COLLEGE STATION, TX — Texas A&M men's tennis defeated Tennessee and Incarnate Word Saturday afternoon at the George P Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies (11-3, 4-0) defeated the Volunteers (10-3, 1-2), 6-1, to win their 18th straight regular season SEC match before dispatching of the Cardinals (6-4), 7-0.
“We are a third of the way through the season and we have got a lot of good tough tennis ahead of us, but I really like the way our team is playing,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “When you have a young team, how are they going to react on the road and how are they going to handle adversity and we’ve done that pretty well so far against two real good teams this weekend. We have had different guys step up and it’s been a complete team effort to get us to where we are right now.”
A&M opened the day with an impressive doubles point victory after claiming wins on courts three and one. The Vol duo of Scott Jones and Adam Walton were the first to finish, capturing a 6-2 result over A&M’s Valentin Vacherot and Austin Abbrat. A&M’s Hady Habib and Alex Vedri claimed a late break to defeat UT’s Pat Harper and Martim Prata, 6-4, on court three. The Aggie pair of Carlos Aguilar and Barnaby Smith clinched the point with a 7-5 triumph over UT’s 36th-ranked duo of Preston Touliatos and Timo Stodder on the top court.
As singles play was getting started rain caused a nearly two rain delay. A&M’s Smith, ranked No. 58 nationally, doubled the lead to 2-0 with a swift 6-3, 6-1 win on court four over UT’s Touliatos. The win was Smith’s ninth in his last 10 matches. The Volunteers earned their only point of the day as No. 59 Stodder topped Aguilar 7-6(1), 6-3 on court one.
A&M’s Habib, ranked No. 120, outlasted UT’s Walton, ranked No. 93, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on court two to make the score 3-1 in the Aggies favor. A&M freshman Vedri clinched the win for the Aggies with a 7-5, 7-6(1) triumph on court six over UT’s Harper.
With the team match secured, A&M’s Vacherot and Noah Schachter reeled off three-set wins on courts three and five, respectively. Vacherot, ranked No. 38, bested UT’s Jones 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 followed by Schachter’s victory over UT’s Luca Wiedenmann, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
With the win over the Vols, the Aggies increased their all-time advantage in the series to 10-4 after winning last eight matchups between the two squads.
In the nightcap, the Aggies raced out to a 1-0 lead after doubles play. The A&M duo of Habib and Kevin Lam improved to 2-0 as a pair, sweeping the match 6-0 on court two against UIW’s Paco Bendana and Caleb Dyer. A&M’s team of Vedri and Pranav Kumar clinched the point with a 6-3 victory on court three over the Cardinal tandem of Oliver Valentinsson and Dennis Boisseau.
A&M’s Smith added his second win of the day with a 6-0, 6-2 win over UIW’s Sebastian Mortier on court one. Vedri followed with his second win of the day as well, defeating the Cardinals’ Bendana 6-2, 6-2 on court three to increase the A&M advantage to 3-0. A&M freshman Jack Pulliam clinched the team match with a 6-2, 6-4 win on court five UIW’s Boisseau.
With the team match clinched the Aggies picked up wins from Abbrat, Kumar and Lam to wrap up the 7-0 sweep. The Aggies improved to 3-0 all-time against the Cardinals.
The Aggies will welcome No. 1 Ohio State and Prairie View A&M to town on Monday to wrap up a stretch of five matches in five days.