The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team will take to the road for the first time this spring Friday evening to face No. 22 Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Illinois.
The Aggies enter the match fresh off a double-header sweep of SMU and Nicholls State on Monday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies bested the Mustangs, 4-0, and held off the Colonels, 6-1. The 6-0 start to the season marks the second time in as many years the maroon and white have opened with six-consecutive victories.
It has been an up and down ride for the Illini this season. Two weeks ago, Illinois qualified for its first National Indoor Championships since 2011 with victories over No. 25 Clemson and Michigan. However, last weekend, Illinois' road trip to North Carolina resulted in 5-2 losses to No. 15 Duke and the UNC Tarheels.
In singles, the Aggies boast three top-40 players in No. 13 Jeremy Efferding, No. 19 Harrison Adams and No. 38 Shane Vinsant. More impressively, Texas A&M utilizes two top-20 ranked doubles teams, No. 6 Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow and No. 20 Efferding and Jordan Szabo.
The Fighting Illini lineup is headlined by No. 4 Jared Hiltzik, but also includes No. 43 Tim Kopiski and No. 106 Farris Gosea. Kopinski teams with Ross Guignon to form the No. 4 doubles tandem in the country, while Gosea joins Blake Bazarnik to rank No 27 and Hiltzik partners with Alex Jesse to rank No. 31.
Illinois holds a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series with the last encounter occurring in 2012, where the Aggies fell 4-3 in Urbana.
The maroon and white stay on the road to face No. 5 Ohio State Sunday afternoon in Columbus, OH. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.