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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 men’s tennis prepares for SEC opener

Freshman+Pierce+Rollins%26%23160%3Beyes+the+ball+as+it+approaches.
Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Freshman Pierce Rollins eyes the ball as it approaches.

Texas A&M men’s tennis is on a two-game win streak heading into the SEC opener over Kentucky on Friday at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
Before heading into conference play, the team notched two wins over Rice and Arizona State, leading them to a season record of 7-3.
A&M coach Steve Denton said with the momentum gathered by his team from the wins over Rice and Arizona State, the Aggies are prepared to put on a good match against Kentucky on their home courts.
“Kentucky’s a really good team,” Denton said. “We’ve got to continue to play well here at home, which we have so far this year.”
Sophomore Noah Schachter said he has high expectations for the team’s performance in the weekend’s matchups.
“We play Kentucky and Vanderbilt, two really good teams,” Schachter said. “I think we’re all playing really well, and I’m excited.”
With the Aggies’ SEC opener being on their home courts, Denton said A&M has an advantage heading into the weekend.
“It’s just the comfort level of being able to sleep in their own bed and obviously playing on the courts that they practice on every day,” Denton said.
However, the transition into SEC matchups is a challenging part of the season, as Denton said the season essentially resets.
“Now we’re in the real deal,” Denton said. “Everybody’s starting from scratch.”
Denton said he anticipates that the team will compete hard this weekend to set off the remainder of their SEC season.
“If they don’t put too much pressure on themselves and just go out there and have fun with a great attitude then I’ll live with the results,” Denton said.
Schachter said there is more pressure when facing SEC opponents, but he’s looking forward to playing the night match at home.
“Every match is important, and I think we’re all gonna have to focus,” Schachter said. “It’ll be nice to have the crowd on our side at home.”
Junior Carlos Aguilar said he’s feeling confident about the competition in this year’s SEC slate.
“We’ve been having some good practice sessions this week,” Aguilar said. “I think this SEC season will be special.”
In preparation for the SEC opener, Denton said practice has been going well for the team this week, though the weather has provided some complications.
“It’s been a good preparation week, we had a couple days where the conditions are a little tough,” Denton said. “But it’s a little bit of adversity training for the team.”
Denton said the team never knows what type of weather conditions they are going to play at this time of the year. Due to weather, the team has not been able to play at night under the lights yet.
“The weather looks really good this weekend,” Denton said. “With this match being a six o’ clock start, there’s going to be some nighttime tennis. So that will be a little bit of an adjustment but I know our guys are excited.”
Schachter said he plans to keep up the winning momentum by working hard and playing more aggressively.
“I think I’m playing a lot better than last year,” Schachter said. “I want to make sure I’m playing the right way and my mindset is right.”
The Aggies will take on Kentucky at 6 p.m on Friday. Next up, the team will face Vanderbilt on Sunday at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center.

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