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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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Aggie men’s tennis fails to clutch up in concrete jungle

Photo by Connor May

Sophomore Giulio Perego hits the ball at the Mitchell Outdoor Tennis Center on April 1, 2023.

The No. 12 Texas A&M men’s tennis team came into the ITA Indoor Championships on Feb. 16-18 in New York City undefeated but was handed two ranked losses as it exited the tournament in the quarterfinals at the hands of the No. 2 TCU Horned Frogs and fell to No. 14 Arizona in the consolation bracket.

A&M’s first round matchup was against the No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks on Feb. 16. The Aggies got off to a slow start losing the doubles point. Despite heading into singles down 1-0, the Maroon and White were not about to roll over and give up to the Gamecocks.

A&M brought out the brooms for singles play as it won four straight matches to seal the victory and the right to advance. No. 114 junior JC Roddick was the first Aggie to earn a point, winning in two straight sets.

However, one of the most important wins for the Aggies was when No. 103 junior Giulio Perego defeated No. 76 freshman Jelani Sarr, 6-3, 7-5. This upset turned the tide fully in favor of the Fightin’ Farmers as they grabbed a 2-1 lead.

Sophomore Togan Tokac and No. 57 senior Raphael Perot capped off the comeback for the Aggies as they earned the 4-1 win.

“I thought our guys just put their heads down and worked today,” coach Steve Denton said. “I am happy for the team to know they can overcome adversity and continue to compete hard. That was a very good win against a very tenacious team.”

This win pushed the Aggies through to the quarterfinals on Feb. 17, where they faced off against the TCU Horned Frogs.

The Aggies went full speed out of the gates against the Horned Frogs, earning the point in doubles play.

One of those wins included the team of freshman Tiago Pires and Perot upsetting the Horned Frogs’ No. 20 team of freshman Duncan Chan and junior Lui Maxted, 6-4.

Heading into singles play leading 1-0, A&M did not have the same fortune that it did in the previous round, dropping three straight matches.

With the score reading 3-1 in favor of the Horned Frogs, Tokac got the win over No. 20 junior Pedro Vives, 6-3, 7-6, to bring the Aggies within one.

This was A&M’s only win in singles play as TCU ended the Maroon and White’s hopes of moving on to the semifinals.

“Against really good teams, we can clean up a few things,” Denton said. “But I thought our team learned that we can compete at a high level this season.”

After falling to the Horned Frogs by a score of 4-2, A&M moved onto the consolation bracket to face off against the No. 14 Arizona Wildcats on Feb. 18.

Despite not having a single ranked doubles team, A&M struck first again by earning the point in doubles play.

The biggest doubles win came when the team of Perego and Tokac upset Arizona’s No. 6 team of junior Colton Smith and sophomore Jay Friend, 6-3. Pires and Perot claimed the doubles point with a 7-6(4) victory over No. 53 freshman Sasha Rozin and senior Gustaf Strom.

It was the same tale for the Aggies once again though, as once singles play began it was all Wildcats from there on out.

A&M failed to win a singles match en route to its second loss of the season, falling to Arizona, 4-1.

Now with a 7-2 record, the Aggies will look to rebound for their next matches on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Mitchell Tennis Center against the Pepperdine Waves and A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.

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Matthew Seaver
Matthew Seaver, Sports Reporter
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