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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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Lackluster start dooms Aggies in Lexington

Senior+Raphale+Perot+returns+a+volley+at+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Pepperdine+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+25%2C+2024%2C+at+the+Mitchell+Tennis+Center.+%28%C2%A9+Connor+May%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Connor May
Senior Raphale Perot returns a volley at Texas A&M’s match against Pepperdine on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the Mitchell Tennis Center. (© Connor May/The Battalion)

The No. 10 Texas A&M men’s tennis team walked into the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky looking to upset No. 5 Kentucky on Friday, March 22. However, it was the Aggies who were forced to add a loss to their luggage as the Wildcats beat them 4-3.

Doubles play was anything but a dream come true for the Aggies as they were swept to head into singles action down 1-0. The first doubles match to finish saw Kentucky’s fifth year Taha Baadi and freshman Jack Loutit take down freshman Tiago Pires and graduate Kenner Taylor 6-3 on Court 3.

Sealing the early lead for the Wildcats was the No. 23 duo of senior Joshua Lapadat and redshirt senior JJ Mercer over the No. 28 team of junior Giulio Perego and sophomore Togan Tokac, 6-3 on court 1.

Things continued the way of the Wildcats as they won the first two sets of singles play. The first victorious boy in blue was sophomore Jaden Weekes, who defeated Tokac in two quick lopsided sets, 6-2, 6-2 on Court 3.

Next to add onto the lead was Kentucky sophomore Charlelie Cosnet over A&M’s Perego in two quick sets 6-4, 6-3 on court 4. It was just Perego’s fifth loss of the year, as he has seen mostly W’s next to his name throughout much of this season.

With everything on the line and their backs against the wall, the Fightin’ Farmers needed to turn things around for a chance of securing the in-conference win. The first Aggie to turn things around was Pires over Loutit in two sets, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 5.

However A&M’s comeback dreams were dashed as Lapadat got the huge upset over No. 24 junior JC Roddick in two sets, 6-3, 7-5 on Court 2.
The two remaining matches played out and went the way of the Maroon and White. First, No. 33 senior Raphael Perot defended his ranking over No. 36 Baadi in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 over on Court 1. The final match of the day saw A&M freshman Brayden Michna extend his winning streak to five as he defeated freshman Matt Rankin in three tough sets, 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-1 on Court 6.

With the 4-3 loss, the Aggies now hold a record of 16 wins and five losses. While they hold a 5-2 SEC record, the team will need to bounce back from an uncharacteristic slow start in doubles if it wants to go far this postseason.

“I was disappointed with the way we started off the match,” coach Steve Denton said. “We didn’t play well enough in doubles and then struggled on a couple of courts that put us in a hole that was tough to recover from. We have to be better mentally to win on the road than we were tonight.”

The Aggies are back in action on Friday, March 22 when they welcome the No. 56 Vanderbilt Commodores to the Mitchell Tennis Center, with first serve set for 1 p.m.

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