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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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A&M lets it slip away in Oxford

Senior+Trey+Hilderbrand+hits+the+ball%26%23160%3Bat+the%26%23160%3BMitchell+Outdoor+Tennis+Center+on+April+1%2C+2023.
Photo by Connor May

Senior Trey Hilderbrand hits the ball at the Mitchell Outdoor Tennis Center on April 1, 2023.

No. 21 Texas A&M men’s tennis entered its match on Sunday, April 9, against No. 21 Ole Miss on a hot streak, having won its previous three matches.
Ole Miss was having a solid season of its own, having an overall record of 16-6 and a conference record of 6-4. The Rebel’s also had their own three game winning streak on the line. Sunday’s match was an opportunity for both teams to continue their recent strong runs of form and build on their ITA rankings.
In doubles, both teams picked up early victories to set up a winner-takes-all match for the all important doubles point.
For the Aggies, graduate Trey Hilderbrand and senior Noah Schachter made easy work of their match in the form of a 6-3. The same couldn’t be said for sophomores JC Roddick and Giulio Perego. The pair of Aggies lost 6-2 to senior Nikola Slavic and freshman Noah Schlagenhauf.
The doubles point would come down to a match between each team’s No. 2 pairings: juniors Kenner Taylor and Pierce Rollins for A&M and senior Lukas Engelhardt and freshman Isac Stromberg for Ole Miss. The match was close throughout and ended up going to a tie breaker to add even more drama to the early goings of the SEC affair.
In the end, Ole Miss pulled away towards the end of the tiebreak to win 7-4 over the Aggies to secure the doubles point. Down 1-0, A&M was officially on the back foot to start the match. Luckily for the maroon and white, they have managed to respond from this type of adversity before.
The first set of singles play was up and down for the Aggies. Perego, Rollins and senior Guido Marson comfortably won the first set of their matches. However, the maroon and white also found themselves down on Courts 1, 2 and 6 (Schachter, junior Raphael Perot and Hilderbrand).
In the second set of play, momentum shifted into the Aggies’ favor. A&M players went four for five in the set, with only Rollin’s. Perot’s set with junior Hallquist Lithen had not yet finished. With two singles victories in tow, A&M was now leading 2-1 over Ole Miss.
There were still 4 points up for grabs, with three of the remaining four matches heading for decisive third sets.
The Aggies quickly picked up their third point after a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory from Hilderbrand. After losing in the first set to Stromberg, Hilderbrand responded with impressive performances in the second and third sets to pick up the point.
Perot ended up losing his second set to Lithen in a tiebreaker, giving Ole Miss both the victory in straight sets and its second point of the match. The maroon and white still led 3-2.
In Schachter and Rollin’s third sets, both fell behind early and failed to put together any sort of run to get back into their respective matches. In the end, the Rebels’ ended up winning both matches and ended up taking home the overall match win.
The loss drops the maroon and white’s overall record to 14-8 and conference record to 6-4 as well as marking the end of their three game winning streak.
A&M coach Steve Denton said Sunday’s loss ultimately came down to losing key points in both singles and doubles.
“That was a tough one today,” Denton told 12thMan.com. “I thought the doubles was key when we didn’t win the tiebreaker on court 2. We had some opportunities in singles, but didn’t convert on a couple of courts coming up just short. Margins are razor thin in this conference, especially on the road, and In the end they played the big points better than we did. I’m proud of the way we competed today, now it’s time to reset and get ready for a pair of matches on Friday in front of the 12th Man.”
Up next for the Aggies is a respite from conference play in the form of a home matchup against Prairie View on Friday, April 14. First serve at Mitchell Tennis center is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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