OXFORD, Mississippi – The 12th-ranked and No. 4 seed Texas A&M men’s tennis team knocked off 36th-ranked and No. 12 seed Alabama, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center on Friday afternoon in Oxford. The Aggies advance to the semifinals to face top-seeded and second-ranked Georgia or No. 8 seed Kentucky. First serve against either the Bulldogs or Wildcats is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“Alabama has obviously been on a roll,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They play with a lot of confidence, as you could see in the doubles. I thought the difference of the match came in singles. We were able to win quite a few of the first sets and really stole the momentum away from them. This is a great team win for us.”
For the second time this season, Texas A&M dropped the doubles point to the Crimson Tide. Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo fell to Stuart Kenyon and Philippe Tsangarides, 8-5, at the No. 3 line to give Alabama the first doubles victory. Seconds later, the 27th-ranked pair of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant was upset by the 34th-ranked duo of Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura, 8-6, at the No. 2 line to give the Crimson Tide an early 1-0 edge.
The Aggies showed no panic despite falling behind early. Texas A&M won four-of-six first sets in singles to seize the momentum from the Crimson Tide. Junior Ore, the 105th-ranked singles player in the nation, won easily in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, over Proskura from the No. 2 line to even the match at one apiece. Minutes later, 120th-ranked Adams pushed the Aggies ahead, 2-1, as he upset 107th-ranked O’Shaughnessey, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 3 line. 81st-ranked Vinsant pushed the Maroon and White ahead, 3-1 when he ousted Tsangarides, 6-3, 6-1, from the No. 4 line. Efferding, the highest-ranked individual for the Aggies at No. 26, secured the victory when he downed 73rd-ranked Jarryd Botha, 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 1 line.
Texas A&M will be in action again tomorrow at 2 p.m. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter to find out the Aggies opponent for the semifinal match.