COLLEGE STATION -- A midweek non-conference dual match is up next for the No. 21 Texas A&M men’s tennis team as the Aggies take on No. 24 Rice on Wednesday, April 9 in Houston, in a rematch of last year’s NCAA First Round meeting between the two in-state schools.
First serve between the Aggies (10-8, 1-3) and Owls (12-7, 0-2) is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. A&M last defeated the Owls by a score of 4-2 in first-round action in Waco in 2007 and commands a 28-3 lead in the all-time series which dates back to 1978. Both teams boast nationally-ranked singles players in No. 15 Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) and No. 90 Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) on A&M’s side and No. 27 Bruno Rosa and No. 49 Christoph Müller for Rice.
“Rice has been a high-ranked team this year and they have experienced players at their top three positions,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “Combined with their depth, they will be good from top to bottom. I’m expecting a tough match, especially on their home courts.”
Freshman Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) currently paces the Aggies with a team-leading 12-5 dual match record at the No. 2 through No. 5 lines. Playing primarily at the No. 3 spot in Big 12 Conference play, he owns a 3-1 league mark which is tied with Texas’ Ed Corrie (3-0) in the positional standings. Pollock and sophomore Chris Chirico (Philadelphia, Pa.) combine at No. 2 doubles for a team-best 8-3 dual match record and are in a four-way tie against league competition with a 2-1 mark. Pollock is 11-7 this season at the top of the singles lineup for A&M.
With three matches remaining prior to the postseason, A&M looks to get back in the win column after dropping its last two against Big 12 foes Oklahoma State and Baylor last week. Rice is coming off a 5-0 loss versus SMU and has lost three of its last four meetings with the Aggies. Rice’s Müller also combines with teammate Ralph Knupfer in doubles and the pair are ranked No. 22 nationally. Admission for the match is free.
Looking Ahead…The Aggies will pick Big 12 play back up and travel to Nebraska for a Friday, April 11 dual match at the Nebraska Tennis Center in Lincoln, Neb. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. against the Huskers.
Hosts With The Most…Texas A&M will play host to the upcoming 2008 Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships on April 24-27 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Twelve women’s and seven men’s teams from Big 12-member schools will converge onto College Station. Tickets are available for reserved seating at the Mitchell Tennis Center. A variety of ticket options are available ranging from $30-$2. For more information, please contact the 12th Man Foundation Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE.
On The Airwaves…Listen to the Steve Denton Radio Show every Monday evening at 4:15 p.m. on Chip Howard’s SportsTalk broadcast live on KZNE 1150 AM The Zone In College Station. Denton joins Chip Howard for the only college tennis coach’s radio show in the nation. Each week, the duo will recap and preview matches for the nationally-ranked Aggies. The weekly show airs from February through the NCAA Championship and can also be heard worldwide on the Internet at www.KZNE.com.