COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The SEC Western Division champion and No. 4 seed Texas A&M men’s tennis team will face No. 12 seed Alabama in its SEC quarterfinal match at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Mississippi at 3 p.m. The Aggies, winners of their last three matches, enter the contest with a record of 16-11 while the Crimson Tide comes into the contest at 14-12. When these two teams faced off earlier this season in Tuscaloosa, A&M was able to cruise in singles after dropping the doubles point to knock off Alabama, 4-1, on its home court.
To follow all the action this week at the SEC men’s tennis tournament, visit http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/2013-SEC-Championship.html for up to the minute action.
The 12th-ranked Maroon and White look to continue rolling after upsetting two-top 15 squads this past weekend in ninth-ranked Mississippi State (4-0) and the sixth-ranked University of Mississippi (4-2).
Freshman Shane Vinsant led the team in singles wins during the regular season, posting a record of 17-7 and going 7-3 in conference play. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week and the 81st-ranked player nationally went 14-7 from the No. 4 singles line. In Texas A&M’s earlier matchup this season with Alabama, the freshman dominated David Vieyra, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 4 position to earn the first singles-victory in the match for the Aggies.
Jeremy Efferding, the highest ITA ranked player for the Aggies at No. 26, was second on the team in singles wins with a 14-8 mark. The Boca Raton, Florida, native went 5-4 after taking over the duties at the No. 1 line for the Maroon and White. The sophomore ousted then 69th-ranked Jarryd Botha, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 1 line to push the Aggies ahead in the prior match with the Crimson Tide.
120th-ranked Harry Adams would earn his 20th-overall singles victory with a win at the conference tournament. The New Braunfels native went 13-8 in dual matches and the freshman posted a 10-5 mark from the No. 3 singles line. In the prior match with Alabama, Adams split the first two sets with 91st-ranked Becker O’Shaughnessey, 7-5 and 5-7, before the Aggies secured the victory.
After earning his 30th-victory for the Aggies earlier this season against Alabama, Jordan Szabo posted a 12-8 record on the spring season. The Australia native went 5-4 from both the No. 5 and No. 6 line for the Maroon and White. The sophomore was able to clinch the match for the Aggies in the last contest with the Crimson Tide, downing Harris Barnard in three sets, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, from the No. 6 position.
Jackson Withrow was the other singles victory for Texas A&M in the last contest with Alabama, as he bested Stuart Kenyon, 7-5, 6-3, from the No. 5 line. The sophomore posted a 13-8 record in dual matches. With a victory, the Omaha, Nebraska, native would earn his 30th-career victory at Texas A&M.
105th-ranked Junior Ore rounds out the projected singles lineup for A&M. The sophomore posted a 9-13 record for the Maroon and White and went 5-4 from the No. 2 line. The Gaithersburg, Maryland, native split sets with Daniil Proskura in the last contest between these two squads before the match was decided.
In doubles, the 27th-ranked tandem of Adams and Vinsant led the team in doubles with a 15-7 record, going 13-7 from the No. 2 doubles line. The seventh-ranked pair of Ore and Withrow followed with a 14-7 mark with all wins coming from the top-doubles line. The duo of Efferding and Szabo round out projected doubles lineup for the Aggies with a 13-8 mark in dual matches and ten of those wins coming from the No. 3 doubles position.
Efferding and Szabo were the lone doubles winners in the previous match with Alabama, as they downed Phillipe Tsangarides and Kenyon, 8-5, from the No. 3 doubles position. Adams and Vinsant were upset by O’Shaughnessey and Proskura, 8-5, at the No. 2 line. Ore and Withrow fell in a tightly-contested tiebreaker to Botha and Vieyra, 9-8 (7).
36th-ranked Alabama brings a two-match winning streak after dropping its prior seven-matches. The Crimson Tide advanced to the quarterfinal round by knocking off sixth-ranked and host-school Ole Miss, 4-3.
Alabama is led in singles by 73rd-ranked Botha (16-7, 11-6 No. 1) and 107th-ranked O’Shaughnessey (16-7, 7-2 No. 3). Proskura (16-8, 4-4 No. 2) and Kenyon (11-8, 8-3 No. 3) also feature double digit singles-wins for the Crimson Tide. The 13th-ranked duo of Botha and Vieyra is the highest ranked doubles team for Alabama, with a 7-6 record and all decisions coming from the top-doubles line. O’Shaughnessey and Proskura rank as the No. 34 tandem in the country with all ten wins and two losses coming from the No. 2 position.
The winner of this match will face the winner between Georgia and either Kentucky or Mississippi State at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinals of the SEC tournament. To learn more about the Aggie men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.