NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 11 Texas A&M men’s tennis team travelled to Nashville, Tenn. for the 2014 SEC Tennis Championship, hosted by Vanderbilt. The Aggies (21-6, 10-2) enter the championship as the No. 2 seed and will face the winner on tenth-seeded Alabama (14-14, 4-8) and seventh-seeded South Carolina (14-12, 5-7) at noon Friday, April 18 at the Currey Tennis Center.
The Aggies begin post-season play after defeating then 18th-ranked Mississippi State Sunday afternoon. The maroon and white were led by SEC Player of the Week Shane Vinsant’s win over No. 90 Malte Stropp on court two. Joining Vinsant in the win column were Harrison Adams and match-clincher Jeremy Efferding. The duos of Adams and Vinsant along with Efferding and Jordan Szabo clinched the doubles point to begin the match.
Aggies in the Rankings
A trio of Aggies are ranked in the ITA singles rankings released Tuesday morning. Harrison Adams leads the way at No. 14, Shane Vinsant is ranked 23rd and Jeremy Efferding 57th. All three A&M doubles teams are ranked for the third straight time. Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow have spent all spring in the top-10, coming in this week at No. 6. Adams and Vinsant are 66th this week, while Efferding and Jordan Szabo are 78th.
Both junior Jeremy Efferding and sophomore Shane Vinsant finished the regular season riding an eight-match win streak. Vinsant leads the Aggies with 28 wins this season including an impressive 16-3 record in dual matches and an unscathed 8-0 in SEC play. Efferding and Adams are tied for second on the team with 24 singles wins this year. Efferding is 16-6 in dual matches and 7-1 in league play.
The Aggies captured the doubles point in 24 of 26 matches this season, Texas A&M and Georgia faced off in an experimental USTA format where doubles was only to be played if necessary. The sophomore duo of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant finished the year on a nine-match win streak, including an 8-1 mark in SEC play. Top-10 stalwarts Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow were an impressive 6-3 against ranked duos this year. Juniors Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo went an impressive 23-8 on the year, 17-4 in dual matches and 7-1 against league opponents. A&M doubles teams were 20-6 in SEC play this year.
Texas A&M sophomore Shane Vinsant was named the Southeastern Conference’s men’s tennis Co-Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. This week’s recognition was the second of the year for Vinsant, he earned Player of the Week honors for his stellar play at the ITA Indoor Championship in the second week of February. Vinsant’s distinction was the third consecutive recognition for the Aggies as Jackson Withrow and Jordan Szabo were each named the SEC Player of the Week the past two weeks. Sophomore Harrison Adams was earned Player of the Week honors in the first week of March as the Aggies opened SEC play with victories over Florida and South Carolina.
Texas A&M and 7th-seeded South Carolina faced off earlier this season on the first day of March at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The maroon and white prevailed over the Gamecocks 4-1 just over a month ago. After capturing the doubles point to open the match, Harrison Adams, Shane Vinsant and Junior Ore recorded victories to seal the victory for A&M
Less than two weeks ago the Aggies stemmed the Tide, defeating Alabama 4-0 at the Mitchell Tennis Center. In addition to the doubles point, Shane Vinsant, Jackson Withrow and Jordan Szabo recorded wins in the sweep over Alabama.
SEC Championship History
Georgia was crowned the 2013 SEC Men’s Tennis Champions, prevailing 4-0 over Tennessee in Oxford, Miss. The Bulldogs were the No. 1 see in last season’s tournament. The Aggies entered the championship seeded fourth a year ago, defeating 12th-seeded Alabama 4-1 in their first SEC Championship match. The Crimson Tide won the doubles point to begin the match, but Jeremy Efferding, Junior Ore, Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant all won in straight sets to give A&M the victory. The Aggies fell in the semifinals to eventual champion Georgia 4-3. Efferding, Adams and Vinsant registered the wins for the Aggies against the Bulldogs.
Following A&M’s participation in the SEC Championship, the Aggies will await word from the NCAA as the NCAA Championship field is announced Tuesday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m. via a web-based video show at NCAA.com. One day later, the NCAA will announce the singles and doubles field that will travel to Athens, Ga. The University of Georgia will host the NCAA Championship May 15-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.