No. 10 Texas A&M Challenges No. 11 Georgia for SEC Championship

The Texas A&M men's tennis team will play for its third conference championship in four years on Saturday vs Georgia.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 10 Texas A&M men's tennis team hosts No. 11 Georgia, Saturday, at 1 p.m. at the George P Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. The Aggies (17-5, 10-1 SEC) look earn a share of the SEC Championship with the Bulldogs (15-6, 11-0) for the second time in the last three seasons.

 

All Texas A&M students are granted free admission to home matches by presenting a valid student ID. Additionally, fans are reminded the Mitchell Tennis Center adheres to the Texas A&M Athletics ‘Clear Bag’ policy, for more information about the policy visit 12thMan.com/beclear.

 

Prior to Saturday’s match, Texas A&M men’s tennis will honor three senior student-athletes, James Martell, Frankie Colunga and Max Lunkin. Fans are encouraged to be in the stands early to recognize the contributions the trio have made to Aggie Tennis.

 

Additionally, the first 150 fans will receive free pizza rolls and popcorn at the main entrance of the Mitchell Tennis Center. Fans should be on the lookout for t-shirts tossed into the stands at the intermission between doubles and singles action. Following an on-court promotion at the break, several Texas A&M t-shirts will be thrown to fans.

 

The Maroon & White split road matches last weekend at Mississippi State and Auburn. The Aggies suffered their first SEC setback to the Bulldogs Friday evening, despite the loss the Maroon & White secured victories from Jordi Arconada, Valentin Vacherot and Hady Habib. Texas A&M bounced back Sunday by sweeping Auburn, 4-0, earning the doubles point and singles victories from Arthur Rinderknech, Habib and Aleksandre Bakshi.

 

Following wins over Florida and South Carolina last weekend, Georgia claimed at least a share of the 2017 SEC title. Freshman Nathan Ponwith, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, has clinched six of Georgia’s 11 wins in conference play. Joining No. 60 Ponwith in the ITA singles rankings are No. 32 Wayne Montgomery and No. 61 Emil Reinberg. The Bulldogs enlist a pair of ranked doubles tandems; No. 2 Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb along with No. 65 Ponwith and Reinberg.

 

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.

 

Match Updates
- Live video for the match will be available at 12thMan.com/livetennis. Live stats can be found at http://www.sidearmstats.com/tamu/mten/, follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter and then check 12thMan.com for post-match results and a recap from the day's action.

 

The Texas A&M Lineup

- Texas A&M returns eight lettermen from last year's squad that hosted an NCAA Regional and finished the season ranked No. 14 in the final ITA Rankings.

- Included in the group is junior Arthur Rinderknech who began the spring season ranked No. 16 in the singles poll and No. 7 alongside senior Max Lunkin in the doubles poll. Rinderknech earned singles and doubles All-America honors after appearing in the NCAA Doubles Championship match alongside Jackson Withrow last summer and finishing the season ranked No. 20 in the final singles ranking.

- Also returning this season will be Lunkin, AJ Catanzariti, Jordi Arconada and Aleksandre Bakshi. All four featured regularly in the lineup last season and are set to be mainstays in the Maroon & White lineup again this spring. Seniors Frankie Colunga and James Martell look to take advantage of their final season in College Station.

- The final members of head coach Steve Denton's roster are freshman Hady Habib and Valentin Vacherot. Habib, a Houston native, joins a loaded Aggie lineup and his talent was evident during the fall season where Habib collected eight singles victories and six doubles triumphs. Vacherot, the first cousin of Rinderknech, comes to Aggieland after advancing to the finals of the Tunisia F24 Futures in September and the right-hander picked up ATP points at the Tunisia F25, Slovak Republic F3, Tunisia F23 and the France F13.

 

Notable Streaks and Trends

- The Aggies have won at least 20 matches in each of the last three seasons under head coach Steve Denton and five times in his 10-year tenure. Four times during the last decade, Texas A&M has hit the 25-win mark, winning 25 in 2010, 29 in 2011, 25 in 2014 and 27 a season ago.

- Texas A&M has had a doubles tandem earn All-America honors in each of the past four seasons. Last season it was Jackson Withrow and Arthur Rinderknech achieving the feat, while Rinderknech also earned the All-American designation for his singles play.

- Since 1999, the Aggies have made 18-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including advancing to the Elite Eight two seasons ago.

- Texas A&M has been ranked in Top-25 during nine of the 11 rankings published this spring and 73 of the last 75 polls, dating back to Jan. 22, 2013.

- Jordi Arconada’s win-streak paces the Aggies at the moment, at 16 straight, including an impressive 9-0 mark in SEC matches. The junior leads the Aggies with eight clinch victories this spring.

- Hady Habib leads the league at 10-0, the freshman has won 13 straight matches to tie for third on the squad with 13 dual victories.

- The Aggies’ pace the SEC with seven player/freshman of the week honorees this spring; with No. 13 Georgia (7), No. 20 South Carolina (3) and No. 18 Mississippi State (2) the only other schools to receive more than one honor. Arconada, Catanzariti, Rinderknech and Bakshi have garnered Player of the Week nods, while Hady Habib and Valentin Vacherot have been named Freshman of the Week.

 

Aggies in the ITA Rankings

- Rinderknech continues to be amongst the highest ranked SEC Singles players, coming in at No. 8 in the April 4 singles poll. The Frenchman owns a 22-8 record this year, with a 13-5 mark in dual matches.

- Jordi Arconada is riding a 16-match winning streak to rank No. 66 in the latest ITA poll. The Buenos Aries native, holds an 18-3 record overall including a 16-1 dual match tally.

- Rinderknech lands in the doubles poll alongside AJ Catanzariti. The junior pair ranked No. 39 in the latest poll, earning a trio of ranked wins this spring.

- The Texas A&M duo of Rinderknech and Max Lunkin remain in the ITA doubles rankings at No. 56, the duo claimed six wins in the fall schedule and advanced to the USTA/ITA Texas Regional finals in Ft. Worth.

 

The Denton Effect
- In the first ten years of Steve Denton tenure at Texas A&M, beginning in August of 2006, the Aggies claimed 208 dual victories, the second-best 10 year stretch in program history, trailing only the 211 wins under Omar Smith from 1964-1973.

- Denton’s 225 career triumphs in Aggieland trail Omar Smith’s 275 wins and David Kent’s 318 victories, while his winning percentage (69.0) trails only Tim Cass on the all-time ledger (196-83, 70.3%). Smith captained the Aggies from 1960-1974, while Kent was at the helm from 1979-1996 and Cass lead the charge from 1997-2006.

- The Denton-led Aggies have claimed a pair of SEC Tournament crowns (2015 & 2016) and a share of the regular season title in 2015.

- Of Texas A&M’s 40 All-Americans all-time, 22 have come under the tutelage of Denton, including the Aggies only player to earn All-American status in all four seasons in Aggieland (Austin Krajicek, 2009-11 singles & 2008-2011 doubles).

- In Denton’s 10 completed seasons at Texas A&M, the Aggies have finished ranked in the Top-15 of the final ITA Team Rankings on seven occasions having done so only six times in the previous 25 years.

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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