COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 49-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team picked up its second-straight victory over a ranked opponent with a 5-2 win over No. 40 New Mexico Sunday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
Junior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) and sophomore Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) set the tone early with an 8-5 victory over New Mexico’s Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby at the No. 2 position of doubles play. The No. 41-ranked doubles combination of junior Mike Beatty (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior Bryan Wooten (Houston, Texas) later secured the doubles point for the Aggies with an 8-4 win over UNM’s Chris Parkes and Graeme Kassautzki.
A&M (12-5) was primed to win all six singles matches, but lost a pair of tough third-set super tiebreakers at the No. 2 and No. 3 lines. Pollock, ranked No. 104 in the latest ITA/FILA singles rankings, convincingly beat UNM’s Max Jones in straight-sets at the top spot for the Aggies, 6-3, 6-4. He is now an undefeated 3-0 when playing at No. 1. Pollock replaced top player Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) who retired due to injury during his third set against Tulsa’s Arnau Brugues on Wednesday night.
“It was a solid day for us,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We took care of our home court and beat a team like New Mexico with a chance to win 7-0. We played without our All-American (Makowski) in the lineup and it shows that we have a lot of depth on this team. We have guys who can come in and help when the team needs help and step up.”
Seniors John Nallon (Garland, Texas) and Brett Joelson (Beaverton, Ore.) both claimed a pair of 6-4, 6-2 outcomes against the Lobos at the No. 4 and No. 5 lines respectively. Nallon clinched the match for the Aggies and improved to 9-1 in dual match play this season. Freshman Clay Donato (Toronto, Canada) defeated fellow Canadian Kamil Pajkowski, 6-4, 7-6 (6), to round out A&M’s singles victories at No. 6.
A&M snapped a three-match losing skid to the Lobos and now owns a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series. Both teams last met each other 12 years ago in 1995. New Mexico (11-5) was coming off a close 4-3 loss to No. 13-ranked Texas on Saturday.
“Sports is about momentum,” said Denton on the team’s back-to-back victories over ranked opponents. “We have some momentum now and it’s all about confidence. You have to win to gain confidence. We are winning some of our closer matches and things are going in our favor. The losses that we had earlier in the season are positives, because we have learned from our mistakes. We have learned what we need to adjust and have adjusted. We are a better team as a result. We have played some really good teams this season and are right there with the best of them.”
The Aggies close out non-conference play on the road at No. 73-ranked TCU on Tuesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas. A&M will then host Texas Tech in its Big 12 Conference opener on Friday, March 30 at 6 p.m.
(49) TEXAS A&M 5, (40) NEW MEXICO 2
March 25, 2007
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
No. 1 (104) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Max Jones (New Mexico), 6-3, 6-4.
No. 2 Johnny Parkes (New Mexico) def. Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M), 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (8).
No. 3 Graeme Kassautzki (New Mexico) def. Matt Bain (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-7 (6), 1-0 (11).
No. 4 John Nallon (Texas A&M) def. Miles Bugby (New Mexico), 6-4, 6-2.
No. 5 Brett Joelson (Texas A&M) def. Chris Parkes (New Mexico), 6-4, 6-2.
No. 6 Clay Donato (Texas A&M) def. Kamil Pajkowski (New Mexico), 6-4, 7-6 (6).
No. 1 Jones-Pajkowski (New Mexico) def. Nallon-Joelson (Texas A&M), 8-5.
No. 2 Bain-Pollock (Texas A&M) def. J. Parkes-Bugby (New Mexico), 8-5.
No. 3 (41) Mike Beatty-Bryan Wooten (Texas A&M) def. C. Parkes-Kassautzki (New Mexico), 8-4.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 5, 1, 4*, 6, 2, 3