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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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Men’s Tennis clinches second consecutive SEC Championship

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Photo by Photos by Madeline Ramos

Senior Jordi Arconada reaches a forehand to win the first set 6-3.

In a highly anticipated match-up between two SEC foes, the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies faced off with No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs to determine the winner of the SEC. Both the Aggies and the Bulldogs were 10-0 in conference play, and Friday’s match saw the Aggies win 5-2, securing the SEC Championship. 
Senior All-American Arthur Rinderknech expressed the importance of Friday’s match before the matches began and how it would be a special achievement for the seniors.
“Obviously it’s one of my few last matches at home, and being a senior it’s really important to me. I just want to enjoy it and get a title for Texas A&M one more year,” Rinderknech said.
Friday’s action started off intense with the Aggies finding themselves in a hole early on, being down on all three courts in doubles play.
On court five, senior AJ Catanzariti and sophomore Valentin Vacherot battled back from a 2-0 deficit early on, but would ultimately fall to the Bulldogs 6-3. Meanwhile on court three, senior Jordi Arconada and freshman Patrick Kypson fell by a score of 6-2, thus dropping the doubles point to Mississippi State.
Jordi Arconada felt that losing the doubles point was difficult, and knows that it is something that the team needs to improve upon.
“We definitely weren’t happy because it’s something that happens quite a bit with us, and we know we need to get better about it,” Arconada said.
The intensity felt in the doubles sets would continue into singles play with both teams locked in a series of close matches.
On court three Arconada captured A&M’s first point of the evening, winning 6-2 and 6-2 in a two match sweep of Mississippi State’s Strahinja Rakic, tying the score 1-1. Meanwhile Kypson fell to Nuno Borges 6-3 and 6-3 in two sets, giving the advantage to the Bulldogs with a score of 2-1.
Vacherot would go on to win on court four, going 6-4 and 6-2, and Rinderknech battled through a tie breaker to win court two 7-6 and 6-3, putting A&M in the lead 3-2. The championship would now be decided by two freshmen for A&M in Juan Carlos Aguliar on court five and Barnaby Smith on court six.
In two matches that came down three games in both, Juan Carlos Aguilar would be the deciding factor in the match, winning court five 6-4, 3-6, and 6-3 against Florian Broska. This won the match for the Aggies, and secured at least a share of the SEC regular season championship.
Head coach Steve Denton noted that this was a major win and accomplishment with winning the title, and praised his seniors.
“It shows how important those three seniors are…those guys can’t be replaced [but] we got some really good young players coming in, but they’re not as tested as these guys are, and obviously these guys came through tonight with flying colors.” 
The Aggies improve to 11-0 in conference play, and are 19-4 overall on the year. With this win over Mississippi State, A&M not only secures a guaranteed share of the regular season SEC title, but also the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Aggies return to finish the regular season at home against the Auburn Tigers Sunday at 12 p.m. in the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

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