COLLEGE STATION – The 12th-ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team posted its seventh-straight victory after dispatching Tennessee, 4-0, in front of 235 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon. The Aggies improve to 18-5 and 7-1 in SEC play while the Volunteers fall to 13-9 and 2-5 in conference.
“It feels really good to avenge a couple losses to Tennessee last season after we were able to beat them down in Houston and then again today here on our home turf,” men’s tennis head coach Steve Denton said. “Our guys really stepped up this weekend and played some great tennis, I was really pleased with the overall effort.”
Texas A&M captured the double point for the fifth consecutive match in which the doubles were played prior to singles action. No. 44 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo made quick work of Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner on the third doubles court. A few minutes later the 55th ranked tandem of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant clinched the point with a 8-6 victory over Jarryd Chaplin on court two.
“We did a great job of holding serve and forcing some tough shots by their opponent,” Denton said. “Jeremy and Jordan have really become a great team playing together. A lot of the credit for our impressive doubles record this season is because of how well the two of them have been playing.”
The highly anticipated match up of the top two teams in the country went unfinished between No. 2 Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow against No. 1 Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese. Ore and Withrow lead 5-2 in the tiebreaker as Adams and Vinsant clinched the doubles point.
The maroon and white transitioned well into singles play wining five of six first sets. Ore and Withrow captured the second and third points of the day with wins on court three and five, respectively. Ore improved to 2-2 in SEC matches with his 15 victory this season. Withrow stands at 3-1 in SEC play with Sunday’s win, his ninth dual victory and 16th overall on the year.
“Jackson and Junior were really excited to play the number one doubles team in the country today,” Denton said. “They did not get a chance to finish that match, but they were serving up 5-2 in the tiebreaker with a chance to get a really big win for them. I think they both wanted to be on the score sheet today, so they did a great job taking it to their opponent in singles and getting points for their team.”
No. 52clinched the match for the Aggies with a 6-1, 6-4 win on court three. The Boca Raton native moved to 6-1 in SEC matched his 22nd win on the year, 14th in dual matches.
“We handled the conditions well today,” Denton added. “The wind was a bit swirly to start the match today. Our guys are in the groove right know playing well and making a lot of shots to force our opponents to make some tough plays. Friday’s win propelled this team to a different level and we had to make sure to come out ready to play today and not play flat.”
The Aggies close out their regular season home schedule next weekend against Alabama Friday evening and Auburn Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for coverage of Texas A&M men’s tennis.
No. 12 Texas A&M def. No. 20 Tennessee, 4-0
Texas A&M (18-5, 7-1); Tennessee (13-9, 2-6)
No 1 - #13 Harrison Adams (TAMU) vs. #20 Hunter Reese (TENN) 6-4, 2-2, unfinished
No 2 - #26 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) vs. #38 Mikelis Libietis (TENN) 6-7 (4-7), 2-1, unfinished
*No 3 - #52 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Brandon Fickey (TENN) 6-1, 6-4
No 4 - Junior Ore (TAMU) def. Jarryd Chaplin (TENN) 6-3, 6-4
No 5 - Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. Markus Kerner (TENN) 6-2, 6-3
No 6 - Jordan Szabo (TAMU) vs. Andrew Dromsky (TENN) 7-6 (7-5), 2-3, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,3)
*clinched the match