No. 9 Texas A&M claims pair of wins to open 6-0 for second season in a row
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M defeated SMU and Nicholls State on chilly Monday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies bested the Mustangs 4-0 and held off the Colonels 6-1. The 6-0 start to the season marks the second time in as many years the Maroon and White have opened with six consecutive victories.
“I was very pleased with the effort overall,” head coach Steve Denton said. “I felt like, considering the conditions, we came out and played with a lot of energy. We played well. We were able to win convincingly, but these were two pretty good teams.”
Against SMU, A&M jumped out to the early advantage by taking the doubles point behind the duo of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant along with the 20th-ranked pair of Jordan Szabo and Jeremy Efferding. Playing the No. 2 line, Efferding and Szabo bested Alex Sanders and Nate Lammons 6-2 before Adams and Vinsant downed Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki 6-4 at the No. 1 line to give the Aggies the early 1-0 advantage.
In singles against the Mustangs, 13th-ranked Efferding, 19th-ranked Adams and Szabo all captured singles victories to secure the win in the first match of the day. Efferding defeated Nowicki 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 and Adams bested Sanders 6-1, 6-1 before Szabo clinched the match versus Lammons 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5.
The Nicholls State match saw a similar start for the Maroon and White. Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo downed Evan Karatzas and Kieran Cronin at the No. 2 line 6-2 moments before Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant ousted Bernard Wezeman and Lukas Clemens 6-2 at the No. 1 line.
“We were pretty consistent and it’s very indicative of this team being good top to bottom in both singles and doubles,” Denton said. “We were able to get Junior [Ore] some rest today and we were still able to show off our depth. We’ve had really good practices, and luckily, that’s translated onto the courts.”
Three newcomers earned singles victories against the Colonels. After Vinsant’s dominant 6-1, 6-1 performance against Partha Adavelly at the top singles line, freshmen Max Lunkin and Tito Moreiras claimed the next two points to clinch the win for the Aggies. Lunkin downed Wezeman 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 line to boost the lead to 3-0 before Moreiras clinched the match against Sam Meessen 6-2, 6-1. After the match was decided, Adams beat Clemens 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 3 line, improving to 4-0 in dual-match play. Efferding was upset 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 2 line by Nico Mertens, but College Station native Frankie Colunga capped off the night with a 6-4, 6-4, victory versusEvan Karatzas at the No. 6 line.
“I think we have a very good team and have the potential to be one of the best teams in A&M history,” Denton said. “I think last year helped us a lot because of all the tough matches we faced in the SEC and NCAA tournament. These guys have grown up a bit giving us a chance in every match. I think this is going to be a really good season.”