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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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No. 11 Aggies Prepare for SEC Tournament

The Texas A&M men’s tennis team travels to Gainesville, Florida this weekend to compete in the SEC Tournament at the Alfred E. Ring Tennis Complex.
The No. 11 Aggies (20-6, 10-2 SEC) open up tournament play as the 3-seed, and will battle No. 22 South Carolina (16-8, 5-7 SEC) in a quarterfinal matchup on Friday, April 19th, at 8 a.m. EST. During the regular season, A&M defeated South Carolina in Columbus 5-2.
“We’ve already played both of these teams, so we know their teams already,” Texas A&M Head Coach Steve Denton said. “We have prior knowledge of playing these teams, and had tough matches with both of them. But again, sometimes the score doesn’t indicate how close the matches are. We’ve gotta be more concerned about ourselves and how we’re playing and then we’ll make the proper adjustments when we get there. Some of them will be repeat matchups. But ultimately this time of the year, it just comes down to execution.”
Texas A&M enters the tournament with three Aggies in the top-100. Sophomore Carlos Aguilar finished the season ranked No. 30, with 9 victories over ranked opponents on the season. Junior Valentin Vacherot, No. 58, finished the regular season with a perfect record in conference play, becoming the first Aggie to complete a 12-0 record in the SEC. After rejoining the team this spring, No. 74 Hady Habib has gone 8-4 in the SEC this season.
“We have a high standard for our program here and we put probably more pressure on ourselves to uphold that standard,” Denton said. “Our standard is high. As a result of that, maybe there’s some pressure, but we put it on ourselves every day, so that when we get in these situations, we’re able to play at a high level. And that’s what I expect from these guys. I don’t know what the results going to be, but I expect this to play at a high level.”
The winner of the Texas A&M-South Carolina matchup will advance to face the winner of Mississippi State and Vanderbilt on Saturday, April 20th at 12 p.m.
Last season, the Aggies entered the SEC tournament as the 1-seed, and ended up sweeping both Georgia and Tennessee, before falling in the Finals to No. 9 Mississippi State 4-3. A&M has advanced to the Semifinal round in every SEC Tournament they have participated in.
“I’m very confident in these young players,” Denton said. “After a certain point, they are no longer a freshman anymore. They’ve played enough matches to where they’ve had opportunities and experience, and now it’s just about them doing it under the pressure of a match. I can’t tell you whether we’re going to win, but I think we’re going to play very well. That’s all I’m interested in.”

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