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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. 21 A&M men’s tennis succumbs to No. 9 South Carolina

Junior+Noah+Schachter+returns+the+ball+sophomore+Kenner+Taylor+during+their+doubles+match+against+the+University+of+Texas+at+the+Mitchell+Tennis+Center+on+Wednesday%2C+Mar.+9%2C+2022.
Photo by Caleb Powell

Junior Noah Schachter returns the ball sophomore Kenner Taylor during their doubles match against the University of Texas at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022.

On Friday, April 15, No. 21 A&M men’s tennis took on No. 9 South Carolina at Columbia, S.C., in the second-to-last match before the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks came out strong and the Aggies were unable to recover from the early loss, despite late efforts, and lost 1-6. The match ended the Aggies’ three-game winning streak and moved them to 21-11 on the season and 7-4 in conference play.
South Carolina coach Josh Goffi said the Gamecocks needed to be tested heading into the end of the regular season.
“Today was absolutely necessary for us going into SECs,” Goffi said. “Our guys want to go in there and go deep and see if we can win the thing. That’s what we’ve been talking about all year, and this match gave us the reps that we needed.”
In doubles play, duo sophomore Pierce Rollins and freshman Giulio Perego won two games, but ultimately fell to Gamecocks pair junior Raphael Lambling and sophomore James Story, 2-6. No. 20 sophomore Kenner Taylor and junior Noah Schachter kept their set close against No. 22 Gamecocks junior Daniel Rodrigues and sophomore Connor Thompson, but also fell to South Carolina’s offensive play.
With the doubles point secure in their pockets, the Gamecocks came into the singles event with momentum as the maroon and white lost five of the first six sets. However, the Aggies dug their heels and forced third sets on three of their courts. No. 41 Schachter was the first to fall as he faced No. 2 Rodrigues and lost straight sets 0-6, 2-6. Freshman Luke Casper was the only Aggie to take the first set and closed out a team-best 16th win of the season, shutting out 7-5, 6-1. A comeback seemed possible for A&M as they sat down 2-1 with the Gamecocks, but sophomore Matthis Ross, Perego, sophomore Raphael Perot and junior Guido Marson subsequently lost, securing the win for South Carolina, 6-1.
A&M coach Steve Denton said the team needs to not only start better but learn how to close out matches.
“South Carolina jumped on us in the doubles, but our guys battled back to have advantages in all three third-sets remaining,” Denton said. “The first hour and fifteen minutes was all South Carolina, but the last hour and 45 minutes was all about the Aggie fight. We just need to start faster, especially on the road against an elite team, and when we get our nose in front, we have to shut the door better.”
The win by South Carolina made history as the first time the Gamecocks have defeated the Aggies in the regular season in program history.
A&M moves on to play No. 3 Florida Gators in their final match before the SEC Tournament play begins. The maroon and white will have a tough game as the Gators seek to regain champion status from 2016. The match will be played in Gainesville, Fla., and is set for 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.

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