Texas A&M’s men’s tennis team will travel to SMU in Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 7 to face Baylor in the final round of the ITA Kick Off. The winner of the event will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., on the weekend of Feb. 12-14.
The ITA National Team Indoor Championships is a three-day tournament showcasing eight of the nation’s top tennis teams. The winner Feb. 7 will face elite competition Feb. 12-14 in hopes of being crowned the indoor national champions.
The other seven teams have already been set in place: University of Southern California, University of North Carolina and TCU, who are ranked No. 1 through 3, respectively, as well as No. 5 Texas, No. 7 Virginia, No. 10 Tennessee and unranked Illinois.
The event was relocated to neutral site SMU after its originally scheduled date of Jan. 24 was postponed since the Michigan athletic department shut down due to the emergence of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant among student-athletes.
In the first round of the ITA Kick Off, No. 11 Texas A&M faced No. 21 Pepperdine. The Aggies pulled through with an impressive 4-0 victory to advance them to the next round. The Aggies have a record of 2-0 and have since moved up to No. 9 in the nation.
The No. 6 Baylor Bears knocked off the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines 4-0 in the first round. Since then, Baylor has gone 1-1, beating No. 4 Texas and losing to No. 3 TCU. The Bears have subsequently moved up to No. 4 in the rankings with an overall record of 6-1.
“We will need our 'A' game if we want to advance to Illinois,” A&M coach Steve Denton told 12thman.com. “I know our guys are excited for this opportunity.”