OXFORD, Mississippi – The 12th-ranked and No. 4 seed Texas A&M men’s tennis teams upset bid came up just short against second-ranked and top-seeded Georgia, 4-3, at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Mississippi. The match ultimately came down to a tiebreaker at the No. 2 singles line to decide which team would play for the SEC championship on Sunday against No. 2 seed Tennessee. The Aggies fall to 17-12 on the season while the Bulldogs improve to 22-4.
Texas A&M was unable to claim the doubles point in the second consecutive contest against the Bulldogs. The 23rd-ranked pair of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha held serve against the 27th-ranked tandem of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant, 8-3, at the No. 2 line to claim the first doubles victory. Minutes later, the seventh-ranked duo of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow dropped their contest against the sixth-ranked team of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-3, at the top-doubles line to secure the early 1-0 lead for the Bulldogs.
Georgia was able to maintain the momentum from claiming the doubles point into the first sets in singles, winning four-of-six first sets. Austin Smith knocked off Jordan Szabo, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 5 line to boost the Bulldogs lead to 2-0. Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week and 81st-ranked Vinsant got the Maroon and White on the board when he bested 125th-ranked Pieters, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 4 line to cut Georgia's lead in half, 2-1. 26th-ranked Jeremy Efferding knocked off his second top-ten opponent on the season when he ousted sixth-ranked KU Singh, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, at the top-singles position to tie the match at two-apiece. Adams then gave Texas A&M the lead for the first time in the contest against the Bulldogs. The 120th-ranked player in the nation was able to upset 46th-ranked Pasha, 7-5, 6-4, at the No. 3 line to push A&M ahead, 3-2. Georgia wasted no time in knotting the match up at three-all as Brasseaux staved off a late rally from Behzad Minavi, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, at the No. 6 line. The match would come down to a third-set tiebreaker between 105th-ranked Ore and 53rd-ranked Wagland at the No. 2 line. Wagland was able to break Ore's serve in the tiebreaker to claim the game, the set and the match for the Bulldogs, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6).
Texas A&M will be in action again in the NCAA tournament, beginning on Friday, May 10. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter to stay up to date with the Aggies in the postseason.
No. 2 Georgia def. No. 12 Texas A&M, 4-3
No. 1 – No. 26 Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. No. 6 KU Singh, UGA 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
*No. 2 – No. 53 Ben Wagland, UGA def. No. 105 Junior Ore, A&M vs. 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6)
No. 3 – No. 120 Harry Adams, A&M def. No. 46 Nathan Pasha, UGA 7-5, 6-4
No. 4 – No. 81 Shane Vinsant, A&M vs. No. 125 Hernus Pieters, UGA 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 – Austin Smith, UGA def. Jordan Szabo, A&M 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 – Garrett Brasseaux, UGA def. Behzad Minavi, A&M 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 1 – No. 6 Pieters/Wagland, UGA def. No. 7 Ore/Withrow, A&M 8-3
No. 2 – No. 23 Pasha/Brasseaux, UGA def. No. 27 Adams/Vinsant, A&M 8-3
No. 3 – Efferding/Szabo, A&M vs. Nunez/Singh, UGA 6-3 (unfinished)
Order of finish: Doubles 2, 1 Singles 5, 4, 1, 3, 6, 2
*clinched the match
Texas A&M (17-12); Georgia (22-4)