COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The No. 26-ranked men’s tennis team travels to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Taube Tennis Center, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26. Four ranked teams battle for the right to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., on Feb. 15-18.
Texas A&M will challenge the host school, No. 10-ranked Stanford at 4 p.m. (CT) on Friday and then will face either former Big 12-foe and 29th ranked Texas Tech or No. 27 San Diego on Saturday. Live scoring for all matches can be found here: http://streamingtennis.com/index.php/stanford1.
“The Kick-Off Weekend is always an exciting weekend of tennis across the country,” said men’s head coach Steve Denton, who reached career win No. 180 this past weekend. “Any time you play Stanford it is exciting. We will certainly find out a lot more about our team in its quest to reach the final 16 of the National Indoors. One of our team goals is to make Seattle so I’m very interested in how well our team responds. The match will likely come down to how well our newcomers play. This has all the makings of being an exciting college tennis match.”
Texas A&M comes in riding the momentum from its 2-0 start after sweeping both SMU and Nicholls State, 7-0, this past Saturday. The Aggies are headlined by the freshmen duo of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, ranked sixth nationally. Texas A&M also features two ranked singles players, No. 87 Jordan Szabo and No. 103 Jeremy Efferding.
Stanford, which advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight last season, enters the weekend with a 1-0 record after blanking Sacramento State 7-0 on Jan. 15 and riding high on an eight-match home winning streak. The Cardinal competed in the Sherwood Cup this past weekend. Robert Stineman advanced to the championship match of the consolation draw in singles, and the doubles tandems of Matt Kandath and John Morrissey competed against teammates Daniel Ho and Denis Lin in the championship match of the doubles draw. Other notable players for the Cardinal are No. 39 ranked Morrissey and the No. 57 ranked duo of Jamin Ball and Trey Strobel.
The last time the Aggies and Cardinal met on the tennis courts was 2011 when Stanford defeated Texas A&M, 4-2, at the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Palo Alto, Calif..
Texas Tech comes into the weekend ranked No. 29 with a 3-1 record on the season after dropping its most recent match to No. 12 Mississippi State, 5-2, this past weekend. The Red Raiders return four letter winners from last season’s team that advanced to the NCAA First Round before bowing out to Baylor.
Last season Texas Tech narrowly defeated Texas A&M 4-3 in a Big 12 Conference match.
No. 27 San Diego enters the contest without playing a dual match this spring. The Toreros return seven lettermen from an 18-9 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling to UCLA. Headlining those returners is Romain Kalaydjian, who is ranked No. 62 in singles.
The last time Texas A&M and San Diego met on the tennis courts the majority of both teams had not been born. That match came in 1989 when the Toreros defeated the Aggies, 5-1.
Texas A&M will be in action again on Feb. 2 as they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU.