COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 15th ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team is set to make its home opener on Sunday against 4th ranked Ohio State at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. First serve is slated for noon.
Streaming video and scoring can be found on AggieAthletics.com.
The Aggies look to improve on their 6-0 record and with a win, the team would be off to its best start since the 1994 team started an astounding 19-0. Sunday’s match marks the fifth consecutive ranked opponent for Texas A&M.
“Every time we play Ohio State, it’s a real war,” said head coach Steve Denton. “They always have a great team and are very well coached. They’re one of the top teams in the country. We’ve been playing well and we’re very excited to get to play at home in front of the 12th Man. I know the guys are really excited to be playing at home.”
Texas A&M, hot off its 6-1 victory at Rice, is led in singles by 87th ranked sophomore Jordan Szabo, 103rd ranked sophomore Jeremy Efferding and freshman Harrison Adams who all boast perfect 5-0 records. Freshman Shane Vinsant sits at 5-1 while sophomore Jackson Withrow and junior Junior Ore each have four wins.
In doubles, Ore and Withrow lead the team with a 5-0 record. Nipping at their heels are the tandems of Adams and Vinsant as well as Efferding and Szabo, both at 4-0. Texas A&M stands at 21-0 in doubles thus far through the season.
“They’re very strong throughout their lineup,” Denton said about Ohio State. “They have several players ranked very high and we’re going to have to play at a high level. They have a very strong team and are probably one of the few teams that have a good inside track at winning the NCAA championship”
Ohio State enters the contest at a perfect 8-0. The Buckeyes are coming off a 5-2 victory at home against No. 6 Georgia. Ohio State returns seven letterwinners from last season’s 34-4 team which won the Big 10 championship and featured a run to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Buckeyes feature three top-30 ranked singles players in No. 1 Peter Kobelt, No. 13 Connor Smith and No. 30 Chris Diaz. Smith leads the team with a perfect 7-0 record while Diaz (5-0) and Kobelt (5-1) both sit at five wins. In doubles, Ille van Engelen and Devin McCarthy lead the team with a 6-0 record. Overall the Buckeyes are 39-3 in singles and 20-0 in doubles.
The all-time series record between Ohio State stands at 3-3 with the Buckeyes taking the victory last season in Columbus, 6-1.
“The last time we played them at home, we set the attendance record for a match,” Denton said. “That was in the middle of our record-breaking home winning streak. The crowd was very loud and boisterous which really helped us out. These guys were able to experience that and I’m hoping we have a similar crowd on hand Sunday.”
Texas A&M will be in action again next weekend as it travels to Seattle to compete in the ITA National Indoors tournament. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.