COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 10th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team cruised to a 4-0 victory over 36th-ranked Auburn on Saturday evening at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The win pushes the Aggies to 20-5 overall and 9-1 in SEC play while the Tigers fall to 14-10 and 4-6 in conference action.
The victory marks the third-time A&M head coach Steve Denton has eclipsed the 20-win plateau since coming to Aggieland in 2007. The nine conference victories are also a program-best, eclipsing the tally of the 2001 and 2004 teams. The Aggies finished an impressive 14-0 at the Mitchell Center this spring.
“It’s been a really good home stand,” Denton said. “We’ve played very well here at the Mitchell Tennis Center this year. The guys have stepped up. The crowd really helps us and energizes the guys. It was good to see Junior go out on top after we were able to honor him on Senior Night. We won this match for him. This win brings us another step closer to our goal of winning the SEC this year and putting ourselves in a position to host the NCAA tournament.”
For the eighth-consecutive match, the Aggies were able to claim the doubles point and jump out to an early 1-0 advantage. The duo of Tito Moreiras and Jordan Szabo downed Auburn’s pair of Jack Nicholas and Carl Fox, 8-2, on court three for the first victory. A&M’s second-ranked tandem of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow surged to an 8-5 victory over Oliver Plaskett and Joseph CVan Dooren at the top doubles line to secure the point.
Frankie Colunga surged to a 6-1, 6-0 victory at the No. 6 line over Carl Fox. The freshman remained unbeaten in the spring by winning the final 12 games after falling behind 1-0 in the first set.
Szabo only dropped one game in a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Nicholas Kiger at the No. 4 line to give the Maroon and White a 3-0 edge. The Australian improved to 12-3 in dual matches and 5-1 in conference play.
Max Lunkin ousted Jack Nicholas, 6-0, 6-1 at the No. 5 line to secure the victory for A&M. The freshman from Russia claimed the first ten-games before dropping a point to earn his eighth win of the season.
“It was great seeing those guys go out and perform the way they did tonight,” Denton said on the pair of freshmen. “They do a great job in practice of getting our guys ready to play. I know they feel great about getting a chance to compete in a live match. The contributions they make sometimes are hidden. It’s not like other sports where you can put them in for a few minutes and take them out. We wouldn’t be as good if it weren’t for them. It’s great for them to get out there. They played very well tonight as well.”
Texas A&M travels to Ole Miss on Friday, April 11, before concluding the regular season on the road Sunday against Mississippi State. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.
No. 10 Texas A&M def. No. 36 Auburn, 4-0
Texas A&M (20-5, 9-1); Auburn (14-10, 4-6)
No 1 - #13 Harrison Adams (TAMU) vs. Joseph Van Dooren (AUB) 6-3, 3-1 unfinished
No 2 - #26 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) vs. Petar Tomic (AUB) 6-4 unfinished
No 3 – Junior Ore (TAMU) vs. Oliver Plaskett (AUB) 6-3, 3-0 unfinished
No 4 – Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Nicholas Kiger (AUB) 6-0, 6-1
*No 5 – Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Jack Nicholas (AUB) 6-0, 6-1
No 6 – Frankie Colunga (TAMU) def. Carl Fox (AUB) 6-1, 6-0
No 1 - #2 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) vs. #49 Cochrane/Plaskett (AUB) 8-5
No 2 - #55 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) vs. Lengsfeld/Van Dooren (AUB) 7-2 unfinished
No 3 – Tito Moreiras/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Saleh/Tomic (AUB) 8-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3, 1); Singles (6, 4, 5)
*clinched the match