COLLEGE STATION, Texas-The No. 25-ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team will play host to the No. 75-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Friday with first serve set for 6 p.m.
The match is part of a tennis twinbill as the 16th-ranked Aggie women's tennis team hosts Kansas State at 6 p.m. on Friday as well. One ticket is good for both matches and free pizza will be given to the first 100 fans. In addition, it will be Junior Aggie Club Day at the courts. Members receive a free drawstring bag courtesy of Southwest Dairy Farmers, as well as a tie-dye station will be set up before the matches.
"We are very excited about starting Big 12 play this weekend," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "The season starts over and every team has a fresh start. Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma present big tests for our team as we try to achieve one of our team goals, which is to win the Big 12 title. There is special significance for us since this is our last chance to compete in the Big 12 Conference."
The Aggies, defending 2011 Big 12 Championship winners, are 10-8 on the season and defeating SMU, 7-0, last Sunday. Oklahoma State is 7-7 on the year after a Sunday, 6-1, win over Creighton in Stillwater. This will mark the Big 12 opener for both clubs.
Last year, the Aggies took a 7-0 victory over the Cowboys in Stillwater with Alexis Klegou providing a 6-0, 6-0 straight sets win over OSU's Aleksey Bessonov to highlight the match. Klegou, a senior from Dunkerque, France, has been playing at the No. 1 singles and is currently ranked No. 29 in the latest ITA rankings.
Another Aggie senior, John Lewis from Birmingham, Alabama, is ranked No. 103 in singles. Lewis and fellow senior and co-captain Colin Hoover, from Victoria, Texas, is ranked No. 76 in doubles.
The top doubles team on the Aggie squad is freshman Jackson Withrow, from Omaha, Nebraska, and sophomore Junior Ore, from Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Aggie duo is currently ranked No. 30 in the land.
The OSU Cowboys head coach, James Wadley, is the longest tenured head coach in Oklahoma State history as the 2012 campaign marked his 40th season heading up the tennis program at OSU and he is one of the winningest coaches in the nation. He announced he will retire at the end of the 2012 season and he brings a 664-327 record into Friday's match against Texas A&M and he has led the Cowboys to 17 NCAA Championship appearances and has won 12 conference titles in Stillwater.
After the Friday match against the Cowboys, the Aggies will host No. 21-ranked Oklahoma on Sunday, Apr. 1 beginning at 1 p.m. The Sooners open Big 12 play at Texas on Friday.