COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In its regular season finale, the No. 33-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team lost a nailbiter to No. 67 Nebraska, 4-3, Friday night at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
A&M needed two of its last three matches remaining on the court to ensure a victory on Senior Day. Senior Brett Joelson (Beaverton, Ore.) lost a close three-setter to Nebraska’s Francois Van Impe at No. 6, leaving junior All-American Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) with the last match standing. Makowski breezed past Nebraska’s Adrian Szatmary in the first set, but later fell behind in his second and third sets which resulted in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 loss at the top spot for the Aggies (14-10, 1-5).
“This was a very disappointing loss for us,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “It was tough to take in, because we played solid doubles and pretty much led the entire night. But, it has been the same story for us in these close matches down the stretch. We have not been able to get four guys to step up at the same time and produce for us. As a result, we ended up losing another close match. We wanted to take some momentum into the Big 12 Championship with us and now we will have to go up there and put it all behind and do well in the tournament. We will be ready to play well when we get up to Kansas City next week.”
Junior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) and sophomore Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) easily won in straight sets at the No. 2 and No. 3 lines for A&M. Pollock, ranked No. 82 in the latest ITA/FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, defeated Nebraska’s David Bendheim, 6-4, 6-3. He finished out the regular season with a team-best 16-6 record in dual match play, while Bain teammate turned in a 14-7 mark.
In doubles play, A&M swept the competition with Joelson and freshman Clay Donato (Toronto, Canada) taking care of Nebraska’s Mark Tate and Renato Melo, 8-3, at No. 3 doubles. The duo needed only 45 minutes of work on the court and won on a service error by the Huskers. Bain and Pollock clinched the doubles point with a 9-7 victory over Szatmary and James Clow at No. 1.
Senior Bryan Wooten (Houston, Texas) and freshman Luka Ocvirk (Ljubljana, Slovenia) continued their winning ways and completed the doubles sweep by downing Nebraska’s Van Impe and Bendheim, 8-5, at the No. 2 position. Wooten and Ocvirk raised their record to an undefeated 5-0 in Big 12 Conference play after winning the match point serving 40-love.
The Huskers (9-9, 2-3) picked up their first-ever victory over the Aggies in 13 all-time meetings between the two schools since the series first began in 1990. A&M now awaits seeding for the upcoming Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships on April 26-29 in Kansas City as league play concludes on Sunday, April 22.
(67) NEBRASKA 4, (33) TEXAS A&M 3
April 20, 2007
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
No. 1 Adrian Szatmary (Nebraska) def. (58) Jerry Makowski (Texas A&M), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
No. 2 (82) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. David Bendheim (Nebraska), 6-4, 6-3.
No. 3 Matt Bain (Texas A&M) def. Hendrik Stahmer (Nebraska), 6-4, 6-2.
No. 4 James Clow (Nebraska) def. John Nallon (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-0.
No. 5 Renato Melo (Nebraska) def. Clay Donato (Texas A&M), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 6 Francois Van Impe (Nebraska) def. Brett Joelson (Texas A&M), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 1 Bain-Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Clow-Szatmary (Nebraska), 9-7.
No. 2 Bryan Wooten-Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M) vs. Van Impe-Bendheim (Nebraska), 8-5.
No. 3 Joelson-Clay Donato (Texas A&M) def. Mark Tate-Melo (Nebraska), 8-3.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 3, 1, 2
Singles: 4, 2, 5, 3, 6, 1*