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Texas A&M Advances to the Elite Eight
Friday, 05/15/2015
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Texas A&M University Team Page

DALLAS, Texas – For the second time in program history the Texas A&M men’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals as they defeated No. 11 Ohio State 4-3 at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavilion in Dallas Thursday night. Freshman Arthur Rinderknech clinched the win in the last match standing over the Buckeyes (27-9) for the second time this season. The Aggies (24-4) will face No. 3 Virginia (26-3) in the Elite 8 Saturday at 4 p.m. for a place in the national semifinals.

 

Inclement weather in the Waco area forced the change of venue for the round of 16 match, the day’s early matches endured multiple delays. In order to keep the tournament on schedule the decision was made to move the matches north.

 

Doubles play opened without a break on all three courts through each of the first three sets. The A&M freshman duo of AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech were the first rebuff the scarlet and grey attack taking a 3-1 lead on court three, Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen were able to break back on the next serve as the match stayed on serve through the 5-5 mark. The Buckeyes used a late break to propel themselves to an 8-5 win.

 

Moments after the freshman faltered, A&M’s 10th-ranked junior duo of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant claimed their team-leading 12th win over a ranked duo of the season. The maroon and white clad pair took advantage of a couple Buckeye mistakes to force a break in the fifth point and never looked back, clinching the win with a break to win 8-5 on court one.

 

With the match’s first point in the balance, the Aggies looked to the pair of Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo, the nation’s 56th-ranked doubles team, and the senior duo did not disappoint. After No. 88 Chris Diaz and Hunter Callahan took a 6-5 lead with the match’s first break, the Aggies broke back to put tightly contested match on serve for what was destined to be determined in a tiebreaker. With the match on the line Szabo blasted a serve down the middle that could not be returned A&M took the doubles point for the 23rd time this season.

 

As play transitioned to singles action, the Aggies looked to maintain the pressure on the Buckeyes taking four of six first sets. The maroon and white found wins from Efferding, Vinsant, Rinderknech and Catanzariti; dropping the first set on courts four and six.

 

Vinsant carried the momentum from winning his first set to push his team to a 2-0 lead, defeating No. 50 Diaz 6-4, 6-2 on court two. The Keller native won his second straight match and 17th on the year, evening his season ledger at 7-7 against ranked opponents. The right-hander’s victory ended an 11 match win streak for Diaz, the OSU junior had not tasted defeat since March 17th. Vinsant claimed the 76th win of his career, second most on the active roster.

 

Despite the deficit the Buckeyes were not going away easily, No. 104 Steinbach topped Jordi Arconada in a pair of tiebreakers to shorten the Aggie lead to 2-1. The A&M freshman fought back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, but could not complete the comeback to force a third set.

 

In yet another tight match, No. 47 Efferding pushed the Buckeyes to the brink of elimination with a 7-5, 6-4 victory on court one over No. 55 Torpegaard. The Boca Raton native tallied a single break in each set to clinch A&M’s third point on the night. The right-hander leads the current squad with 96 career victories moving to 24-8 this season and 8-5 against ranked opponents.

 

Facing elimination the scarlet and grey bounced back to even the match at three-all through wins from Callahan and Metka, on courts four and five respectively. Callahan put the Buckeye’s second point on the board through first and third sets 6-4 over No. 78 Adams, the New Braunfels native was victorious 6-3 in the second to force the deciding third set. The match was evened up at three-all as Metka defeated No. 92 Catanzariti 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on court five.

 

With the team result on the line between the Aggies in Buckeyes, all eyes shifted to No. 84 Rinderknech on court three. Back in January the Paris, France native clinched the upset of then 5th-ranked Ohio State at the Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station in a last match standing. Just like the earlier match-up a third set was required to determine the victor, the stringy right-hander gritted out a break late in the match and held serve to defeat Pollanen 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-4 and send the maroon and white to the Elite 8.

 

With the win the Aggies advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in program history and first time under head coach Steve Denton, the previous appearance was in 2001. The maroon and white will face off against Virginia Saturday at 4 p.m. at Hurd Tennis Center in Waco.

 

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/AggieMensTennis.

 

 

 

#5 Texas A&M 4, #11 Ohio State 3

Texas A&M(25-4), Ohio State (27-9)

 

Singles Competition

1. #47 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. #55 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) 7-5, 6-4

2. #80 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. #50 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-4, 6-2

3. #84 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-4

4. Hunter Callahan (OSU) def. #78 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

5 Kevin Metka (OSU) def. #92 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) vs. 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2

6. #104 Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 7-6(4), 7-6(5)

 

Doubles Competition

1. #10 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. #7 Kevin Metka/Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 8-5

2. #56 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. #88 Chris Diaz/Hunter Callahan (OSU) 8-7(5)

3. Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) 8-5

 

Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2); Singles (2, 6, 1, 5, 4, 3)

NCAA Round of 16

Weather forced change of venue to Dallas, TX (Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavilion)

 

-aTm-


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