TULSA, OK - Texas A&M sophomore right-hander Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) qualified for the main draw of the D’Novo ITA All-American Championships with a 6-4, 6-2, straight-set victory over No. 89-ranked Dennis Lajola of Hawai’i on Wednesday afternoon at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Spencer, ranked No. 102 nationally in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, raised his team-leading fall tournament record to 6-1 on the season and moves on to tomorrow’s main draw. It marked his third win against a nationally-ranked opponent this year.
“Wil got off to a slow start early, but then figured out how to play (Dennis) Lajola,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They both played each other in juniors and I thought Wil played exceptionally well in the last set and a half.”
Senior All-American and No. 17-ranked Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) will also compete in tomorrow’s main draw in singles, while Pollock and sophomore All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) combine as one of the top seeds in the doubles draw behind a preseason No. 4 ITA national ranking. The Aggie duo reached the NCAA Doubles Championship semifinals for the first time in school history in 2008.
“We are obviously improving and getting better,” Denton said. “We are putting more of our players in good positions to be ranked nationally and we are on the right track. There is a lot of talent here and this is really the NCAA Tournament, but in the fall. It’s an early test for our players and a big test to see who has really worked hard and improved their games over the summer. Hopefully, our guys will step-up and play well against some of the top players in the country.”
Meanwhile, Texas A&M assistant coach Bob McKinley will travel with four Aggies to the Midland Racquet Club Invitational on Oct. 10-12 in Midland, Texas. Junior Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas), sophomore Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas), freshman Colin Hoover (Victoria, Texas) and freshman Austin Klores (Franklin, Texas) are scheduled to compete in the three-day tournament.
“It is going to be really important for our newcomers to get in a lot matches this fall,” Denton said. “We can assess where they are and what areas of their game need the most improvement. These early fall tournaments also allow us time to evaluate and see how our newcomers match up to this new level of play.”
D’NOVO ITA ALL-AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Oct. 3-12, 2008
Michael D. Case Tennis Center
at Tulsa, Okla.
QUALIFYING DRAW SINGLES
Round of 32
(102) Wil Spencer (Texas A&M) def. (89) Dennis Lajola (Hawai’i), 6-4, 6-2.