COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 12th-seeded Texas A&M Men’s Tennis team swept No. 24 Oregon, 4-0, at the George P Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas Saturday afternoon. Texas A&M advanced to the Round of 16 for the 15th time in program history and sixth time in the past nine seasons. The Aggies improved to 21-6 on the season, while the Ducks’ season ended at 19-7.
With the win the Aggies advanced to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia to take place May 18-23 at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. The Maroon & White will take on 5th-seeded UCLA Thursday at 3 p.m. (CT) in the Round of 16 and are looking to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the third time in program history.
The Maroon & White picked up the doubles point for the sixth straight match, claiming wins on courts one and three. Thomas Laurent and Cormac Clissold took the first doubles match of the day, topping Jordi Arconada and Hady Habib 6-4 on the middle court. The Aggies pulled even with a 6-4 triumph by Aleksandre Bakshi and Max Lunkin over Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry on the third doubles court. No. 9 AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech clinched the day’s first point with a 7-2 tiebreaker over Jayson Amos and Armando Soemarno on the top doubles court.
The match evened out in singles play, with each team claiming three first sets. Despite splitting first sets, Texas A&M was able to pick up points in straight sets on the top three courts. Catanzariti was the first Aggie off the court for the second straight day, topping Akihiro Tanaka 6-3, 6-2 on court three. The win was the second straight for the Pittsburgh, Penn. native and team-leading 70th of his collegiate career.
No. 48 Arconada inched the Aggies closer to Athens with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Stevens on court two. The Buenos Aires, Argentina native picked up his team-leading 19th dual victory to improve to 21-4 overall on the year.
No. 6 Rinderknech clinched the team match for the second straight day, defeating No. 27 Laurent 6-4, 6-2 on court one. The Paris, France native improved to 17-7 against ranked foes and 26-8 overall on the season.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men's tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men's tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.
Post Game Quotes
Steve Denton, Texas A&M Men’s Tennis Head Coach
Thoughts on the match...
"The doubles was really big. Our guys stepped up. We were leading 4-2 and 40-0 on AJ's (Catanzariti) serve and then they broke back and things got complicated. But in that tiebreaker, we were able to win that convincingly and then we that first set kept the pressure on them. That was the difference in the match."
On the double point...
"We had a couple of the close, typical doubles volley exchanges and we won those in the tiebreaker. We've been working on those a bit and the guys have better hands at the net and they are more comfortable up there. It paid off for us in a couple of key points. We had some good returns and typically if you're hitting those first serves you have a good chance in a tiebreaker. We've gotten better at doubles as the season went along and I'm proud of the guys for sticking with it. "
On last year's loss as a catalyst...
"New team, new season but we were motivated to not let that happen again. We put ourselves in a position to host again. Our guys started playing well toward the end of the season and I was hopefully that they could carry it on."
On the play of AJ Catanzariti...
"The key for AJ is to take the ball early and be looking to move forward. Yesterday he only came in a couple time and today he came in a lot more and was pretty successful. He's playing his best when he's aggressive with his feet. Trying to look to get in and he did a great job against a guy who was a tough out with a lot of match wins. AJ took the racket from his hands by his aggressive play."
Nils Schyllander, Oregon Men’s Tennis Head Coach
On the match…
“I think that the doubles point was crucial. It went down to a tiebreaker. If we had pulled that out, then I like our chances. We still came out in the singles and battled hard and split the first sets. In the end, Texas A&M was just a little too tough.”
On the season…
“It has been good. We had 19 wins and made it to the regional finals. It is always sour when you lose because you have big goals, but it has been a good year.”
Tennis Match Results
Oregon vs Texas A&M
May 13, 2017 at College Station, TX
(George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
#13 Texas A&M 4, #24 Oregon 0
1. #6 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #27 Thomas Laurent (OREGON) 6-4, 6-2
2. #48 Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Simon Stevens (OREGON) 6-2, 6-4
3. AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Akihiro Tanaka (OREGON) 6-3, 6-2
4. Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) vs. Jayson Amos (OREGON) 3-6, 5-5, unfinished
5. Hady Habib (TAMU) vs. Cormac Clissold (OREGON) 4-6, 6-3, 0-0, unfinished
6. Aleksandre Bakshi (TAMU) vs. Ethan Young-Smith (OREGON) 5-7, 2-4, unfinished
1. #9 AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Jayson Amos/Armando Soemarno (OREGON) 7-6 (7-2)
2. Thomas Laurent/Cormac Clissold (OREGON) def. Jordi Arconada/Hady Habib (TAMU) 6-4
3. Aleksandre Bakshi/Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Simon Stevens/Ty Gentry (OREGON) 6-4
Oregon 19-7; National ranking #24
Texas A&M 21-6; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (3, 2, 1)