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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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Men’s tennis heads to the Elite 8

The No. 5 Texas A&M men’s tennis team punched their ticket to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament Thursday when they defeated the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes by a tight score of 4-3. The trip to the quarterfinals is just the second in program history and the first since the introduction of Head Coach Steve Denton.
Although the match was set to be played on the campus of Baylor University, inclement weather sent the Aggies (24-4) to the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavilion in Dallas to play in the SMU indoor facility. A&M didn’t allow the unanticipated distraction shake its focus and still went on to begin the match on a strong note.
Despite the early loss from the freshman duo of Catanzariti and Rinderknech on court three, the No. 10 ranked pair for the Aggies on court one was quick to even the count at one apiece when they defeated their No. 7 opponents, 8-5. From that point it was all up to the seniors on court two, Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo. The No. 56 pair didn’t disappoint and closed out doubles with an 8-7 win and sent the Aggies to singles play up 1-0.
The momentum created by the tiebreak win from the seniors on court two doubles catapulted the Aggies to winning first sets on four of the six singles courts. Of those four, Shane Vinsant was the first to close out his opponent, winning 6-4, 6-2 on court two. The win for Vinsant extend the Aggie lead to 2-0.
Even with a two point advantage, A&M knew that the Buckeyes (27-9) would refuse to go away without a fight. First to fall for the Aggies was freshman, Jordi Arconada who suffered two straight tiebreak losses to his opponent on court six and allowed Ohio State to close in on the A&M lead, 2-1.
Pushing the Buckeyes to their last straw was senior, No. 47 Efferding who took down his opponent, 7-5, 6-4, on court one in what was the third and final court that was decided after only two sets of play.
In what would be expected in an NCAA tournament match, Ohio State kept things close by capturing wins on courts four and five respectively to even up the score at 3-3. No. 78 Harrison Adams and No. 92 AJ Catanzariti both fell in the third set of their respective matches and were left to watch the fate of the team fall to the hands of No. 84 Arthur Rinderknech.
Thursday was not the first time that a match would be decided by Rinderknech, furthermore it would not be the first time that a match against Ohio State would be decided by the Frenchman. In January, back at the Mitchell Tennis Center the stage was set just how it was at the indoor facility on Thursday. Rinderknech was the last man standing and he had everything to play for.
Just like that night back in January, the freshman sealed the deal for the Aggies and clinched the match on court three, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.
The Aggies will now move on to play No. 3 Virginia (26-3) in the quarterfinals of the tournament. As of now the match is scheduled to be played Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco. 

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