COLLEGE STATION -- The 25th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team travels through ACC country this weekend to take on No. 10 Duke on Friday, Feb. 29 in Durham, N.C. and No. 16 Florida State on Sunday, March 2 in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Aggies (3-3) embark on perhaps their toughest two-match road swing of the season as the Blue Devils (2-2) and Seminoles (7-1) each advanced to the NCAA Second Round a year ago and boast some of the nation’s top players. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. at Duke’s Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center on Friday and 1 p.m. at Florida State’s Scott Speicher Tennis Center on Sunday.
Duke holds a 12-4 advantage in the all-time series with A&M and enters Friday’s match with back-to-back losses to No. 11 Notre Dame (4-3) on Feb. 3 and eighth-ranked Illinois (4-3) on Feb. 1. Three Dukies are currently ranked in the latest ITA/FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings including No. 33 David Goulet, No. 85 Reid Carleton and No. 98 Kiril Dimitrov, while FSU has one player ranked in singles in No. 35 Jean-Yves Aubone.
Florida State’s Clint Bowles was recently named ACC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week leading the Seminoles to a 4-3 victory over No. 22 Pepperdine on Feb. 23. He and teammate Jean-Yves Aubone currently rank 26th nationally in doubles. They will host Georgia Tech in their league opener on Friday, prior to the A&M match. The Aggies lead the all-time series, 6-1, and last met the Seminoles in 2006.
“We are going to have good, solid matches against Duke and Florida State,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They are two tough teams and we will have to play well to beat them at home, because they’ve both had some success this season. We have good players. If our guys can play the way they are capable of, then we will have a great match. Right now, we are working hard on our doubles and it is something we have been emphasizing every day in practice leading up to this weekend’s matches.”
Three Aggies return home to the Sunshine State of Florida this weekend including Bradenton native Jerry Makowski, Brandon native Austin Krajicek and Ponce de Leon native Wil Spencer. The talented trio holds down the No. 2 through No. 4 lines for A&M in singles. Makowski, a two-time All-American, is 2-3 in dual match play, while Spencer is 4-2 and Krajicek an undefeated 5-0.
A&M’s top player Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas), ranked No. 27 nationally in singles, has compiled a team-leading 12-6 overall record and 4-2 mark at the No. 1 line. He and teammate Austin Krajicek also rank No. 22 nationally in doubles and have dominated the competition this year with an unblemished 5-0 mark at the top of the lineup for the Aggies. A&M is searching for its first road win of the season with losses at No. 25 Tulsa (5-2) on Feb. 10 and No. 18 LSU (5-2) on Feb. 23.
Live match statistics will be available via the Duke athletic department website at: www.goduke.com. The Florida State athletic department website will not have live match statistics available, but will post final results at: www.seminoles.com.