No. 9 Seed Texas A&M Defeats Alcorn State in NCAA First-Round Action
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M senior Alexey Grigorov (GRIG-er-off) made quick work of his singles match blanking his Alcorn State opponent, Alejandro Dominguez, 6-0, 6-0, to help propel the No. 9 seed Texas A&M men's tennis team to an NCAA first-round 4-0 win over Alcorn State before a crowd of 322 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M.
The win establishes a new Texas A&M school record for victories in a season as A&M improved to 28-5 in 2011. The Aggies also advance to the NCAA second round to face an SEC foe, the LSU Tigers, in a match scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. LSU edged Indiana, 4-3, earlier in the day. The winner advances to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championship site of Stanford, California, May 19. Alcorn State falls to 9-9 on the year.
The win over Alcorn State also marked the 35thstraight Aggie home match victory at the Mitchell Tennis Center, another school record in men's tennis. The best all-time home winning streak by an Aggie sports team was the 39-game streak put together by the Texas A&M baseball team in 1988 and 1989.
"I think our guys did what they had to do today to get us through this match," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "We played solid in doubles and got ahead, then were able to close it out." The match took roughly two hours to play.
A&M's top doubles team of senior All-Americans Austin Krajicek (CRY-check) and Jeff Dadamo (duh-DOM-oh) was the first doubles match finished with a perfect 8-0 victory. The win marked the 25thof the season for the Aggie duo, establishing a new Texas A&M record for doubles victories in dual matches. The previous mark of 24 wins was held by Ryan Newport (2001), Mark Weaver (1994) and Bernardo Martinez (1994). Krajicek, from Brandon, Florida, and Dadamo, from Tampa, Florida, are 25-4 on the season and are currently ranked No. 4 in the latest ITA doubles rankings.
The Aggies would clinch the doubles point with a victory at No. 3 doubles as freshman Junior Ore (Gaithersburg, Maryland) teamed with junior Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) for the first time this season and the pair registered an 8-3 win.
Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) advanced the team score to 2-0 as he did not drop a game in his No. 3 singles match to run his singles record to 18-8 in dual action this spring. Last season, Grigorov posted a 21-5 record in dual matches.
Dadamo was next off of the court in singles at the No. 2 line as he posted a 6-1, 6-4 win to put the Aggies one point away from advancing. It was Dadamo's team-leading 23rddual match win, he is 23-3 on the season and is three victories shy of tying the school record held by Grant Connell in 1984 with a 26-7 record. Dadamo has not dropped a set in the past five matches.
The clinching point for the match came at No. 4 singles where Klegou recorded his 20thdual victory of the season, becoming the 32ndAggie to hit that mark. Klegou is 20-2 on the year and brings a 14-match winning streak into the LSU contest. His last loss came to Daniel Stahl of Notre Dame on Mar. 4 of this season.
"I am really proud for the seniors to get the season record," Denton said. "These seniors have meant so much to our program, both on the court and off."
The win marked the 98thof Denton's career at Texas A&M. It also marked the 13thconsecutive season for the Aggies to post a first-round NCAA win since this format was instituted in 1999.
The Aggies will face No. 34 LSU for the right to advance to the Round of 16. The Aggies hold a slim, 12-11 advantage in the all-time series with the Tigers and have won three straight against LSU including a 6-1 win in College Station on Feb. 27 earlier this year. But the Tigers were without their current No. 3 singles player, Stefan Szacinski.
"I know we are going to have a battle on our hands tomorrow so it was good to kind of get off the courts quick today to keep our legs and our minds fresh for a tough one with LSU," Denton said. "I'm going to tell the guys to forget about the match we played against them earlier in the year. We won, 6-1, but the matches were really close. Sometimes the guys think it's going to be an easy run and then it's not. I know this LSU team is very experienced, they are going to play well against us tomorrow so it is going to be a fight. We are going to have to come prepared to play well like we did at the Big 12's."
The Aggies swept through the Big 12 Championships by beating Oklahoma State, Texas and Oklahoma without dropping a point Apr. 29-May 1.
First serve on Saturday against LSU will not start no earlier than 3 p.m. as the men's match will follow the second NCAA first-round women's match between Texas A&M and SMU which is scheduled to start at 12 noon. The first women's match of the day is between Florida State and Southern and is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
Friday, May 13, 2011
NCAA First Round Action
College Station, Texas
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
Texas A&M 4, Alcorn State 0
TEAM RECORDS: No. 9 seed Texas A&M (28-5), Alcorn State (9-9)
1. #17 Austin Krajicek, A&M vs. Anton Krutkin, ASU-- DNF
2. #31 Jeff Dadamo, A&M def. Alexandr Lidzar, ASU-- 6-1, 6-4
3. Alexey Grigorov, A&M def. Alejandro Dominguez, ASU-- 6-0, 6-0
4. #94 Alexis Klegou, A&M def. Yanick Shearron-Hawkins, ASU-- 6-0, 6-2
5. Junior Ore, A&M vs. Weinfried Weinbeer, ASU-- DNF
6. Niall Angus, A&M vs. Pushpendra Rajpurohit, ASU-- DNF
1. Krajicek/Dadamo, A&M def. Krutkin/Lidzar, ASU-- 8-0
2. #86 Bautista/Hoover, A&Mvs. Rajpurohit/Weinbeer, ASU-- DNF
3. Ore/Klegou, A&M def. Shearron-Hawkins/Dominguez, ASU-- 8-3
FINISH ORDER: Doubles 1,3
Singles 3, 2, 4
Match Notes: Texas A&M record 28th win in a season, school best.
Advances to second round to face LSU at 3 pm on Saturday, May 14.