COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 20-ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team will play host to the country's top-ranked and three-time defending national champion USC Trojan tennis team in a dual match slated to begin at 6 p.m. central on Thursday, Mar. 15 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. All three 2011 NCAA tennis titles were won by USC or Texas A&M with the Trojans bringing home the team and singles crowns and the Aggie duo of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek winning the NCAA doubles championship.
"We are really looking forward to the Trojans coming to the Mitchell Tennis Center on Thursday," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "I expect our team to come out with great effort. We love to play at home in front of the 12th Man. It is always special when you host the No. 1 team in the country, as well as the reigning NCAA Champions. I hope the Aggie community will come out and see some great tennis and support their team."
The Aggies look forward to returning home where they have a 43-match winning streak, the longest of any Aggie sport in history. Texas A&M is 9-7 this year while USC is a perfect 16-0 on the season and brings a 46-match winning streak into Aggieland after defeating Texas, 6-1, on Tuesday in Austin.
The Mitchell Tennis Center was the site of the NCAA Championships in 2009 when USC defeated Ohio State, 4-1, to win the national crown. The Trojans would repeat at Georgia in 2010 by defeating Tennessee, 4-2, in the national championship match. Last year at Stanford, USC outlasted Virginia, 4-3, to claim its third straight title.
The Aggies have one player ranked in the latest ITA rankings as senior co-captain Alexis Klegou, from Dunkerque, France, is ranked No. 27 in the singles poll. The Trojans counter with six players listed led by 2011 NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson. Johnson, who has not lost this spring, is currently ranked No. 2 in the land. Daniel Nguyen is ranked No. 16 and Ray Sarmiento is ranked No. 24. Yannick Hanfmann is ranked No. 30 and Emilio Gomez is No. 41 with Roberto Quiroz finishing out the list at No. 121. In doubles play, USC's Johnson and Hanfmann are currently ranked No. 6 with Sarmiento and Nguyen ranked No. 21. The Aggies top tandem of freshman Jackson Withrow and sophomore Junior Ore are right behind at No. 22 in the rankings and the Aggie duo of seniors Colin Hoover and John Lewis are ranked No. 41.
Thursday night will be "Youth and Club Night" where all children who come to the match wearing any youth or club tennis apparel will get free admission. The first 150 children through the gates will receive drawstring backpacks while the first 150 people through the gates will receive Aggie Tennis Stress Balls. Gates open at 5 p.m. with first serve set for 6 p.m.