COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 11th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team welcomes top-ranked and undefeated Virginia to the friendly confines of the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center for a Wednesday evening match. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. on the stadium courts. The match is part of a twin bill, as the Aggie women’s tennis team will be facing the Virginia women’s team at 6 p.m. on the grandstand courts. One ticket is good for admission to both matches.
Free streaming video and live scoring can be found by logging on to AggieAthletics.com.
“Virginia is the best team in the country right now,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They are confident and skilled at every position. If we are going to beat them, we have to believe we can win. I know our guys are very excited at the opportunity to play Virginia. As competitors, they want to test themselves against the best. This is will be a great gauge of where we are at the moment and where we need to be at before the season ends.”
Texas A&M (12-5, 3-1 SEC) enters the contest riding a three-match winning streak in which the Maroon and White knocked off two top-20 opponents in No. 19 Vanderbilt and No. 5 Kentucky. Virgina marks the seventh top-10 opponent for the Aggies, who have notched wins against No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Kentucky and No. 10 Stanford. Texas A&M was not as lucky against No. 2 USC, No. 10 Mississippi State and No. 8 Oklahoma.
In singles, the Aggies are led by 77th-ranked freshman Shane Vinsant with a 12-4 record, including a 3-1 mark in SEC play. Sophomore Jeremy Efferding, ranked No. 52, enters the contest having knocked off two top-50 opponents this past weekend. The Boca Raton native boasts an 11-3 dual match record and an unblemished, 4-0, mark in conference play. Freshman Harry Adams also has reached double-figure wins with a 10-3 mark. The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week is ranked No. 118 in singles and improved to 7-0 at the No. 3 line this past weekend. Sophomore Jordan Szabo (8-5) clinched both matches on Sunday, improving to 1-1 in league play. Sophomore Behzad Minavi (7-1) and junior Junior Ore round out the projected singles lineup for Texas A&M.
Texas A&M has had an enormous amount of success in doubles thus far through the season, winning the doubles point in five-consecutive matches and having lost the point only three times. When the Aggies can earn the early 1-0 advantage, they typically use that momentum to carry them through the match. Texas A&M is 12-2 when it captures the point from pairs play. The 13th-ranked freshmen tandem of Adams and Vinsant leads the team in doubles wins with a 11-2 mark, including a 4-0 mark in conference play. The 15th-ranked duo of Jackson Withrow and Ore ranks second in doubles wins with a 10-3 mark. The sophomore pair of Efferding and Szabo rounds out the projected doubles lineup for the Maroon and White with a 9-5 record.
Virginia (8-0) enters the contest having claimed the ITA National Indoor Championship already this season. The Cavaliers are coming off their first outdoor win of the season, a 6-1 victory against Baylor. Virginia and Texas A&M have both played difficult schedules thus far. The Aggies and Cavaliers have played three common-opponents in Ohio State, USC and Oklahoma. Overall, Virginia players boast a combined 29-6 record in singles to go along with a 12-3 mark in doubles play.
In singles, the Cavaliers feature six ranked players, including the No. 1 player in the nation, Alex Domijan, who stands at a perfect-7-0 on the spring. Fifth-ranked Jamere Jenkins (5-1), 12th-ranked Mac Styslinger (4-1), 22nd-ranked Ryan Shane (4-1), 70th-ranked Harrison Richmond (1-0) and 81st-ranked Mitchell Frank (4-1) complete the squad for the Cavaliers
Virginia also features three-ranked doubles pairs, including the No. 2-ranked tandem of Jenkins and Styslinger with a 2-0 record. Seventh-ranked Richmond and Domijan (2-0) and 27th-ranked Shane and Julen Uriguen are tied for the team lead in doubles wins with a 4-2 mark.
The Texas A&M men’s tennis team will be in action again on Friday when it welcomes LSU for an SEC showdown. To learn more about the Texas A&M men’s tennis team, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.
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