COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 25th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team (1-0) opened the season with a convincing 6-1 victory over No. 30 Clemson (3-1) in a five-hour duel with the Tigers Friday night at the City of Bryan Indoor Tennis Center.
A&M’s season opener was forced indoors due to inclement weather conditions, but the rain didn’t stop the Aggies’ parade through singles. In his collegiate debut, 17-year-old freshman phenom Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) clinched the match for A&M with a 6-3, 6-1 straight-set victory over Clemson’s Derek DiFrazio at the No. 5 line. Fellow freshman Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) also picked up his first collegiate win against Carlos Alverez, 6-1, 7-5, at the No. 3 position in the lineup.
After losing the doubles point, the Aggies quickly rebounded back as No. 23-ranked Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) took care of Clemson’s top player Ike Belk, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 1 line. His momentum inspired a domino effect as senior All-American Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) knocked off No. 61-ranked Rok Bizjack, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 2 spot.
No. 90-ranked Chris Chirico (Philadelphia, Pa.) and senior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) also played a major role in A&M’s singles sweep with straight-set victories at the No. 4 and No. 6 lines. With the victory, the Aggies claim only their third win and third-straight in the all-time series versus Clemson (3-6).
“I am very excited about this year’s team,” said second-year Texas A&M head coach Steven Denton. “I was very pleased with how we came back after our results in doubles,” Denton said. “As a team, we talked the other day about setting goals and I was happy to see that our players got after it and got out front early in the match. It will be a trademark of this team to be able to bank at the back of the court and finish at the net.”
Prior to the evening match, the Texas A&M coaching staff presented Clemson head coach Chuck Kriese with a plaque honoring his accomplishments throughout his 33-year coaching career at the ACC school. Kriese will retire at the end of the season. The Tigers defeated No. 45 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-3, in an early morning match played at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
Up next, A&M plays host to No. 22 Boise State on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
(25) TEXAS A&M 6, (30) CLEMSON 1
January 25, 2008
City of Bryan Indoor Tennis Center
at Bryan, Texas
No. 1 (23) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Ike Belk (Clemson), 6-1, 6-2.
No. 2 Jerry Makowski (Texas A&M) def. (61) Rok Bizjack (Clemson), 6-2, 6-4.
No. 3 Wil Spencer (Texas A&M) def. Carlos Alverez (Clemson), 6-1, 7-5.
No. 4 (90) Chris Chirico (Texas A&M) def. Kevin Fleck (Clemson), 6-3, 7-5.
No. 5 Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. Derek DiFrazio (Clemson), 6-3, 6-1.
No. 6 Matt Bain (Texas A&M) def. Gera Boryachinskly (Clemson), 6-1, 6-2.
No. 1 Krajicek-Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Alverez-Bizjak (Clemson), 9-7.
No. 2 Belk-Fleck (Clemson) def. Spencer-Chirico (Texas A&M), 8-6.
No. 3 Boryachinsky-DiFazio (Clemson) def. Bain-Makowski (Texas A&M), 8-5.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 1, 3, 2, 5*, 4, 6
(30) CLEMSON 4, (45) TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 3
January 25, 2008
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
No. 1 Laurent Montoisy (TAMUCC) def. Ike Belk (Clemson), 7-5, 6-3.
No. 2 (61) Rok Bizjak (Clemson) def. Dmitry Novikov (TAMUCC), 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 3 Mike Pavlov (TAMUCC) def. Carlos Alvarez (Clemson), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
No. 4 Kevin Fleck (Clemson) def. Jose Zunino (TAMUCC), 7-5, 6-3.
No. 5 Derek DiFazio (Clemson) def. James Langford (TAMUCC), 6-4, 6-4.
No. 6 Gera Boryachinskiy (Clemson) def. Jan Cingel (TAMUCC), 6-3, 6-2.
No. 1 Pavlov-Novikov (TAMUCC) def. Bijzak-Alvarez (Clemson), 8-5.
No. 2 Zunino-Montoisy (TAMUCC) def. Belk-Fleck (Clemson), 8-5.
No. 3 DeFazio-Boryachinskiy (Clemson) def. Langford-Cingel (TAMUCC), 8-4.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 1, 2, 3
Singles: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6*