarked Texas A&M Head Coach Steve Denton after the match. "Our guys are just not quite getting it done on a couple of courts that we've got to have, and we've just got to keep competing."
Denton said of the doubles, "The doubles has gotten away from us in a couple of matches, and obviously it was key again tonight." The doubles point came down to the senior co-captain duo of Alexis Klegou and Colin Hoover, but Senior Night couldn't conjure up enough magic to help them pull off the victory as they fell in the deciding game by a score of 7-9. The Aggies were down in the doubles early after junior Niall Angus and senior John Lewis dropped their match 8-5 to a Baylor team who were ranked 59th nationally. The doubles point was brought back to even as the 46th ranked Aggie tandem of sophomore Junior Ore and redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow defeated the 68th ranked Baylor duo on the No. 1 court.
Klegou, who is ranked 33rd nationally, was dominant on court two, as he won in straight sets by a score of 6-1, 6-2 and tie the overall score at 1-1. "Gou played great tonight, and I was really impressed how he and Hoover were able to bounce back from that doubles loss earlier and get those wins." Denton said.
The Aggies unfortunately would lose the next three matches and be down for good. Lewis was second to be off the courts after he fell in straight sets on court five by a score of 6-3, 6-4. Angus was off next as he could not hold off the Baylor player and lost 6-4, 6-3 on court No. 6.
Junior Ore was in an up and down battle with Mate Zsiga who is ranked 16th in singles nationally, but eventually gave way in the third set and lost 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in a match which sealed the victory for the Bears.
True freshman Jeremy Efferding impressed on court four as he defeated a fellow freshman, Deigo Galeano, 7-6(7-4), 6-1.
The senior, Hoover finished off his regular season campaign on a high note as he came back from a demoralizing second set, to win in the third set and send him off with a Senior Night singles victory at 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
The loss is the fourth straight loss by a score of 3-4 for the Aggies.
"We've just got to put this behind us, work hard, and get ready for the tournament. It's on our home courts and we've got some extra incentive now after these couple of heart-breaking matches over the past couple of weeks."
The match was the last of the regular season for the Aggies who now have their sights set on the Big 12 Tournament which comes to College Station starting April 27th. The opponent has not yet been determined, "What we do know is that every one of the teams that we potentially could play, we've played them a 4-3 match." Denton replied when asked about their opponent, those three potential teams being Baylor, Texas, and Texas Tech.
No. 27 Baylor 4, No. 29 Texas A&M 3
1 - (16) Mate Zsiga, BU def. Junior Ore, A&M - 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
2 - (33) Alexis Klegou, A&M def. Marko Krickovic, BU - 6-1, 6-2
3 - Colin Hoover, A&M def. (98) Roberto Maytin, BU - 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
4 - Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Deigo Galeano, BU - 7-6(7-4), 6-1
5 - Kike Grandeiro, BU def. John Lewis, A&M - 6-3, 6-4
6 - Julian Bley, BU def. Niall Angus, A&M - 6-4, 6-3
1 - (46) Ore/Withrow, A&M def. (68) Zsiga/Galeano, BU - 8-2
2 - (59) Maytin/Grangeiro, BU def. Lewis/Angus, A&M - 8-5
3 - Bley/Krickovic, BU def. Hoover/Klegou, A&M - 9-7
Order of Finish:
Doubles 2, 1, 3
Singles 2,5,6,1*,4,3 (* - Clinched match)
Season Records: Texas A&M 12-13(1-4), Baylor 15-10(3-2)