FORT WORTH, Texas -- The No. 8 Texas A&M men's tennis team fell, 4-3, in a last match standing at No. 10 TCU Monday evening at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The Horned Frogs (17-5, 1-2 Big 12) were the 10th top-25 opponent for the Aggies (19-5, 9-1 SEC) this season and fifth on the road.
“As usual, we had a very tough match against TCU,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “I thought our energy was not up to our standard in the doubles and as it turned out, that was the difference tonight’s match. We have to learn to play better when we get ahead, we didn’t press our advantage on a couple of courts when we needed to. I know the guys are disappointed at the moment and admittedly this one stings, but I loved our fight tonight and we will get better having been through a match like this. This was a very good college tennis match and one that will help us get better as we get into postseason play.”
The Horned Frogs captured the doubles point to open the match with wins on court one and two. On court three, Valentin Vacherot and Noah Schachter earned a 6-3 win over TCU’s Luc Fomba and Sander Jong for the lone A&M doubles win of the night.
The two teams split first sets across the six singles matches as A&M secured straight set wins on courts two and three while TCU captured court six in straight sets. No. 40 Valentin Vacherot evened the team score at one-all with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court three over TCU’s Reese Stalder. The win was the 13th in Vacherot’s last 14 matches, including a perfect 10-0 mark against SEC opponents.
The Horned Frogs regained the lead, 2-1, as Fomba bested Schachter 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 on court five. Moments later TCU pushed A&M to the brink of defeat as Jong topped A&M’s Guido Marson 7-5, 6-4 on court six.
Facing elimination, A&M’s Barnaby Smith outlasted TCU’s Bertus Kruger 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on court four to pull A&M within one at 3-2. Smith has won nine of his last 11 matches and improved to 17-3 in dual matches this season, topping his 13 dual wins from a season ago.
A&M’s Carlos Aguilar, ranked No. 56, earned an impressive 7-6, 7-5 win over No. 20 Alastair Gray on court two to even the team match, 3-3. Aguilar defeated Gray for the second consecutive season after earning a 6-2, 6-4 victory last season in College Station. The win equaled Aguilar’s highest ranked win of his career, he topped then-No. 20 Emil Reinberg of Georgia last month.
After splitting tiebreakers through the first two sets on court one, TCU captured the final point of the night with a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 win by No. 4 Alex Rybakov over A&M’s Hady Habib, ranked No. 75.
Following the matchup against the Horned Frogs, the Aggies will close out the regular season at home against No. 6 Mississippi State and Ole Miss in College Station.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men's tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men's tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMTEN.
Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M vs TCU
4/8/19 at Fort Worth, Texas
(Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center)
#10 TCU 4, #8 Texas A&M 3
1. #4 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #75 Hady Habib (TAMU) 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (2-7), 6-3
2. #56 Juan Carlos Aguilar (TAMU) def. #20 Alastair Gray (TCU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5
3. #40 Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-3, 6-4
4. #92 Barnaby Smith (TAMU) def. Bertus Kruger (TCU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
5. Luc Fomba (TCU) def. Noah Schachter (TAMU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Guido Marson (TAMU) 7-5, 6-4
1. #45 Alex Rybakov/Alastair Gray (TCU) def. #16 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Barnaby Smith (TAMU) 6-3
2. #13 Reese Stalder/Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. Hady Habib/Kevin Lam (TAMU) 6-2
3. Valentin Vacherot/Noah Schachter (TAMU) def. Luc Fomba/Sander Jong (TCU) 6-3
Texas A&M 19-5; National ranking #8
TCU 17-5; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,5,6,4,2,1)