After three straight wins, No. 6 Texas A&M men’s tennis took a road loss against the No. 7 Texas Longhorns.
In a tight 4-3 battle in Austin, the Aggies once again proved why the doubles point can be so crucial for victory. A&M falls to 13-5 on the season, the second time this season the Aggies have lost by one point. A&M has three games left before the SEC Tournament begins. Texas improves to 15-3.
All season long A&M’s indicator of success has been doubles play. After an early 6-4 victory on court 3 by the junior duo of Noah Schachter and Pranav Kumar, things looked up for the Aggies. Texas fired back with a 7-5 win from No. 12 duo of Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab over A&M’s No. 8 senior Carlos Aguilar and graduate student Bjorn Thomson.
Tied up, court 2 was set to determine the doubles point. Texas clinched it in a tie-breaker with a score of 7-6. The Aggies so far this season had not won a match when starting down 1-0. They needed to win four of the six singles matches to pull it out.
Singles play started off even between the two teams. The first sets of all six courts were equally split, three for each side. The first court to fall was court 3, where Texas’s No. 99 Woldeab took down A&M’s No. 77 Schachter 6-1, 7-5. A few minutes later, A&M’s No. 78 sophomore Pierce Rollins followed, losing 6-3, 6-2.
Down 3-0, A&M could not afford to drop another match. Thomson gave a strong effort to push court 6 to three sets, but wound up losing a close one by a score of 7-6, 6-4. This victory clinched the match for Texas.
With the match now out of reach, A&M went on to win the final three remaining courts. Victories from Aguilar as well as freshman Raphael Perot and No. 5 senior Valentin Vacherot finalized the score at 4-3 in the Longhorn’s favor.
The Aggies, with their three-match win streak broken, have a touch schedule ahead of them. They’ll look to catch some momentum against unranked LSU on Saturday, April 3. They face off in College Station at 2 p.m.
The team also has tests up ahead against No. 11 Georgia and No. 3 Tennessee. With a pair of key players having been out for a stretch of games in No. 2 senior Hady Habib and No. 85 senior Barnaby Smith, any A&M victories will be invaluable in preparation for the SEC Tournament.