No. 11 Men’s Tennis Travels to Ann Arbor for ITA Kick Off Weekend
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 11 Texas A&M men’s tennis is set to take on No. 21 Pepperdine in the first round of the ITA Kick Off Weekend at the Varsity Tennis Center Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) hosted by the University of Michigan. No. 4 Michigan will take on No. 15 Baylor following A&M’s match, Saturday’s winners will face off on Sunday for a place in the ITA Indoor Team Championships next month in Stillwater, Okla.
“Kick Off Weekend is always an exciting time and especially this year as we are on the road against three potential top-10 teams,” head coach Steve Denton said. “In the past few years we have hosted outside in Aggieland and this has a much different feel to it. If we advance through this region, we will be much more prepared and confident for indoor tennis at the final site. The challenges on the road are always an opportunity.”
Texas A&M is 4-9 all-time against Pepperdine, falling 4-3 in the most recent matchup between the two programs in 2011. The Aggies are 8-5 against the Wolverines and 28-22 against the Bears.
The Aggies entered the spring season with five student-athletes ranked in the singles poll and a single ranked doubles team. No. 4 Valentin Vacherot leads the charge for the Maroon & White with No. 13 Hady Habib, No. 33 Carlos Aguilar, No. 110 Barnaby Smith and No. 116 Noah Schachter rounding out the ranked Aggies. Aguilar and Bjorn Thomson open the season at No. 48 in the doubles rankings, Thomson is in his first season in Aggieland after graduating from Texas Tech last season.
The Maroon & White opened the dual season with a hard-fought 4-3 win at No. 17 Ole Miss on Tuesday. Aguilar and Thomson picked up their highest ranked win as a duo, topping No. 7 Tim Sandkaulen and Finn Reynolds to clinch the first point of the match. After earning the doubles point, A&M claimed wins by Vacherot, Habib and Smith to secure the indoor victory.
Following the Kick Off Weekend, A&M stays on the road with a doubleheader against Tulsa and Louisiana at the SMU Tennis Complex on Feb. 6.