HOUSTON-Texas A&M's Junior Ore and Behzad Minavi got the spring season schedule off to a good start with singles and doubles championships at the Rice/MET Indoor Tennis Tournament held at the Downtown Club at The Met in Houston. Ore defeated TCU's Nick Chappell 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Ore and Minavi defeated the TCU duo of Arnau Dachs and Orlando Superlano, 8-4, to win the doubles crown.
"It was a great start to the season for Junior and Behzad," Aggie men's tennis head coach Steve Denton said. "I really liked how both of them competed this weekend. Winning is contagious and hopefully the spring sports can carry the momentum created by the Aggie football team and our fall sports. I know the men's and women's basketball teams are playing well and it's our time to continue that Aggie sports roll."
Ore, a junior two-year letterman from Gaithersburg, Maryland, faced Dylan Tozier, a senior with Rice, in the opening round on Friday and won 6-1, 6-0. In Ore's second match on Friday, the lefthander disposed of Alex Ferrero of Portland, 6-3, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, Ore took down Arnau Dachs of TCU, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 and then defeated Rice's Adam Gustafsson, 6-3, 7-5, in the semifinals on Saturday to reach the championship match on Sunday. After dropping the opening set, 3-6, Ore bounced back with strong play in the second and third sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Minavi, a sophomore from Houston, opened singles play with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Rice's Peter Frank and then took down Ratan Gill from Portland, 6-3, 7-6 to advance to Saturday's matches. In the quarterfinals, Minavi made quick work of Jonathan Chang from Rice, 6-0, 6-2 but dropped the Saturday semifinal match to TCU's Nick Chappell, 6-3, 6-2.
The Aggie duo of Ore and Minavi received a bye in the first round of doubles play and then defeated TCU's Will Stein and Facundo Lugones, 8-7, on Friday. In the semifinal match on Saturday, Ore and Minavi outlasted the home duo of Philipp Seifert and Leif Berger of Rice, 8-7. The Aggies faced the doubles team from TCU of Dachs and Superlano and took control with an 8-4 victory.
The Aggies, ranked No. 26 in the pre-season ITA poll, will begin dual match play next Saturday, Jan. 19 in Dallas as they face the SMU Mustangs at 11 a.m. and then face Nicholls State at 4 p.m.