URBANA, IL - The No. 17-ranked Texas A&M Aggies lost a close match to No. 20-ranked Illinois on the road on Sunday, 4-3, before 260 fans at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Illinois.
"We lost a very close match today," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "We toughed out the doubles point. Junior (Ore) played his best singles match as an Aggie. Niall (Angus) did not play very well, but he competed his tail off and found a way to put up the third point for us. Jeremy (Efferding) battled back from match points in the second set to take the tiebreaker and then raced out to a 3-1 lead in the third and deciding set. I thought the fifth game was pivotal as Jeremy had chances to go up a double break. Give Illinois a lot of credit as they found a way to win in the end. We have no time to get down after this loss as we move forward to face the (USC) Trojans at our place on Thursday night. They have a hell of a team, but stranger things have happened. I expect our guys will compete very hard and play well. As tough as this match was, we have to just keep trying to improve."
The 9-7 win by A&M's Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow at No. 1 doubles clinched the doubles point after John Lewis and Niall Angus posted the first doubles win at No. 3, an 8-6 decision.
Junior Ore was the first singles match off of the court at No. 3 singles, a straight sets 6-4, 6-2 win over Stephen Hoh of Illinois.
Illinois would get on the board and then reel off three points at No. 2, No. 6 and No. 1. Angus would post the three-set win at No. 4 against Tim Kopinski to even things up at three points each.
At No. 4 singles, the freshman Jeremy Efferding battled to take a second set tiebreaker (7-2) after Illinois' Bruno Abdelnour had taken the first set 6-2. Abdelnour, a junior, won the third and deciding set, 6-3.
The Aggies, 9-7 on the year, return home to host the top-ranked USC Trojans on Thursday with first serve set for 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Illinois improves to 9-3 on the season.
Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M vs Illinois
Mar 11, 2012 at Urbana, Ill.
(Atkins Tennis Center)
#20 Illinois 4, #17 Texas A&M 3
1. #4 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. #30 Alexis Klegou (TAMU) 7-5, 6-3
2. #24 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. Colin Hoover (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Junior Ore (TAMU) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-4, 6-2
4. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) def. Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3
5. Niall Angus (TAMU) def. Tim Kopinski (ILL) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
1. #25 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. #41 Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 9-7
2. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Alexis Klegou/Colin Hoover (TAMU) 9-8 (7-2)
3. John Lewis/Niall Angus (TAMU) def. Stephen Hoh/Farris Gosea (ILL) 8-6
Texas A&M 9-7; National ranking #17
Illinois 9-3; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,2,6,1,5,4)