KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The seventh-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to second-seeded Oklahoma State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Big 12 Conference Championship held Friday afternoon at the Plaza Tennis Center.
The Aggies (14-11) and Cowboys (17-3) battled neck-and-neck for the doubles point. The No. 1 doubles combination of junior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) and sophomore Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) dropped an 8-4 decision to No. 40-ranked Daniel Byrnes and Oleksandr Nedovyesov, setting up much-needed wins at the No. 2 and 3 lines for the Aggies.
Senior Brett Joelson (Beaverton, Ore.) and freshman Brad Williams (Cape Town, South Africa) rebounded from a 1-4 deficit to win 9-8 with a 7-2 tiebreaker against OSU’s Ivan Puchkarov and Dmytro Petrov at the No. 3 spot. With the doubles point on the line, senior Bryan Wooten (Houston, Texas) and freshman Luka Ocvirk (Ljubljana, Slovenia) fell 9-8 (2) to OSU’s Arstem Burmistrau and Nathan Byrnes at No. 2. Wooten and Ocvirk entered the match as the only undefeated doubles duo in the Big 12 at 5-0.
In singles play, both teams top two players were ranked in the top 70 in the latest ITA/FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings. For the Aggies, junior All-American and No. 68-ranked Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) lost in straight sets to No. 25-ranked Oleksandr Nedovyesov, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 1 position, while No. 69-ranked Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) led 7-5, 2-6, 3-2 before his match versus No. 29-ranked Ivan Puchkarov was halted at the No. 2 line, because the match had already been decided.
Senior John Nallon (Garland, Texas) claimed the lone singles victory for A&M with a hard-fought 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3) win at No. 6. OSU’s Daniel Byrnes clinched the match with a three-set victory over freshman Luka Ocvirk, 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-2, at No. 3.
“Every Big 12 team is ranked and has had some success this year which means there is a lot of parity in the conference,” Denton said. “All of these matches end up coming down to a few key points. We were in most of the matches and did not have to climb up hill all day. I was very proud of the way the guys fought today. The NCAA Tournament is still ahead of us. The way our team is playing, we are certainly capable of beating almost any team. We just have to keep our heads up and keep on fighting.”
The Aggies will learn of their postseason fate on Tuesday, May 1 as the 64-team field for the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships will be announced on ESPNEWS at approximately 1:30 p.m. (CT). ESPNEWS is located on DirecTV Channel 207/DishNetwork Channel 142. In addition, the ESPNEWS audio signal is available on the ESPNEWS Channel on XM Radio and SIRIUS Radio. First-and second-round competition will be played on May 11-12 at 16 campus sites (four teams per site). Participants in the 64-player singles championship and 32-team doubles championship will be posted on Wednesday, May 2 before 5 p.m. Singles and doubles participants will join the final 16 teams at the national championship to be held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia on May 17-28 in Athens, Ga.
(12) OKLAHOMA STATE 4, (36) TEXAS A&M 1
April 27, 2007
Plaza Tennis Center
at Kansas City, Mo.
No. 1 (25) Oleksandr Nedovyseov (Oklahoma State) def. (68) Jerry Makowski (Texas A&M), 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 (69) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) vs. (29) Ivan Puchkarov (Oklahoma State), 7-5, 2-6, 3-2 (DNF).
No. 3 Daniel Byrnes (Oklahoma State) def. Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M), 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-2.
No. 4 Dymtro Petrov (Oklahoma State) def. Brad Williams (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-4.
No. 5 Matt Bain (Texas A&M) vs. Artie Burmistrau (Oklahoma State), 3-6, 6-2, 1-2 (DNF).
No. 6 John Nallon (Texas A&M) def. Nathan Byrnes (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3).
No. 1 (40) D. Byrnes-Nedovyesov (Oklahoma State) def. Bain-Pollock (Texas A&M), 8-4.
No. 2 Burmistrau-N. Byrnes (Oklahoma State) def. Bryan Wooten-Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M), 9-8 (2).
No. 3 Brett Joelson-Williams (Texas A&M) def. Puchkarov-Petrov (Oklahoma State), 9-8 (2).