Aggies Travel to Southern California to Face Four-Time Defending Champs
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“Playing the defending national champion is always a big task, especially on the road,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They play with a championship swagger. It will be very important for us to get out of the blocks quickly tomorrow. We learned when we played them earlier this season that when we get ahead, we have to have the self-belief to close them out. I firmly believe that we will play well and compete tomorrow.”
In singles, Texas A&M is led by 52nd-ranked Jeremy Efferding with a 13-4 mark. The Boca Raton native boasts a 7-3 record over his last ten matches, including an upset of the nation’s top-ranked player in Alex Domijan from Virginia. The sophomore boasts a 4-0 record from both the No. 1 and No. 3 singles line.
77th-ranked freshman Shane Vinsant is second on the team in singles wins with a 12-5 record, including a 3-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week holds a 9-5 record from the No. 4 line.
118th-ranked Harry Adams ranks third on the team in singles wins with an 11-5 mark. Also a two-time winner of SEC Freshman of the Week, Adams holds an 8-2 record from the No. 3 line.
Jordan Szabo boasts double-digit wins with a 10-6 record on the spring. The Australian stands at 3-1 in conference play and 4-2 from the No. 6 line.
The Aggies boast a talented doubles lineup, featuring two top-15 doubles tandems. Texas A&M has only failed to claim the doubles point in four contests this season. The 13th-ranked duo of Adams and Vinsant (12-3, 5-0 SEC) and the 15th-ranked pair of Withrow and Ore (12-4, 4-1 SEC) are tied for the team lead in doubles wins. The sophomore tandem of Efferding and Szabo (9-5, 2-1 SEC) rounds out the projected doubles lineup for the Maroon and White.
The third-ranked USC Trojans enter the contest with a 16-2 mark on the spring with both losses coming against the two teams ranked ahead of them in the ITA national rankings (UCLA, Virginia). The Trojans are led by: second-ranked Emilio Gomez at 11-2 with an 8-0 record from the top singles line; ninth-ranked Ray Sarmiento with a 7-3 mark including a 2-0 record from the No. 2 singles line; 23rd-ranked Robert Quiroz at 11-3 and 9-3 from the No. 3 line; 65th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann with a perfect 9-0 record with six of those wins coming at the No. 4 line; 87th-ranked Max de Vroome with an 11-4 record and a 6-2 mark from the No. 5 line. 61st-ranked Eric Johnson rounds out the projected singles lineup for the Trojans with a 10-1 record and a perfect 3-0 mark from the No. 6 line.
The 26th-ranked duo of Hanfmann and Sarmiento lead the team from the No. 1 line with a 7-2 record and all decisions coming from the top doubles position. De Vroome and Quiroz lead the team at the No. 2 line with a 10-3 overall record and a 6-3 mark at the No. 2 position. Rounding out the projected doubles lineup for USC is the pair of Gomez and Johnson with a 5-3 mark and a 3-2 record from the No. 3 line.
The Aggies and Trojans last met earlier this season when USC handed Texas A&M its first loss on the season at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Seattle. The men of Troy took that contest, 4-0, on their way to a runner-up finish at the prestigious tournament.
The Aggies will be in action again on March 29 when they travel to Knoxville to take on the University of Tennessee. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.