No. 8 Men’s Tennis Begins SEC Tournament Play Wednesday
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis will begin play at the 2021 SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament at 3 p.m. (CT) Wednesday at the Billingsley Tennis Center against the winner of Tuesday’s match between No. 14 Kentucky and host-Arkansas.
The Maroon & White enter the match at 15-7 this season and 7-5 against SEC foes, the Wildcats are 17-6 on the year and Razorbacks carry a 10-13 record.
The winner of Wednesday’s match will take on the winner of the No. 1 Florida and No. 17 Mississippi State/No. 18 Alabama match on Thursday in the semifinals.
TEXAS A&M AT THE SEC TOURNAMENT
A&M earned a top-four seed in the SEC Tournament for the sixth straight year. Texas A&M holds an all-time 11-5 record at the SEC Tournament, claiming the trophy in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The Aggies have advanced to the SEC Semifinals in six of the seven SEC tournaments that they have participated in since joining the league for the 2013 season.
AGGIES IN THE RANKINGS
The Aggies maintain the No. 8 ranking for the second-straight week. In the singles poll, the Aggies are led by No. 5 Valentin Vacherot, the senior ranks third on A&M’s all-time singles win list. Following closely behind Vacherot is No. 7 Hady Habib, the senior owns wins a pair of wins over student-athletes currently ranked in the top-5. Rounding out the ranked Aggies singles players are No. 45 Carlos Aguilar, No. 92 Barnaby Smith, No. 107 Noah Schachter and No. 120 Pierce Rollins.
In the doubles poll Aguilar and Bjorn Thomson inched up the poll to No. 7 after collecting six ranked wins this season including a trio over teams ranked in the top-10. Vacherot and Rollins made their first appearance in the doubles rankings at No. 71 while Habib and Schachter earned the No. 88 spot.
New rankings are scheduled to be released Wednesday prior to A&M’s match.
LAST TIME OUT
The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis wrapped up the 2021 regular season with a senior day sweep, 4-0, Saturday afternoon against No. 18 Alabama at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies honored the collegiate careers of seniors Carlos Aguilar, Hady Habib, Bjorn Thomson and Valentin Vacherot prior to first serve.
The Aggies opened play by capturing the tightly contested doubles point with wins on court two and three. A&M’s No. 71 Vacherot and Pierce Rollins rattled off a 6-3 win on court two over Alexey Nesterov and Edson Ortiz followed by the clincher from Pranav Kumar and Noah Schachter on court four, 6-4, over Marcelo Sepulveda and Zhe Zhou.
Leading 1-0 heading into singles action, the Maroon & White maintained all of the momentum with first set victories on five of six courts. No. 5 Vacherot doubled the A&M advantage with a 6-2, 6-2 win on court one over No. 47 Ortiz. The win was the 84th dual singles win of Vacherot’s career, pushing him just one win shy of tying A&M’s all-time program record.
No. 120 Rollins pushed the A&M lead to 3-0 as he topped Jeremy Gschwendtner 6-1, 6-3 on court five. Moments later Raphael Perot clinched the sweep with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph on court six over Alabama’s Nesterov.
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