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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 fall to top-seed Gators in Round of 8

Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Texas A&M men’s tennis team concluded their team season and will now focus on individual play.

After advancing to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals, the Texas A&M Aggies lost 4-1 against the top-seeded Florida Gators, marking the end of the team’s season.
Ranked eighth in the nation, the Aggies finished with a record of 19-9 on the year. They also saw postseason success in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, reaching the semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively. However, both ended in similar manners with losses to the Florida Gators.
The A&M-Florida matchup started late after the preceding USC-Texas match ran long. After a delay spanning nearly an hour and a half, the match finally opened up with doubles play, with A&M getting ahead early.
The Aggies, despite dropping court 3 first, found wins on the other two courts to earn the doubles point. The No. 65 duo of senior Valentin Vacherot and sophomore Pierce Rollins took down Florida’s Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton 6-3 on court 2. The doubles point was clinched in a close court 1 win for the Aggies. No. 8 graduate student Bjorn Thomson and senior Carlos Aguilar won the tiebreaker over Duarte Vale and Johannes Ingildsen by a score of 7-6 (8-6).
After a 40 minute rain delay, singles play began, shifting the team’s momentum. The Aggies lost the first set on five of the six courts. No. 122 Rollins, No.100 junior Noah Schachter and No. 3 senior Hady Habib all lost in two sets. The score read 3-1 in Florida’s favor.
With the season on the line and wins needed on all three remaining courts, the Aggies managed to push all three to third-sets. In the end, No. 5 Vacherot fell on court 1, sealing A&M’s fate. Florida moves on to face Texas in the semifinals.
“They were just a little better than us tonight,” said A&M coach Steve Denton to “But we were still in there fighting. What a great tennis match for our guys, they were just a little bit better. I wish them the best going forward in the tournament.”
The season is over for the Aggies as a whole, but not for all the players. The NCAA Individual Championships begins on Sunday, May 23 in Orlando, Fla. Three players will represent A&M in the 64-person tournament. No. 30 Aguilar faces off against Oklahoma State’s No. 37 Matej Vocel at 1 p.m. on Sunday. No. 5 Vacherot takes on Arizona’s No. 45 Gustaf Strom at 1:30 p.m. Lastly, No. 3 Habib matches with Tulsa’s No. 50 Kody Pearson at 1:30 p.m.

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