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

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

The Battalion

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Aggies put Bulldogs in the dog house

A&M men’s tennis clinch victory over Mississippi State
Photo by Connor May
Sophomore Togan Tokac reacts to another point at Texas A&M’s match against Pepperdine on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the Mitchell Tennis Center. (© Connor May/The Battalion)

The No. 10 Texas A&M men’s tennis team defeated No. 22 Mississippi State 7-0, at its SEC home opener, Friday, March 8, at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

The Aggies, 10-3 and 2-1 in conference, had their first SEC game on the road last weekend. They faced a tough 4-0 loss against Florida last Friday, March 1, but they came back with a 4-3 victory over South Carolina on March 8.

Mississippi State with a 9-3 record, came off a win against the Georgia Bulldogs 4-3 for its conference opener.

Doubles play opened up the match. Court 5 served the first hit while on Court 1, the nation’s No. 58 doubles duo, junior Gulio Perego and sophomore Togan Tokac, scored first.

Tokac’s serves stayed dominant throughout the singles and doubles match. He clinched victory in the doubles match after freshman Tiago Pires and graduate Kenner Taylor fell to senior Nemanja Malesevic and sophomore Michal Novansky.

Juniors Luke Casper and JC Roddick won 7-6 against senior Carl Hernandez and junior Dusan Milanovic. The Mississippi State players struggled to keep up with A&M’s volley shots, as both players lined up at the back of the court instead of spreading out.

During his singles match Tokac took on Mississippi State’s Hernandez — who is tied for the team lead with 9-1 singles records during dual match play with sophomore Benito Sanchez Martinez. His swift and sudden cross-court shots and shifting from the front of the court to the back put him in the lead for his singles match. Tokac finished 6-4, 3-1.

Both teams did not shy away from competing against each other even after their games ended. Both sides cheered on Casper and Roddick as they were the last team to take victory for doubles over the Bulldogs. For every “Let’s go Maroon and White” chant led by the Bulldogs the Aggies responded with an even louder “Let’s go Aggies.” Casper and Roddick finished their doubles match 7-6 against Hernandez and Milanovic.

After a brief rain delay, junior Giulio Perego was the first to double the lead for A&M, 6-3, 6-4 against Milanovic.

The Bulldogs tried to be more dominant during the singles match. Sanchez Martinez went up against Pires. Sanchez Martinez’s ability to be a serve-and-volley player, allowed him to act quickly, giving Pires little to no time to respond. Pires then caught up 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

“The score was not indicative of how close this match was,” coach Steve Denton said. We won a tiebreaker at two doubles and then we had a lot of three setters that went our way.”

Aggie men’s tennis is set to play Ole Miss on Sunday, March 10, with first serve at 12 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

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About the Contributor
Shalina Sabih, Sports writer
Shalina is a Pakistani-American journalism major from Dallas, TX. She is also minoring in communications. Shalina's favorite sport is football and she loves the Dallas Cowboys. She wants to pursue a career in journalism after college and also plans on attending law school.
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    LinaMar 10, 2024 at 11:14 am

    Aggies are servinggg Gig ‘em!!