It’s been a busy week so far for Texas A&M after the Aggies knocked off #4 Baylor just two nights ago and with another big match on the horizon on Sunday against #13 South Florida it’s possible they got caught looking ahead. #28 Florida State came to College Station on Friday night and gave A&M all it wanted before “Artillery” Arthur Rinderknech saved the day with a big win at #1 singles.
Texas A&M captured the doubles point with 6-3 wins at #2 and #3 and then each team picked up three first sets in singles. Texas A&M’s AJ Catanzariti and Max Lunkin put the Aggies up 3-0 after they each picked up a straight set win over one of the Whitehurst brothers at #5 and #6 singles. Florida State answered with straight sets wins from Michael Rinaldi and Aziz Dougaz at #3 and #4 and then Marco Nunez tied it up at 3-3 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 upset win over Shane Vinsant at #2.
It all came down to #1 and it looked like it would take a third set to decide it when Florida State’s Benjamin Lock led Arthur Rinderknech 5-3 in the second. Rinderknech however had different ideas as he held for 4-5* and then broke Lock from 15-40 to even it at 5-5. Rinderknech held from 40-30 to go up 6-5 then he went up 30-40 on Lock’s serve to give himself two match points. Lock fought off the first by hitting a well placed second serve out wide and then came to the net for a volley put away. On the deciding point, Rinderknech won a 10+ shot rally by gaining control of the point and then hammering a forehand that Lock couldn’t get back in play.
#3 Texas A&M 4, #28 Florida State 3
February 5, 2016 Mitchell Tennis Center, College Station, Texas
1. #5 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.50) def. #15 Benjamin Lock (FSU 14.16), 7-5, 7-5
Steve Denton, Texas A&M Head Coach – On the Florida State match
“Florida State is a very tough team, from the top to the bottom of their lineup there are not any holes. They are really good in doubles and I thought we were fortunate to win the doubles point and after that we had a really battle on our hands, all of the matches were really close. I give a lot of credit to Florida State for coming here and really testing our team tonight. It is important for us to be able to rise up and play well when we have big matches and tough opponents. A match like tonight is great for the guy’s confidence moving forward.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s matches
“This is a tough week from a scheduling stand point, we have some tough matches on the schedule and add in that we had a double-header today and another one on Sunday. I knew that after the Baylor match on Wednesday night being such an emotional match for the team, I was proud that our guys had enough fuel in the tank to overcome a really good Florida State team. I know we will have another big battle on our hands Sunday against South Florida, I’m confident that our guys will play well.”
Post-Match Quotes from Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist via FSU’s recap:
“It was a tough match. Well played, hard fought on both sides. We had a chance to win doubles and knew it would be important. We were up 3-1 on Court 3 and lost a few close games. That was key for them getting the doubles point. We had some good starts in singles. They broke back on some of them, but I was pleased with a lot of the effort we got today. It was intense and good preparation for us moving forward to postseason. I was pleased with Marco coming back down in the third to win the match and give us a chance. Aziz and Michael both got good wins too.
On fighting back after losing the doubles point for the first time this season:
“We did a good job coming back in singles and getting up breaks early in singles. We started quick and had some good opportunities.
#9 UCLA looked very impressive last weekend against Georgia and its level didn’t drop off much today as it shutout #16 San Diego 7-0. UCLA took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #2 and then got straight set wins from Martin Redlicki, Karue Sell, and Joseph Di Giulio at #2, #4, and #6 with Joey D providing the clincher. Mackenzie McDonald, Gage Brymer, and Logan Staggs each won in three-sets at #1, #3, and #5.
UCLA heads to Charlottesville for the National Indoors next weekend but they’ll play #1 Virginia as a warm up on Tuesday.
#9 UCLA 7, #16 San Diego 0
Feb 05, 2016 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
After taking several on the chin this season, #25 Duke was finally able to deliver a knockout blow itself as it went to Knoxville and came away with a 4-3 win over #40 Tennessee.
Duke dropped the doubles point for the fourth straight match but unlike the previous three they were able to win four singles matches this time around. Nicolas Alvarez, Catalin Mateas, Vincent Lin, and Josh Levine each won in straight sets at #1, #2, #4, and #5 with Alvarez providing the clincher.
Tennessee picked up wins from Luis Valero and Srdjan Jakovljevic #3 and #6 in a losing efford.
#25 Duke 4, #40 Tennessee 3
Feb. 5, 2016 at Knoxville, Tenn. (Goodfriend Tennis Center)
1. #23 Jack Schipanski/Luis Valero (UT) def. Nicolas Alvarez/Vincent Lin (DU) 6-4
“I am really happy for our guys,” head coach Ramsey Smith said. “It was a complete team effort and I was proud of our fight out there. After a tough start to the year, Nico has really turned things around and played some great tennis under pressure tonight to clinch the match for us.”
“We got swept in doubles on the road and could have easily have gotten discouraged,” Smith said. “But we bounced back strong in the singles and rode the momentum until the end.”
“It’s a constant throughout the year, from the first day to the last day, is that you go out and play your game,” Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. “When you can’t play your game, you fight and find a way to play your game. We’re still learning that.” _________________________________________________________
#37 Memphis may want to play all its matches in Nashville going forward after going 2-0 over the last two days. Thursday night the Tigers beat #27 Vanderbilt 5-2 and then tonight they knocked off #32 Harvard 6-0 though virtually every court was a dogfight.
Memphis’s Andrew Watson and Shakeel Manji sealed the doubles point by winning the tiebreak at #3 doubles by a score of 12-10. Memphis then swept each of the five completed matches though all but one court had at least one set go to a tiebreak.
Note: Harvard’s recap shows the final as 6-1 with Lam winning by retirement at #6.
#37 Memphis 6, #32 Harvard 0
Feb. 5, 2016 at Nashville, Tenn. (Currey Tennis Center)
“It was a good couple of matches for us,” Goebel said. “Today we played a very good doubles point and carried momentum in to singles. Our energy was great and I am proud to finish strong in close matches against such well-coached teams in Vandy and Harvard.”
@teeroyhowell: KENTUCKY 🎾 goes on the road and knocks off #1 UVA 4-3. UK had lost to UVA twice last year including 4-0 in the national championship. UK got the win today despite their #1 player Liam Draxl not being in the lineup. Taha Baadi clinches for @UKMensTennis in 3rd set breaker! https://t.co/2bu3zzB2Z1