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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies split ITA Kickoff Weekend

Freshman+Giulio+Perego+during+his+match+against+Chih+Chi+Huang+from+the+University+of+Texas+at+the+Mitchell+Tennis+Center+on+Wednesday%2C+Mar.+9%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman Giulio Perego during his match against Chih Chi Huang from the University of Texas at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022.

After a tight loss against San Diego to begin its season on Wednesday, Jan. 18, Texas A&M men’s tennis headed to Palo Alto, Calif. for ITA Kickoff weekend, Jan. 29-30. The Aggies’ first match put them up against No. 20 Pepperdine and would determine which team would move on to play the winner of the Georgia Tech and Stanford match.
The event started off rocky for the maroon and white as they lost the doubles point to the Waves’ dominant pairings. Pepperdine graduates Tim Zeitvogel and Daniel De Jonge defeated Aggie seniors Noah Schachter and Trey Hilderbrand 6-3. A&M recovered with juniors Kenner Taylor and Raphael Perot topping Wave junior Pietro Fellin and senior Eric Hadigian 6-3. Ultimately, the Aggies lost the point with a 6-4 victory by graduate Eero Vasa and freshman Maxi Homberg.
The single portion of the event saw some Aggie revival as A&M secured wins in two out of the first three matches. Senior Guido Marson found quick success in succeeding 6-3, 6-4 sets. Hilderbrand was quick to follow, after losing his first set 6-2, he recovered with a 6-3 and 6-1 finish.
Pepperdine added to its points with a two-set win by Homberg against sophomore Giulio Perego. The Fightin’ Farmers took the lead with another hard-fought three-set victory by Schachter against De Jonge. After a tight 7-6 set in favor of A&M, junior Pierce Rollins closed out a second 7-point set to add another point to the Aggies’ lead.
“I was really proud of how we took their punches early and then responded,” A&M coach Steve Denton said. “We kept fighting and with that, the results came with it.”
The maroon and white ultimately upset the Waves, with a 4-2 victory, setting them up to move on to play No. 18 Stanford the next day, Jan. 30.
The second day of play saw better results for the Aggies. In doubles play, Schachter and Hildebrand got their comeback with a dominant 6-1 finish, and Perego and sophomore JC Roddick got their revenge for their loss against Pepperdine with a 6-2 win themselves.
Already up 1, A&M entered singles play with high hopes but quickly lost their footing with only half of the running courts seeing an Aggie victory in the first set. The continuation of the match saw a repeat of the previous days’ events, however, this time it was not in favor of A&M.
Stanford quickly locked down 4 points with two-set victories that left the only two matches that went to three sets unfinished.
“It was a good match today against a really good team,” Denton said. “I felt like we had a lot of momentum early, winning the doubles point, and then started well in a lot of the singles matches. Not closing those early sets let them back in the match and, being such a talented team, they took advantage of that and closed us out, even though we had a couple of matches on the court where we were in good position.”
Men’s tennis moves to 1-2 overall and will continue its slate against top-ranked teams on the road with a Friday matchup against No. 3 Ohio State on Feb. 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

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