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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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A&M men’s tennis kicks off spring season in California

Photo by Connor May

Junior Raphael Perot returns the ball at the Mitchell Outdoor Tennis Center on March 23, 2023.

The No. 19 Texas A&M men’s tennis team started out its spring season with strong singles play and an MVP award to freshman Brayden Michna after concluding the weekend 3-0 at the Sherwood Intercollegiate. 

This was the fifth season the Aggies have traveled to Thousand Oaks, California to compete in the much anticipated tournament. Along with A&M, No. 7 USC, UCLA and California arrived at the Sherwood Country Club for three days of matches from Jan. 13-15.

The event was held in a hidden duel format, meaning individuals from opposing teams face off and team wins are not counted, but singles and doubles champions will be announced at the conclusion of the tournament. 

The Maroon and White carry several returning players into their 2024 season. The squad features 2023 All-SEC First Team selection and NCAA Singles Championship qualifier senior Raphael Perot, No. 93 junior Luke Casper and No. 109 junior JC Roddick.

Along with the returners, Denton added several newcomers including Michna and freshmen Ritesh Patil, Tiago Pires and Lathan Skrobarcek and sophomore transfers Togan Tokac from Florida and Ethan Silva out of Clemson. 

Day 1 of the tournament began with doubles play against UCLA. Skrobarcek and graduate Kenner Taylor secured the first win of the season for the Aggies with a 6-2 defeat over the Bruins’ sophomore Aadarsh Tripathi and junior Giacomo Revelli. Casper and Roddick followed with another win for the Maroon and White with a 6-4 victory over sophomore Gianluca Ballotta and redshirt freshman Emon van Loben Sels. 

A&M’s singles play was strong against UCLA. Junior Giulio  Perego secured the first singles win of the season with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Ballotta. Roddick kept up the adrenaline with the second win for the Aggies with a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over redshirt senior Govind Nanda. Casper won in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(4) over Tripathi. Tokac defeated Revelli with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 win. Michna and Silva both secured a singles victory in their Aggie debuts. 

The Maroon and White faced Cal on Day 2. In doubles play, redshirt freshman Grant Lothringer and Michna defeated freshmen Jonathan Irwanto and Ethan Schiffman with a 6-2 win. Skrobarcek and Taylor carried their Day 1 energy with them, resulting in a 6-3 victory over freshman Alex Aney and sophomore John Kim. 

A&M singles play excelled on Day 2 and went undefeated at 9-0. 

Silva kicked off the day with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win over senior Lucas Magnaudet. Tokac won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 over junior Derrick Chen. Perego followed with the third win for the Aggies with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over junior Alex Chang. Pires secured his first singles win of his A&M career with a 6-0, 6-4 win against Kim.

Casper defeated freshman Timofey Stepanov with a 6-3, 6-4 win. Perot kept the winning streak going with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over junior Carl Emil Overbeck. Roddick faced senior Ryder Jackson and secured a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win. Skrobarcek defeated junior Mikey Wright with a 6-3, 6-0 victory. Lothringer finished the singles play winning streak with a final victory over Schiffman. 

A&M faced USC to finish off the Collegiate Cup. Perot and Tokac secured a 6-4 win over juniors Peter Makk and Oscar Weightman. Michna defeated senior Lodewijk Weststrate with a 6-3, 5-7, 11-9 win. Pires secured the second singles play win over the Trojans with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 victory. 

“I thought we got out of the tournament just what we needed,” coach Steve Denton said. “Lots of early season matches to knock the rust off. We performed well in singles. We still have some work to do to solidify our doubles. All in all, I thought we had a very solid tournament.” 

The Aggies will continue their spring season in the Golden State to face UCLA at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m.

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