LEXINGTON, KY – The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team was shutout 4-0 by the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats Friday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. The match was forced indoors due to low temperatures.
“The tiebreakers just did not go our way tonight,” head coach Steve Denton said. “As always our guys fought hard, but the difference was Kentucky serving better than we did allowing for more free points.”
The Aggies (11-5, 2-1) dropped the doubles point for only the third time this spring. Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez, of Kentucky (10-4, 3-0), defeated Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant on court two to begin doubles action. The top-ranked duo of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow were defeated for the first time this spring in a tiebreaker to Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai clinching the doubles point. No. 37 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo bested Ryuji Hirooka and Nils Ellefsen.
“Junior and Jackson lost for the first time this spring and it ended up deciding the doubles point,” Denton said. “I thought Kentucky played well and kept the pressure on us from the first serve.”
Only four singles matches could be played at a time, matches five and six were set to begin as courts became available.
The Aggies dropped the first set on three of four courts, only No. 26 Shane Vinsant pulled out a first set win on court two. The reigning SEC Player of the Week, No. 11 Harrison Adams had trouble with No. 14 Tom Jomby falling in two sets to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats.
The home team continued their assault as No. 99 Beck Pennington defeated No. 38 Jeremy Efferding on court three as the Wildcats took a commanding 3-0 team lead. Efferding did not go down without a fight as he fell 10-8 in the second set tie-breaker attempting to force a deciding third set.
The night’s third tiebreaker resulted in the Wildcats clinching the match on court four as Jerry Lopez outlasted Junior Ore.
“Junior and Jeremy both had second set tiebreakers that could have extended the match,” Denton added. “We could have taken the momentum if a couple points had gone our way. This one stings, but we have to be ready on Sunday against a very good Vanderbilt team.”
Texas A&M continues its four-match SEC road stand with a Sunday match up against No. 18 Vanderbilt at noon (CT) in Nashville, Tenn. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for coverage of Texas A&M men’s tennis.
No. 22 Kentucky def. No. 8 Texas A&M, 4-0
Kentucky (10-4, 3-0); Texas A&M (11-5, 2-1)
No 1 - #14 Tom Jomby (UK) def. #11 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-3, 6-4
No 2 – Alejandro Gomez (UK) vs. #26 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 2-6, 6-4, 1-1 (unfinished)
No 3 - #99 Beck Pennington (UK) def. #38 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-3, 7-6(8)
*No 4 – Jerry Lopez (UK) def. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-2, 7-6(6)
No 5 – Grant Roberts (UK) vs. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 2-1 (unfinished)
No 6 – Ryuji Hirooka (UK) vs. Jordan Szabo(TAMU) DNS
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,3,4)
*clinched the match