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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies geared for OU, OSU

The No. 10 Texas A&M men’s tennis team will continue Big 12 play this weekend as it heads across the Red River to face two conference rivals: Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University.
The Aggies, who are back into the nation’s Top 10 for the first time since early February, extended their win streak to 10 games with a victory against No. 24 Rice on Wednesday.
The two matches in Oklahoma will be only the second and third conference matches for the Aggies and mark the first time this year that they have faced this level of challenge on the road.
“Any Big 12 match is going to be tricky,” said A&M Head Coach Tim Cass. “Oklahoma has been a strong tennis team, so I think the challenge for us will be playing on the road and recognizing that this is a Big 12 match.”
The match is not coming at the best time for the Sooners (12-5, 0-2 Big 12). The team is fresh off a 6-1 loss in a match against Wichita State University last Wednesday. The Sooners, who looked to be a favorite in the match, dropped all six singles matches after sweeping the doubles portion of the contest. The Aggies defeated the same Wichita State team 7-0 on March 18.
“Our season has been a series of ups and downs,” said Oklahoma Head Coach Paul Lockwood. “Our two losses to the University of San Francisco and Wichita Sate have been most disappointing. We have not met our expectations.”
The match carries greater significance than normal for the A&M men because of the level of competition found throughout the conference. The team has set high expectations for the very challenging Big 12.
“For us to only sponsor eight teams in the Big 12, and of that we will probably have six of them in the tournament, it shows that our conference is extremely tough,” Cass said.
The Aggies will head out of Norman after the match to move on to Stillwater to face another Oklahoma State. After coming from a match against a young Sooner team, the Aggies will be facing a Cowboy team that has been on a roll this season, despite their relatively low national ranking. The Cowboys (8-2) are in the midst of a five-game homestand, which kicked off last Tuesday with a 6-1 win over Abilene Christian University.
“They are off to a really good start,” Cass said. “Rumor is that they could end up top 25 by the time the year’s done.”
The Aggies enter the game with a group of players that has performed up to expectations so far this year. The No. 16 combination of senior Ryan Newport and sophomore Lester Cook will lead the team at doubles once again. The duo suffered its first loss this season on Wednesday when it dropped a close match to the national No. 2 team from Rice.
The Aggies will be taking on the Sooners Saturday in Norman at noon, and they will face the Cowboys at noon on Sunday.

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