Tennis: Women cruise, men survive as both teams advance in NCAAs

May 9, 2015

COLLEGE STATION - When it comes to the NCAA Tournament in any sport, you take a win any way you can get it. Whether it's a blowout victory or a squeaker, survival is the first order of business. Survive and advance.

 The Texas A&M men's and women's tennis teams took that to heart on Saturday with two very different victories.

Starting at noon, the Aggie women needed less than two hours to put on a dominant display against Alcorn State. The Aggies lost only two games in six completed matches en route to a 5-0 shut-out of the Braves.

Texas A&M was nearly perfect in the doubles matches, as Ines Deheza and Stefania Hristov cruised to an 8-0 victory on court three and Rutuja Bhosale and Saska Gavrilovska did the same on court five.

With a 1-0 lead, the Maroon and White carried their momentum into singles play. Bhosale and Hristov continued their perfect day, taking 6-0, 6-0, victories on courts three and six, respectively.

From there, it was a race to the finish line for the rest of the team. In a rare twist, both Eva Paalma and Saska Gavrilovska wrapped up their matches at the same time, giving the Aggies a 5-0 win over the Braves.

All told, the Aggies won 90 games on the day to the Braves' 9 and did not drop a set in one of the most dominant performances of the season. Head Coach Howard Joffe was happy for the warm-up after a three week break, but is not taking much away from the match.

"The thing that I was happy about our group is they were as businesslike -- professional -- as they could be, and I wouldn't read into stuff -- like, we looked sharp," he said. "We certainly did, but everything is very relative. And so, I was very pleased with our group, but obviously tomorrow is a completely different match."

The Aggie women will play again tomorrow against TCU at 10 AM in the round of 32.

While the women's match was easy on the hearts of the Aggie fandom, the men's bout with former conference foe Oklahoma State was not.

The Cowboys jumped all over the Aggies during doubles play, securing two quick 8-5 wins on courts three and five. Down a point heading into singles play, Texas A&M needed to win four of six matches to keep its season alive. Head Coach Steve Denton

"They took it to us. I mean, give them credit," he said. "They played really well in the doubles -- I thought at all three lines. We haven't lost all three lines of doubles -- that I can remember -- the whole season, and they played very well there. It kind of put us on our heels a little bit."

Harrison Adams was the first Aggie to respond to a doubles defeat. Taking a 6-1, 6-1 win over Tristan Meraut on court four, he evened the score for the home team. One line up, A.J. Catanzariti followed suit with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court five.

Shane Vinsant was the next to win, giving the Aggies a commanding 3-1 lead. After a tough 7-6 win in the first set, the junior took it to his opponent in the second, demolishing Lucas Gerch, 6-1.

The Cowboys did not go down easily, however. After Vinsant's win, Aggie freshman Arthur Rinderknech started experiencing cramps. Though he attempted to fight through them, the Frenchman eventually lost on court four 6-7, 1-6.

Up 3-2, the Aggies started feeling the pressure. On the two remaining courts, the Cowboys were in control.

After losing a tiebreak in the first set, then storming back in the second frame, freshman Jordi Arconada went up a break early in the third. Carrying that momentum to a 4-2 lead, Arconada proceeded to lose three straight games to trail 4-5.

With senior Jeremy Efferding down a break in the third set, the Aggies' season rested on the shoulders of the last man in the order. Serving to stay in the match, Arconada, down 30-40, faced match-point.

After a short rally, the freshman's opponent, Nicolai Ferrigno Olsen hit a forehand on the run. The ball caught the tape at the top of the net and fell back onto Olsen's side. After being an inch from defeat, Arconada held serve, eventually forcing a tiebreak.

Behind his strong forehand, Arconada took the tiebreak 7-4, sending the Aggies to the Sweet 16 for the thirteenth time in school history with a 4-2 win over the Cowboys. Arconada thrived on the high-pressure situation.

"We play dual matches (in practice) between us," he said. "I've just been playing tennis my whole life. You've just got to be used to it. You've just got to take the pressure and like it."

The Aggies will take on #11 Ohio State on Thursday at 5 PM, vying for a place in the Elite Eight.
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Tennis: Women cruise, men survive as both teams advance in NCAAs

5,490 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 5 yr ago by BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
Chase McGuire
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Tennis: Women cruise, men survive as both teams advance in NCAAs
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Alcorn was not very good even though they all seemed to be from overseas. On their serves they just stood flat footed and really had a hard time handling our serves.
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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