HOUSTON, Texas - The 15th ranked Texas A&M men's tennis team improved to 6-0 on the year after defeating 56th ranked Rice, 6-1, at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium this afternoon in Houston. With the loss, Rice falls to 2-4 on the season. The Aggies match their best start in 14 seasons when the 1999 team also started 6-0.
"This team has been road warriors over the last few weeks," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "I was very pleased with how we fought and competed today both in singles and doubles. We had an opportunity to get Niall (Angus) and Behzad (Minavi) some playing time today which will pay dividends down the road. I know the guys are excited about getting to play our home opener against Ohio State on Sunday in front of the 12th Man. It should be an exciting match."
Texas A&M got off to another quick start as the duo of Jordan Szabo and Jeremy Efferding defeated Phillip Seifert and Gustavo Gonzalez, 8-3, from the No. 2 doubles line. Moments later, Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow bested Tommy Bennett and Adam Gustafsson, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point for Texas A&M.
The tandem of Ore and Withrow now lead the team in wins at 5-0 while Szabo and Efferding are close behind at 4-0.
Freshmen Shane Vinsant kept the Aggies momentum rolling into singles play by quickly defeating Phillip Seifert, 6-0, 6-2, at the No. 3 position to increase Texas A&M's lead to 2-0. Shortly after, 87th ranked sophomore Jordan Szabo overwhelmed Gustavo Gonzalez, 6-1, 6-2, from the No. 5 slot to boost the lead to 3-0. Texas A&M was able to clinch the match behind the racket of junior Junior Ore when he beat Adam Gustaffson, 6-3, 6-2, from the No. 2 line. The Aggies were able to expand their lead to 5-0 when sophomore Behzad Minavi defeated Leif Berger, 6-4, 6-1, from the No. 6 position. Rice claimed its lone point on the afternoon when Tommy Bennett outlasted sophomore Jackson Withrow, 6-7 (4), 6-0, 1-0 (10-7), at the No. 4 line. 103rd ranked sophomore Jeremy Efferding rounded out the day with a win by defeating Jonathan Chang, 7-6 (5), 6-2, at the No. 1 position.
Efferding (5-0), Szabo (5-0) and Vinsant (5-1) all improved their record and are tied for the team lead in singles wins while Ore is nipping at their heels with a 4-0 record. Withrow drops to 4-1 with the loss today and Minavi improved to 2-0.
Texas A&M hosts No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday for its home opener on Sunday. First serve is slated for noon at the George P. Mitchell Center. To learn more about the Texas A&M men's tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.
#15 Texas A&M def. #56 Rice, 6-1
No. 1 - #103 Jeremy Efferding, A&M def. Jonathan Chang, Rice 7-6 (5), 6-2
No. 2 - Junior Ore, A&M def. Adam Gustafsson, Rice 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 - Shane Vinsant, A&M def. Phillip Seifert, Rice 6-0, 6-2
No. 4 - Tommy Bennett, Rice def. Jackson Withrow, A&M 6-7 (4), 6-0, 1-0 (10-7)
No. 5 - #87 Jordan Szabo, A&M def. Gustavo Gonzalez, Rice 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 - Behzad Minavi, A&M def. Leif Berger, Rice 6-4, 6-1
No. 1 - Ore/Withrow, A&M def. Bennett/Gustaffson, Rice 8-6
No. 2 - Szabo/Efferding, A&M def. Seifert, Gonzalez, Rice 8-3
No. 3 - Vinsant/Angus, A&M vs. Chang/Berger, Rice 7-6, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles 2, 1 Singles 3, 5, 2, 6, 4, 1
Texas A&M (6-0), Rice (2-4)