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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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One step away
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A&M men’s tennis bounced back with doubleheader win

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien


After losing what could be considered the most important regular-season tennis match of the season against the ranked Texas Longhorns, the Texas A&M men’s tennis team can take solace in a bounce-back performance. After a narrow 4-3 loss to the long-time rivals, A&M took away two wins in a doubleheader against Vanderbilt and Lamar on Friday, March 11.
No point could be won in either game with ease, however, as strong winds and piercing cold temperatures plagued players on every team present at the Mitchell Tennis Center in Bryan-College Station.
“Today was not really about playing good tennis in the tough conditions that we had,” A&M coach Steve Denton told “Our team just had to claw and fight for every point they scored today. I thought we grew up a bit today in facing adversity from a very good, in-form, Vanderbilt team. We had to manufacture our own energy today, and our team responded the way I had hoped they would.”
The opening match started at 10 a.m. on Friday. The Aggies took on a Vanderbilt team that held a record of 9-2 on the season before the match. The Commodores would quickly get worked by the Aggies, who earned a commanding 5-2 victory.
The Aggies, who have been very strong in doubles play to this point in the season, continued that dominance. Junior Noah Schachter and sophomore Kenner Taylor took down a top-100 ranked duo on Court 1 by a score of 6-1. That score was matched by A&M’s sophomore duo of Matthis Ross and Stefan Storch on Court 2 for the early 1-0 lead.
If not for a pair of two-set blunders on Courts 2 and 3 in singles play, the Aggies could have swept Vandy at home. Instead, the Aggies saw victories on four of the six courts, none bigger than the three-set grudge match won by Schachter over Vanderbilt’s No. 39-ranked fifth-year player Joubert Klopper.
The Aggies found themselves in the win column again, continuing the team’s post-ITA tournament run of improved play, with both their 5-2 wins against Vanderbilt and their shut-out win over Lamar.
In-state opponent Lamar, who came into the game 8-3, never seemed to have a chance despite A&M allowing some of its younger athletes to take to the courts over more veteran athletes. The Aggies have won six-straight matches against the Cardinals over the last decade and a half.
Storch and junior Austin Abbrat won their duo match 6-0 on Court 2 followed by a 6-4 victory from sophomore Raphael Perot and freshman Giulio Perego.
Singles play went similarly, as four Aggies quickly dismantled four courts shared with the Cardinals. Ross and Taylor saw some more action against Lamar, winning A&M’s first two singles matches to put the team up 3-0, but were soon followed by rain delays.
After the rain subsided, two more Aggies would find wins on their respective courts: sophomore Rahul Dhokia on Court 4 and freshman Mathis Bondaz on Court 3. Bondaz’s win secured A&M’s victory but was subsequently followed by more rain clouds that caused the final two singles matches to go unfinished.
The Aggies will look to extend their win streak from two to three to four on Sunday, March 13. In a home doubleheader, A&M will face Mississippi State at 1 p.m. and Abilene Christian at 6 p.m.

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