DURHAM, N.C. – Veteran play by junior Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) led the 25th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team to its first road win of the season with a 4-3 upset of No. 10 Duke Friday afternoon at the Ambler Tennis Stadium.
Pollock, ranked No. 27 nationally in the ITA/Collegiate Tennis Rankings, clinched the match for the Aggies as he downed No. 33 David Goulet in three sets, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, at the top of the lineup to improve to 5-2 in dual match play. It marked A&M’s first win over a top 10 opponent in the Steve Denton Era and the first since a 4-3 upset of fourth-ranked Baylor on April 12, 2006 in College Station.
“Conor played a really good return game in the third set,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “I’m sure it’s a great feeling for him to go out winning like that. Playing at a very high level with the match on the line, he really showed poise and tremendous leadership to come through for us today.”
The Aggies started off on their quest for the upset bid with strong doubles play from top-to-bottom. A&M swept the Blue Devils with the No. 1 doubles combination of freshmen Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) and Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) leading the way with an 8-5 victory over Duke’s David Goulet and Christopher Price. Pollock also combined with sophomore Chris Chirico (Philadelphia, Pa.) to defeat Duke’s Reid Carleton and Kiril Dimitrov, 8-3, at No. 2. In his collegiate debut, freshman Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas) teamed up with senior Matt Bain for a 9-7 (6) win over Dylan Arnould and Alex Stone at the No. 3 line.
“We knew we had to secure the doubles point to have a chance to win today,” Denton said. “We felt like we found the right combinations and Conor and Chris played very well at No. 2 and got us off on the right foot.”
The Aggies also picked up singles victories from Krajicek and Chirico. Both won in straight sets as Krajicek improved to an undefeated 6-0 on the season with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against a seasoned player in No. 98-ranked Kiril Dimitrov at the No. 2 line. Meanwhile, Chirico ended a five-match skid with a 6-3, 6-3 rout of Dylan Arnould at No. 4.
“It was a signature win for us against a top 10 team,” Denton said. “Overall, it was a great day and I’m glad we were able to pull it out and build some confidence for the rest of the spring season.”
The Aggies claimed their fifth-ever win over Duke (2-3) in 17 all-time meetings between the two schools which snapped a three-match losing streak in the series. Last year, A&M lost a close 4-3 decision to Duke at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
A&M (4-3) continues its trek through ACC country with its second dual match in three days scheduled against No. 16 Florida State (7-1) on Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.
(25) TEXAS A&M 4, (10) DUKE 3
February 29, 2008
Ambler Tennis Stadium
at Durham, N.C.
No. 1 (27) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. (33) David Goulet (Duke), 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4.
No. 2 Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. (98) Kiril Dimitrov (Duke), 6-1, 6-3.
No. 3 (85) Reid Carleton (Duke) def. Wil Spencer (Texas A&M), 7-6 (5), 6-1.
No. 4 Chris Chirico (Duke) def. Dylan Arnould (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-3.
No. 5 Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. Matt Bain (Texas A&M), 6-2, 6-1.
No. 6 Alex Stone (Duke) def. Kayvon Karimi (Texas A&M), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
No. 1 Krajicek-Spencer (Texas A&M) def. Goulet-Christopher Price (Duke), 8-5.
No. 2 Chirico-Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Carleton-Dimitrov (Duke), 8-3.
No. 3 Karimi-Bain (Texas A&M) def. Arnould-Stone (Duke), 9-7 (6).
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Singles: 5, 4, 3, 2, 6, *1