COLUMBUS, Ohio – The eighth-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team upset bid fell just short against fifth-ranked Ohio State, falling 4-3, at the Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon. The Aggies saw their season ledger fall to 6-2 while the Buckeyes remain a perfect 9-0.
“We played significantly better as a team today,” A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “I was very encouraged by our performance today. I feel bad for our guys. They competed well and deserved to win, but sometimes it’s a game of inches. There’s a reason Ohio State has the impressive win streak. We had numerous chances today but couldn’t get that elusive fourth point. Despite the two losses this weekend, I really like this team and their fight. I believed today’s match will make us a better team.”
A&M claimed the doubles point in thrilling fashion, giving the Aggies the doubles point in all but one contest this season. The 20th-ranked tandem of juniors Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo rolled to a 6-1 victory over Chris Diaz and Ralf Steinbach at the No. 3 line. The All-American and sixth-ranked duo of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow defeated their second top-10 opponent on the weekend, claiming the 6-5 (5) victory over the seventh-ranked pair of Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka at the top doubles line.
“Junior and Jackson were clutch in the tiebreaker,” Denton said. “Their match came down to a point or two and they were up to the task.”
The Aggies were unable to capitalize on the momentum from claiming the doubles point, however, as the Buckeyes claimed four-of-six first sets in singles. No. 38 Shane Vinsant defeated Herkko Pollanen, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 2 line and 13th-ranked Efferding down Diaz at the No. 3 line, 6-1, 6-5 (6) for the Aggies singles victories. Ohio State extended their home win streak to 181 matches.
The Aggies will be in action again on Friday when they host the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for complete tournament coverage.
No. 5 Ohio State def. No. 8 Texas A&M, 4-3
A&M (6-2); OSU (9-0)
No. 1 – No. 31 Peter Kobelt, OSU def. No. 19 Harrison Adams, A&M 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 – No. 38 Shane Vinsant, A&M def. Herkko Pollanen, OSU 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 – No. 13 Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Chris Diaz, OSU 6-1, 6-5 (6)
No. 4 – Ralf Steinbach, OSU def. Junior Ore, A&M 6-5 (11), 6-4
No. 5 – Kevin Metka, OSU def. Jackson Withrow, A&M 6-4, 6-3
*No. 6 – Hunter Callahan, OSU def. Max Lunkin, A&M 6-5 (3), 6-3
No. 1 – No. 6 Ore/Withrow, A&M def. No. 7 Kobelt/Metka, OSU 6-5 (5)
No. 2 – Callahan/Pollanen, OSU def. Adams/Vinsant, A&M 6-3
No. 3 – No. 20 Efferding/Szabo, A&M def. Diaz/Steinbach, OSU 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles 3, 2, 1; Singles 1, 5, 2, 3, 4, 6
*clinched the match