COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Junior Niall Angus dropped only one game in singles play, winning 6-0, 6-1, and the 25th ranked Aggie Men's Tennis team (11-8, 1-0) started its Big 12 season off on the right foot with a 5-2 win over 75th ranked Oklahoma State (7-8, 0-1) in front of 508 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
"We struggled a little bit tonight in some spots, but for the most part to be able to start off conference play with a win is good," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "Our team is still a work in progress and we have been moving some parts around to find out what works. Junior Ore is playing the best tennis on the team, and Niall (Angus) and John (Lewis) are both playing well right now. We just need to keep working, and we will hopefully get to where we want to be, which is the NCAA tournament."
The Aggies started strong in the doubles play by winning all three matches. Senior John Lewis and Angus were first off the courts, winning quickly at the No. 3 line with a score of 8-2. Senior co-captains Alexis Klegou and Colin Hoover were next off, taking the No. 2 line with an 8-4 victory. Finally the 30th ranked doubles tandem of sophomore Junior Ore and redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow was taken into a tie-breaker but won the tie-breaker easily, 7-1, to win the match 8-7.
Freshman Jeremy Efferding clinched the match at the No. 5 line. In his first action since March 15, the freshman showed no signs of rust, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
In his first match after entering the ITA rankings at No. 103, Lewis had his match cut short due to an undisclosed injury to Oklahoma State player Eric West, giving Lewis the victory after he was up 6-1, 2-1.
Junior Ore was the last one on the courts, and finished his match in dramatic fashion. After dropping the first set 7-6, he came back to win the second 6-1 and then won the super-tiebreaker 10-3, to extend his winning streak to 4 straight matches, and improve his record at the No. 2 line to a perfect 4-0.
The senior co-captains struggled, as No. 29 Klegou dropped his match, 6-3, 6-3, and Hoover fell, 6-4, 6-4.
Oklahoma State head coach James Wadley is retiring following this season, after 40 years of coaching Oklahoma State tennis, and he was presented with a gift basket by Denton prior to the match.
The team will return to action on Sunday when the No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners come to town for a match at 1:00 pm at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
No. 25 Texas A&M 5, No. 75 Oklahoma State 2
1 - Vladyslav Bondarenko, OSU def. (29) Alexis Klegou, A&M - 6-3, 6-3
2 - Junior Ore, A&M def. Rifat Biktyakov, OSU - 6-7, 6-1, 10-3
3 - Christopher Haworth, OSU def. Colin Hoover, A&M - 6-4, 6-4
4 - John Lewis, A&M def. Eric West, OSU - 6-1, 2-1 retired
5 - Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Trevor Horstmann, OSU - 6-2, 6-3
6 - Niall Angus, A&M def. Brandon Champagne, OSU - 6-0, 6-1
1 - (30) Ore/Withrow, A&M def. Bondarenko/Biktyakov, OSU - 8-7
2 - Klegou/Hoover, A&M def. Haworth/West, OSU - 8-4
3 - Angus/Lewis, A&M def. Champagne/Horstmann, OSU - 8-2
Order of Finish:
Doubles 3, 2, 1
Singles 4,6,5*,1,3,2 (* - Clinched match)
Season Records: Texas A&M 11-8(1-0 Big 12), Oklahoma State 7-8(0-1 Big 12)