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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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Senior Night serves

No. 8 A&M men’s tennis suffers tough loss to Arkansas
Photo by Lana Cheatham
Freshman Tiago Pires serves the ball during Texas A&M’s match against Arkansas on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at Mitchell Tennis Center. (Lana Cheatham/The Battalion)

The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team took on the No. 41 Arkansas Razorbacks and were shooed away by the Hogs, 4-3, at the Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, April 7.

A&M won the last matchup against Arkansas, 5-2, in Fayetteville, Arkansas during the 2022-23 league slate. Sunday night’s outcome diverged from history.

The Aggies came off a 5-2 loss against Oklahoma and showcased their resilience on Senior Night by securing the doubles point and two of six singles matches to open the night. However, their efforts fell short as Arkansas rallied in the singles matches to claim overall victory.

The Razorbacks were tied up on Court 3 as junior JC Roddick and freshmen Lathan Skrobareck took on seniors Alan Sau Franco and Melvin Manuel. Skorbareck showed remarkable reflexes as he swiftly countered the Hogs’ serves and kept the ball in the front of the court. The Aggie duo was the first to win in doubles play, 6-4.

The A&M pair of graduate Kenner Taylor and sophomore Togan Tokac took on freshman Connor Smillie and junior Jake Sweeney. It was down 4-1 but came back as the duo gave Arkansas no time to respond to its shots, leading to faults for failing to hit the ball over the net and serving out of bounds. It gave the Aggies their second doubles win, 7-6 (7-4).

Before the match began, all eyes were on senior Raphael Perot. The match celebrated Senior Night with the coaches and players congregating on Court 1 to commemorate and celebrate the France native who boasts a singles record of 22-17. He was given a shadow box containing a maroon jersey with his last name and the number 12.

As the No. 26 singles player, Perot’s Senior Night was not over as he was the first to reach victory and earn A&M its second point. Perot’s opponent Barun served and responded with cross-court shots. This caused Perot to be one of the few players who stayed behind the baseline for most of the match. His placement and quick response led to a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Pires did not have the same luck as he succumbed 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, respectively, to senior Stefanos Savva’s lob shots in a closely contested battle on Court 4.

Razorback sophomore Benedikt Emesz struggled to keep up with junior Luke Casper on Court 5 and gave the Aggies their second singles victory. Casper is now on a four-match winning streak. Despite the hot start, A&M fell short as Arkansas tied it at 3-3 wins on Court 2 and 3.

The final showdown on Court 6 featured A&M freshman Grant Lothringer going up against senior Karlo Kajin. The crowd remained engaged till the last moment, as cheers of “Maroon and White” and “Let’s go Aggies” grew louder and louder with every serve Lothringer made, echoing through the courts.

Lothringer was no stranger to holding down the fort as he kept up with the cross-court shots but was ultimately bested by Kajin 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, respectively, due to a few critical shots hitting the net.

“Hard fought match that we had chances to win, but didn’t get enough big points down the stretch,” head coach Steve Denton said.

With their Tuesday match canceled due to impending weather, the Aggies are set to play the Auburn Tigers on Friday, April 12 at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Alabama.

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About the Contributor
Shalina Sabih
Shalina Sabih, Sports writer
Shalina is a Pakistani-American journalism major from Dallas, TX. She is also minoring in communications. Shalina's favorite sport is football and she loves the Dallas Cowboys. She wants to pursue a career in journalism after college and also plans on attending law school.
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    LinaApr 8, 2024 at 9:26 pm