FRISCO, Texas – The No. 26 Texas A&M men’s tennis team got off to an excellent start to open the season with a pair of 7-0 victories over SMU and Nicholls State on Saturday at the Lakes Tennis Academy in Frisco to move to 2-0 on the season. SMU falls to 0-2 and Nicholls State falls to 1-1.
“First of all thanks to owner Nick Johnson at the Lakes Tennis Academy for putting on a great event,” Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. “There were over 600 enthusiastic tennis fans in attendance.”
“Junior (Ore) came back from a set point down in the first set tiebreaker to win three straight points and was the highlight of the SMU match winning a hard-fought, 7-6, 6-3 victory,” Denton added. “Shane (Vinsant) got off the courts first followed by Jeremy (Efferding) and Jordan (Szabo). Harry (Harrison Adams) fought back and was leading when his opponent had to retire. Jackson (Withrow) was very impressive against a tough out at No. 5 singles and Junior closed out the sweep at No. 1 singles.”
“The guys really competed well today and for a young team, we made adjustments to playing outside in windy conditions on very fast courts,” Denton said. “I thought it was huge to get everyone on the courts in competition. It was huge to get Niall (Angus) back on the court after having shoulder surgery. He played well and is gaining confidence and turned it loose today.”
“Another bright spot was Behzad Minavi who had a great weekend last week in Houston and continued today,” Denton explained. “He beat the top two players from Rice last week and did not lose a game today. He is a good ball striker and will be very helpful to our squad.”
Headlining the group of Aggie returners are sophomores Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo, ranked No. 87 and No. 103, respectively, in the preseason ITA singles rankings. In addition, junior Junior Ore and sophomore Behzad Minavi, who claimed the singles (Ore) and doubles (Ore/Minavi) championships at the Rice/MET Indoor Tennis Tournament last weekend, look to use that victory as a springboard for the upcoming season. Other notable returners are senior Niall Angus, junior Alberto Bautista and sophomore Jackson Withrow. The freshmen duo of Shane Vinsant and Harrison Adams is the No. 6-ranked doubles tandem in collegiate tennis.
The Aggies will be in action again on January 26 when they travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to take on No. 10 Stanford and either No. 29 Texas Tech or No. 27 San Diego at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Texas A&M 7, SMU 0
No. 1— Ore/Withrow, A&M def. Kazijevs/Nowicki, SMU-- 8-4
No. 2— (#6) Adams/Vinsant, A&M vs. Sanders/Russell, SMU—7-6
No. 3— Efferding/Szabo, A&M def. Lammons/Peets, SMU—8-7 (7-5)
No. 1— Junior Ore, A&M def. (#83) Arturs Kazijevs, SMU—7-6, 6-3
No. 2— Harrison Adams, A&M def. Alex Sanders, SMU—6-7, 3-2 retired
No. 3— (#103) Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Ross Peets, SMU—6-1, 6-0
No. 4— Shane Vinsant, A&M def. Nate Lammons, SMU—6-1, 6-2
No. 5— Jackson Withrow, A&M def. Mischa Nowicki, SMU—6-3, 6-4
No. 6— (#87) Jordan Szabo, A&M def. Tony Russell, SMU—6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: Doubles 1,3, Singles 4, 3, 6*, 2, 5, 1
Texas A&M (1-0), SMU (0-2)
Texas A&M 7, Nicholls State 0
No. 1— (#6) Adams/Vinsant, A&M def. Russell/Knight, Nicholls-- 8-4
No. 2—Efferding/Szabo def. Kozionov/Estruega, Nicholls --8-2
No. 3—Angus/Withrow def. Noblecourt/Mertens, Nicholls-- 8-3
No. 1—Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Dmitry Kozionov, Nicholls-- 6-4, 6-0
No. 2—Harrison Adams, A&M def. Damian Despotovski, Nicholls-- 6-1, 5-7, 10-4
No. 3—Shane Vinsant, A&M def. Nico Mertens, Nicholls—6-4, 2-6, 10-7
No. 4—(#87) Jordan Szabo, A&M def. Roy Knight, Nicholls—7-5, 7-6 (7-2)
No. 5—Behzad Minavi, A&M def. Manel Estruega, Nicholls-- 6-0, 6-0
No. 6—Niall Angus, A&M def. James Russell, Nicholls-- 6-3, 6-2
Texas A&M (2-0), Nicholls State (1-1)
*Clinched the match.