Aggies Grab 5-2 Win, Gear Up For Big 12 Opener

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COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 19 Texas A&M men’s tennis team geared up for Sunday’s Big 12 Conference opener with a 5-2 dual match victory over No. 39 Louisville on Thursday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

The Aggies (9-5) dropped the doubles point, but rebounded with five straight-sets victories in singles to knock off the Cardinals.

"Our doubles have been a problem,” second-year Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. “We’re just not getting it done there. Thankfully, our singles have been very good in most of these matches. We were able to win five out of the first six first sets today, which helped us to re-establish momentum. We just can’t keep putting ourselves behind in really tough matches. Now every match is going to be really close, so now we’re going to have to do something and get better in our doubles and execute better there. I’m real pleased with the guys with how they are able to fight back, and do well and not get discouraged in their singles matches."

After the Aggies fell behind 2-0, A&M freshman Wil Spencer got the Aggies on the scoreboard with his sixth straight singles victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win over David Simon at the No. 2 line. Fellow freshman Austin Krajicek quickly evened the score with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Viktor Maksimcuk at No. 3 singles. Senior Matt Bain gave the Aggies a 3-2 advantage with 6-4, 6-0 win over Robert Rotaru at No. 5 and sophomore transfer Chris Chirico logged the decisive point with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Simon Childs at No. 4. Junior Conor Pollock, ranked No. 23 nationally, closed out the scoring with a 7-6, 6-4 win over No. 41-ranked Austen Childs at No. 1 singles.

The Aggies now turn their attention to Big 12 Conference play with a dual match against Texas Tech in Lubbock on Sunday. The Red Raiders have compiled a 15-2 record this season and moved up to No. 21 in the most recent ITA/FILA team rankings.

“This is my favorite part of the season,” said Pollock, who clinched the Aggies’ 4-3 road victory over Texas Tech in 2006. “It feels like the intensity steps up in Big 12 play. I’m looking forward to it. Texas Tech has a very deep team, and we have to be ready for a battle, especially up there in those conditions with the wind and altitude. We’re going to go up there and be prepared for a tough match."

(#19) Texas A&M 5, (#39) Louisville 2

George P. Mitchell Tennis Center

Attendance: 370

Singles

1. (#23) Conor Pollock (TAMU) def. (#41) Austen Childs (UL), 7-6, 6-4.

2. Wil Spencer (TAMU) def. David Simon (UL), 6-3, 6-3.

3. Austin Krajicek (TAMU) def. Viktor Maksimcuk (UL), 6-4, 6-3.

4. Chris Chirico (TAMU) def. Simon Childs (UL), 6-4, 6-4.

5. Matt Bain (TAMU) def. Robert Rotaru (UL), 6-4, 6-0.

6. Alejandro Calligari (UL) def. Kayvon Karimi (TAMU), 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles

1. Simon/Maksimcuk (UL) def. Spencer/Krajicek (TAMU), 8-5

2. Chirico/Pollock (TAMU) def. S. Childs/Calligari (UL), 8-7 (1).

3. A. Childs/ James McArthur (UL) def. Bain/ Mike Beatty (TAMU), 8-4

Order of Finish:

Singles: 6, 2, 3, 5, 4*, 1

Doubles: 1, 3, 2