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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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Men’s tennis goes winless over break

The No. 20 Texas A&M men’s tennis team walked away winless over the break as they fell victim on the road against two Big 10 opponents: No. 2 Ohio State, 6-1, and No. 14 University of Illinois, 4-3. Most importantly, the Aggies suffered a loss against No. 1 USC, 5-2, to end their 43 home winning streak at George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Aggies’ two game road trip began on March 9 in Columbus, Ohio as they faced the Ohio State Buckeyes. In doubles play, A&M’s No. 22 ranked duo of sophomore Junior Ore and freshman Jackson Withrow faced the Buckeyes’ No. 1 ranked pair of freshman Blaz Rola and sophomore Chase Buchanan. As a result, Rola and Buchanan downed Ore and Withrow, 8-3. This match set up the Buckeyes for a three match sweep to take the doubles point early in the contest.
In singles play, things didn’t get easier for the Aggies as they lost five of the six singles matches to eventually lose the contest to the Buckeyes. The game-clinching win came from court one as senior Alexis Klegou, ranked 27th in the ITA singles, lost convincingly to the Buckeyes’ No. 12 ranked Buchanan in two sets, 6-1 and 6-3. The only winner to come out of Columbus for the Aggies was junior Niall Angus upsetting OSU’s No. 114 ranked player, junior Connor Smith in three sets, 3-6, 7-6, and 10-3 in sudden death.
The maroon and white’s second part of their road trip was to Champaign, Illinois as they faced the Fighting Illini. In doubles play, the Aggies and the Fighting Illini took one court each. A&M won court three, 8-6, while Illinois won court two, 9-8. In the final court to decide who gets the doubles point, Ore and Withrow rose up to the challenge and defeated the No. 38 duo of the Fighting Illini consisting of seniors Roy Kalmanoich and Dennis Nevolo, 9-7.
In singles play, both teams were neck-and-neck as A&M quickly took the first match point in court three as Ore defeated Illinois junior Stephen Hoh in two sets, 6-4 and 6-2. The Fighting Illini then countered back with winning the next three courts: two, six and one. In those courts, Illinois’ top ranked individuals in the ITA, No. 4 Nevolo and No. 32 Kalmanovich, took care of business in two sets respectively in order to range themselves a match point away from victory.
The Aggies would respond with Angus clinching court five with a three set victory over freshman Tim Kopinski, 3-6, 6-4 and 6-4. Despite fighting hard in this contest, Illinois junior Bruno Abdelnour would be the hero of the day for his team as he defeated freshman Jeremy Efferding in three sets, 6-2, 6-7 and 6-3.
After suffering a one-two punch from the Big 10 opponents, the Aggies went back home on March 15 to face the best team in college tennis, the USC Trojans. The Trojans got to a good start in doubles play as they took two out of three courts to win the doubles point early in the contest. In singles play, the Trojans went on to win four out of six courts as No. 2 senior Steve Johnson, No. 16 senior Daniel Nguyen, No. 41 sophomore Emilio Gomez, and No. 121 freshman Roberto Quiroz won their respective courts.
Despite losing the contest, the Aggies were able to squeeze out two match points as Ore and senior Colin Hoover were able to beat ranked opponents in courts three and two. This season,
Texas A&M, Ohio State, and California were the only teams to obtain two or more match points against the Trojans.

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