The No. 11 Texas A&M men’s tennis opened the 2021 season with a 4-3 win at No. 17 Ole Miss at the William F. Gatltney Indoor Tennis Center Tuesday afternoon.
“As expected this was a real battle today at Ole Miss,” head coach Steve Denton said. “Five three-setters to start the season on the road. Just what we needed for our first match, a real test for our team. Proud of the effort from our guys, but we have to get better moving forward.
The Maroon & White opened the match claiming the doubles point through convincing wins on courts one and three. A&M’s Hady Habib and Noah Schachter were the first tandem to secure a victory, trouncing Brady Draheim and Jan Soran Hain 6-1 on the third count. No. 48 Carlos Aguilar and Bjorn Thomas secure the first point for the Aggies with an impressive 6-2 triumph over No. 7 Tim Sandkaulen and Finn Reynolds.
In singles action, the Aggies roared out of the gates securing four of six first sets. No. 4 Valentin Vacherot doubled the A&M advantage with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 62 Sandkaulen on the top court. Vacherot claimed his 15th-straight dual match singles victory dating back to April 19, 2019 in the SEC Tournament against South Carolina.
After Vacherot’s victory, the team match tightened as all five remaining singles matches went a decisive third-set. No. 13 Habib pushed A&M’s lead to 3-0 with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win on court two over Reynolds but the Rebels tallied points on courts three and four to pull within 3-2. A&M’s Barnaby Smith, ranked No. 110 in the country, clinched the win for the Aggies with a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2 triumph on court six over Jakob Cadonau. Ole Miss claimed the final match of the day as John Hallquist Lithen topped Guido Marson in three sets on court five.
The win was the fourth-straight victory for the Aggies over Ole Miss, including two-straight indoors in Oxford.
This weekend, A&M is set to take on No. 21 Pepperdine while No. 15 Baylor and No. 4 Michigan faceoff in the first round of the ITA Kickoff weekend in Ann Arbor. The winners of Saturday’s matches will faceoff Sunday for a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the University of Illinois next month.