COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The 13th-seeded Texas A&M men's tennis team opened NCAA Tournament play with a 4-0 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. The Aggies advanced to Sunday’s second round against No. 21 Oklahoma set for 1 p.m. (CT) at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
“We used the time between the SEC Tournament and this weekend wisely,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We had the guys geared up to play this match and I feel like we played pretty well today. We started out solid in the doubles and carried that over into the beginning of the singles matches. Our guys know that this is tournament time and it is important that we are playing well. From what I saw today, I was encouraged because our guys were playing at a very high level.”
A&M opened the match with a pair of convincing wins in doubles to secure the day’s first point. The Maroon & White clad duo of Pranav Kumar and Hady Habib posted the first win, 6-2, over Thibault Frumholz and Kyohei Yamanaka on court three. A&M clinched the point with a 6-1 victory by Valentin Vacherot and Noah Schachter on court two over the Islander pair of William Mottet and Thomas Rodrigues.
The Aggies maintained momentum in singles action, claiming first sets in all six matches. A&M took a 2-0 advantage as Schachter defeated Okkie Kellerman 6-1, 6-2 on court five. The A&M freshman improved to 14-12 this spring after winning his third straight match.
No. 120 Barnaby Smith pushed the Aggies ahead 3-0 with a 6-0, 6-4 triumph on court four over Corpus’ Carlos Pedrosa. Smith earned his team-best 20th dual win of the season to earn his 40th collegiate victory.
Vacherot, ranked No. 86 nationally, clinched the win for the home team with a 6-1, 7-6(3) win on court three over Rodrigues. The Aggie junior improved to 17-5 this spring to claim his 56th career dual victory, moving him into a tie for 24th in A&M program history.
The Aggies are now 43-27 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and are looking to reach the Round of Sixteen for the 15th time. Denton improved to 23-12 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Sunday’s matchup will be the second of the season between the Aggies and Sooners. A&M defeated Oklahoma 4-3 on March, 19 in College Station behind the doubles point and singles victories by Smith, Hady Habib, and Carlos Aguilar.
The winner of Sunday’s match advances to take on No. 3 Wake Forest next weekend in the Super Regional.
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.