COLLEGE STATION, TX -- After sweeping the doubles point, and then later holding a 3-2 lead, the No. 25 Texas A&M men’s tennis team (12-11) could not hold off the No. 43 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-7), as the Irish came back to win 4-3 in front of 416 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Monday night.
“We’re just not good enough for a lot of these guys to be playing at the top of their game at the same time,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said after the match. “We had our chances tonight to come out with the win, especially down at court six and here on number two. But when you let good teams hang around for this long they will come up and bite you, and that’s what happened here tonight.”
“I thought that was one of the better doubles games we’ve played in a while,” Denton stated. The Aggies switched up the regular doubles order tonight, but still came out victorious in all three matches. Senior co-captains Alexis Klegou and Colin Hoover were first off the courts at the No. 2 line with an 8-3 victory. Next up were redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow and true freshman Jeremy Efferding winning 8-6 on court three. Last to finish for the doubles were junior Niall Angus and senior John Lewis after they defeated the 69th ranked tandem in the nation at the No. 1 line by a score of 8-6.
The Aggies played tonight without one of their top players, Junior Ore, who was out with back spasms. “Yeah we missed Junior but that is no excuse to drop a match like this,” Denton said. “If we’re going to be a top flight team, then we have to have guys who are going to step up in situtations where we need them.”
Efferding was impressive on the No. 4 line as he took down his opponent, quickly in straight sets at 6-3, 6-2.
Seniors Klegou and Lewis dropped their matches at the No. 1 and No 3 lines by scores of 6-3, 6-4 and 6-1, 6-4 respectively.
Niall Angus won the battle of the Niall’s on court five as he defeated Niall Fitzgerald in a close match by a score of 7-5, 7-6 to give the Aggies the lead at 3-2.
Withrow battled on court four but couldn’t close out the first set after multiple chances and then fell in the tiebreaker and in the second set to lose by a score of 7-6, 6-4.
Hoover finished his match on court two just seconds after Withrow finished his, and it was the deciding match that dropped the Aggies to their second straight loss as he lost in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Aggies return to action on Saturday as they take on the arch-rival No. 15 Texas Longhorns for the last time in Austin in Big 12 play at 1 p.m.
No. 43 Notre Dame 4, No. 25 Texas A&M 3
1 – Casey Watt, ND def. (29) Alexis Klegou, A&M – 6-3, 6-4
2 – (52) Greg Andrews, ND def. Colin Hoover, A&M – 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3 – Sam Keeton, ND def. (103) John Lewis, A&M – 6-1, 6-4
4 – Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Billy Pecor, ND – 6-3, 6-2
5 – Niall Angus, A&M def. Niall Fitzgerald, ND – 7-5, 7-6
6 – Blas Moros, ND def. Jackson Withrow, A&M – 7-6, 6-4
1 – Angus/Lewis, A&M def. (69) Watt/Fitzgerald, ND – 8-6
2 – Klegou/Hoover A&M def. Andrews/Talmadge, ND – 8-3
3 – Withrow/Efferding, A&M def. Keeton/Pecor, ND – 8-6
Order of Finish:
Doubles 2, 3, 1
Singles 3,4,1,5,6,2* (* - Clinched match)
Season Records: Texas A&M 12-11(1-2), Notre Dame (17-7)