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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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Texas A&M men’s tennis has tough weekend ahead

Freshman%26%23160%3BRaphael+Perot+recorded+his+third+consecutive+singles+win+against+South+Carolina+on+Friday.
Photo by Photo by Joshua Sozio

Freshman Raphael Perot recorded his third consecutive singles win against South Carolina on Friday.

It’s never easy facing the nation’s best in any collegiate sport, and it’s even harder when the stakes are higher with more on the line.
This past weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, or ITA, National Team Indoor Championships, No. 12 ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team faced No. 2 Tennessee to start, went against No. 8 Stanford and then finished the event versus No. 15 Ole Miss.
All losses.
But, there is always something to be learned from losing, especially when facing top-level competition — it allows you to discover your weaknesses so you can correct them for the next opportunity.
That is the takeaway for head coach Steve Denton and his team after a tough weekend in Seattle.
“This was not the result we wanted, but there are many lessons to be learned and we will learn them,” Denton said. “We cannot wait to get back out on the courts and battle Oklahoma on the road this Friday. We have to continue approaching each match step-by-step.”
On Friday, Feb. 18, the Aggies fell to No. 2 Tennessee 4-0, the second time A&M lost two matches in doubles this season. Sophomore Raphael Perot and freshman Giulio Perego were defeated 6-4 while junior Austin Abbrat and junior Noah Schachter fell 7-5 on the top court.
A&M also lost all three of its completed singles competitions as Tennessee’s high-ranked players performed well.
“I was pleased with the doubles today against Tennessee; I thought we had chances in all three matches,” Denton said. “We have to be able to hold on to a break of serve when we get one. Tennessee is a very good team and thought they won a lot of the three-all points early as we transitioned to singles that kept them on top.”
The next day, A&M faced No. 8 Stanford and came much closer to a victory, losing 4-3. Perot topped No. 38 Stanford senior Alexandre Rotsaert 6-2, 6-3 to earn the highest-ranked win of his career. Freshman Luke Casper won in straight sets in his singles matchup to improve to 12-5 this season.
The other win came from freshman Mathis Bondaz, who dropped the first set but rallied to win 6-2 in the second set and 6-0 in the third. Ultimately, Stanford won the final two points it needed to win the day.
“I thought once again we were right in the doubles with a chance to get the point,” Denton said. “We played pretty solid there. We will get better with more reps against this caliber of team. We just played two potential Final Four teams and our guys showed great progress from Day 1 to Day 2.”
No. 15 Ole Miss wrapped up the event for A&M the next day by downing the Aggies 4-2. Perot picked up his second-consecutive ranked win, this time over No. 111 Finn Reynolds in two sets. Perot improved to 11-6 on the year, 3-1 against ranked opponents.
The Aggies did win a pair of doubles matches, with Perot and Perego winning their set 7-5 and sophomores Pierce Rollins and Matthis Ross taking their doubles set over the Rebels, winning 6-4. However, Ole Miss did really well in singles and won another doubles set to earn the win.
“I thought our guys came out a bit flat and we were jumped on four of six courts,” Denton said. “It is tough to be playing from behind from the onset, and that certainly was the case. We have to give Ole Miss credit, they rebounded from the doubles and just took it to us in singles.”
The Aggies will look to start a new winning streak this Friday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Headington Family Tennis Center. A&M has won three of its last five matches against Oklahoma, dating back to 2015.

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