ATHENS, Georgia – The No. 13 Texas A&M men’s tennis team’s season came to an end Thursday afternoon in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 in Athens, Georgia. The Aggies (21-7) fell, 4-1, to No. 5 UCLA (22-5) at the Magill Tennis Complex.
The Aggies dropped the doubles point to open the match for the first time in the last seven matches. The Bruins claimed the first doubles match, 6-1, on the middle court as Austin Rapp and Joseph Di Giullo topped Jordi Arconada and Hady Habib. The Aggies’ third team evened the doubles tally at 1-1 as Aleksandre Bakshi and Max Lunkin topped Maxime Cressy and Ben Goldberg, 6-4. With the day’s first point on the line, No. 3 Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu edged out No. 9 AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech 7-5 on the top court.
The Aggies and Bruins split singles first sets at three apiece, but the Bruins maintained the scoreboard advantage throughout the match. The Los Angeles squad took the first two singles points as Zhu topped No. 48 Arconada on court two, 6-4, 6-3, before Di Giulio bested Bakshi 7-5, 6-1 on court six.
The Maroon & White attempted to mount a comeback as No. 6 Rinderknech defeated No. 60 Redlicki, 6-4, 6-2, on court one. The Aggies needed to win the final three matches, but the Bruins advantage was too much to overcome. UCLA clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win by Cressy on court five over Valentin Vacherot.
Rinderknech and Arconada will complete in next week’s NCAA Singles Championship, while Rinderknech and Catanzariti will feature in the doubles bracket. Rinderknech advanced to the NCAA Doubles Championship Final last season alongside Jackson Withrow.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men's tennis in the field. 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...
“Doubles is really important and we came up a little short there. We have been playing well in the doubles lately and were quite able to get that point today. UCLA did a good job of staying on top in the singles matches and kept the momentum on their side. That is what this game is about, momentum, and they were able to do that better than we were.”
On Arthur’s match and season…
“He has been a great leader on this team on and off the court. He has lead by example all season long and the guys have rallied around his leadership. That bodes well for him going into his senior season next year. He was able to take care of business against [Martin] Redlicki, he is one of the best players in college tennis and to win by that score line was very impressive today. I know he wanted the win for the team, I am really proud of how he was able to lead from the top of the lineup.”
On the season…
“I thought we did a great job of staying in the moment throughout the season. We had the mantra all year long of trying to be a tough team and that win streak through the heart of the schedule showed that we are a team to be reckoned with, it is unfortunate that the season ends so abruptly but we know that we are among the elite in college tennis and I am looking forward to coaching these guys next year. I was proud of the way we competed and played this whole season, we were picked to finish fifth or sixth in the conference and then we went out and won 11 of 12 matches in the SEC and shared the regular season championship. I think we have a lot to look forward to, our top six players are back next season and we have a lot to look forward to.”
Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M vs UCLA
May 18, 2017 at Athens, GA
(Magill Tennis Complex)
#5 UCLA 4, #13 Texas A&M 1
1. #6 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #60 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 6-4, 6-2
2. Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #48 Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) 2-6, 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
4. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) def. Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Austin Rapp (UCLA) vs. Hady Habib (TAMU) 3-6, 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Aleksandre Bakshi (TAMU) 7-5, 6-1
1. #3 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #9 AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) 7-5
2. Austin Rapp/Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Jordi Arconada/Hady Habib (TAMU) 6-1
3. Aleksandre Bakshi/Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Maxime Cressy/Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-4
Texas A&M 21-7; National ranking #13
UCLA 22-5; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (2, 6, 1, 4)
Round of 16