Monday, 04 March 2019 02:52

Sunday Recap: Texas A&M Knocks Off Alabama; Texas Toughs Out Win Over Georgia; Mississippi State Women Get Historic First Against Florida

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Sunday was an exciting day with several close matches coming down to the wire and many of them took place in the Southeast. Texas A&M (NR/#24) isn't accustomed to being unranked in the ITA rankings at this point in the season but after Sunday's win at #20/#25 Alabama the Aggies will be back in the ITA Top 50 by Tuesday. 

The Aggies jumped out to the early 1-0 lead with doubles wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the teams split opening sets in singles. Texas A&M's Valentin Vacherot extended the lead to 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 3 but Alabama answered with straight set wins from Mazen Osama and Jeremy Gschwendtner at No. 1 and No. 6. 

Texas A&M went back in front 3-2 after a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 win by Barnaby Smith at No. 4 but Alabama had the leads on both of the remaining courts. Crimson Tide sophomore Riccardo Roberto evened the match with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win at No. 5 and junior Edson Ortiz led 4-1 in the third against Texas A&M sophomore Hady Habib. Habib rallied to win four straight to take a 5-4 lead but then got broke serving for the match and Ortiz followed that up with a hold for 6-5. Habib went down 15/40 on his next service game but fought off all three match points to force a tiebreak and then after dropping the first two points he'd win the last seven to close it out. Texas A&M improved to 15-0 all-time against Alabama. 

"I thought our guys played a very solid match and stayed the course in a real seesaw battle against a very tough minded opponent in Alabama," Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. "Hady served his way out of trouble late in the third set against a really tough in form player in Edson Ortiz who was undefeated this spring. The match was played at a high level in the third set and after being 2-0 down in the deciding tiebreaker, Hady raised his level at that moment and put the team on his back to secure the match. We couldn't be happier for the team after all of the work they have put in the last month."

Habib, a sophomore from Houston, outlasted Alabama's Edson Ortiz on court two to secure the team victory. The right-hander claimed the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set with the same score. Serving down 5-6 and 15-40, Habib reeled off an ace followed by a couple service winners to force the tiebreaker. Once in the tiebreaker, Habib never looked back and surged to a 7-2 result clinching the win for the visitors.

"When I was down 15-40 on my serve I was obviously a bit tight, but trusted the work that the team has collectively put in," Texas A&M's Habib said. "That trust loosened me up and I was able to play my best tennis to get through that game and win the match."

"Super effort from our guys," said head coach George Husack. "I felt like the doubles were edgy. This is a very good team; Texas A&M has done very well over the years. They expected to come in here and beat us, but I thought we put up a great effort today. Overall, it came down to the end and we had opportunities. They played big, and that's the way college tennis goes."

Texas A&M 4, #20 Alabama 3
3/3/2019 at Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Alabama Tennis Stadium)
Singles competition
1. #32 Mazen Osama (UA) def. #121 Juan Carlos Aguilar (TAMU) 7-5, 6-2
2. Hady Habib (TAMU) def. Edson Ortiz (UA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2)
3. #47 Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. #108 Patrick Kaukovalta (UA) 6-3, 6-0
4. #66 Barnaby Smith (TAMU) def. Alexey Nesterov (UA) 6-1, 3-6, 6-0
5. Riccardo Roberto (UA) def. Noah Schachter (TAMU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Jeremy Gschwendtner (UA) def. #105 Austin Abbrat (TAMU) 6-0, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Barnaby Smith (TAMU) def. Mazen Osama/Patrick Kaukovalta (UA) 6-4
2. Valentin Vacherot/Austin Abbrat (TAMU) def. Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (UA) 6-1
3. Edson Ortiz/Riccardo Roberto (UA) vs. Hady Habib/Alex Vedri (TAMU) 4-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
Texas A&M 8-3
Alabama 11-3; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,6,1,4,5,2)
T-3:15 A-110


Georgia is also accustomed to be unranked at this point in the season and while they'll probably enter next week after beating Tennessee on Friday they won't be as high as they'd like after Texas held on to pick up a nice 4-2 win in Athens. Due to rain in the forecast singles was played first but with all but one match early in the second set the rain would come early and force play indoors. The four matches that were the furthest along were started first and within 10 minutes two would go final with Texas's Christian Sigsgaard winning 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 (led 6-3, *2-1 40/0 before delay) and Georgia's Walker Duncan winning 6-1, 6-3 at No. 6 (led 6-1, 2-1* 0/40 before delay). 

Texas senior Colin Markes put the Horns in front with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 5 (Markes led 6-2, *1-2 before the delay). Texas junior Yuya Ito was up 6-3, *0-3 before the delay and despite getting it back to 5-5 in the second he'd drop the set 7-5 to Emil Reinberg. Ito would put the hammer down in the final set and open up a 4-1 lead and cruise to a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 win which would put the Horns a point away at 3-1. 

Georgia freshman Philip Henning kept the Dawgs in it with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 4 which meant the only thing between a winner-takes-all doubles point was a third set at No. 3 between Texas senior Leo Telles and Georgia freshman Trent Bryde. Telles dropped the opening set 7-5 after coming back from 0-4 down to even it at 5-5 but he rolled through the second set 6-1. Telles opened up a 5-2 lead in the third but Bryde held, broke, and held on the deciding point to even it at 5-5. Telles held from 40/15 for 6-5 and then he broke from 30/40 to win it after Bryde netted a volley from close range. 

"It's a tough place to play," Texas head coach Michael Center said. "We started outside and started with singles, and then moved inside where the fans are right on top of you, but we brought a lot of energy. Some guys played better than others, but we played well as a group and competed. If we compete, that's all we can ask, and we were able to get the win. Georgia has a great program and are a tremendous home team, so we wanted to take on the challenge and compete to our best ability. We knew would it be a tough one and it was. I'm glad we stood up to it."

"Texas was a great team today, they're very physical and they played more aggressively than we did on the big points, and that was the difference," Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. "I'm very pleased with our freshmen, and I'm very pleased with Walker Duncan coming through today, beating a good player at No. 6."

#3 Texas 4, Georgia 2
March 3, 2019 at Athens, Ga (Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts)
Singles – Order of Finish (1,6,5,2,4,3)
1. #8 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) def. #5 Jan Zielinski (UGA), 6-3, 6-2
2. #12 Yuya Ito (UT) def. #19 Emil Reinberg (UGA), 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
3. #67 Leonardo Telles (UT) def. Trent Bryde (UGA), 5-7, 6-1, 7-5
4. #85 Philip Henning (UGA) def. #59 Harrison Scott (UT), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Colin Markes (UT) def. #110 Robert Loeb (UGA), 6-2, 6-4
6. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT), 6-1, 6-3


Mississippi State and Florida have been playing each other yearly since 1983 but heading into Sunday's match in Gainesville the series had been completely one-sided with Florida owning a 38-0 record. We can now replace the 0 with a 1 because Mississippi State came storming back from 3-1 down to knock off Florida 4-3.

The Gators jumped out to that 3-1 lead with the doubles point and straight set wins Ida Jarlskog and Anastasia Kharitonova at No. 1 and No. 5 while MSU got a straight set win from Emma Antonaki at No. 2. 

MSU's Anastasia Rentouli cut the deficit to 3-2 with a 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 3 and Meredith Roberts tied it at 3-3 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6. Seconds after the Roberts win, MSU freshman Tamara Racine would complete her comeback from 1-4 down in the third set to clinch with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win at No. 4.

"That was a huge win for us, obviously, the first time we've beaten the Gators," Mississippi State head coach Daryl Greenan said. "I'm extremely proud of my girls. They just did a lot of things that we've been preaching, and they did them at big moments."

"They stepped up," Greenan continued. "We had some huge comebacks, and we had some upsets. If anything, [dropping the close doubles point] gave us even more belief that we could play with Florida, at Florida. It's a huge win for us. Our girls deserved it."

Quotes from the Court - Florida Head Coach Roland Thornqvist

On takeaways from the match…"There's no way to sugarcoat it. Today was a huge set back. We had leads on many courts and there was no sense of urgency. There were too many free points. We had very poor discipline in our play and all of a sudden found ourselves with our back against the wall. At that point, the momentum shifted and it's a big set back. I don't know if there's any way that anyone can spin anything positive out of this."
On moving forward…"It's going to be very interesting. This is a locker-room issue. If we have good leadership, I'd guess we'll be playing pretty well on Friday. If we are lacking in the leadership aspect, then we'll see a snowball effect."
On the lack of experience…"There's a lot of things you can point to as youth. I'm not so sure this is youth. This place requires a lot of you and players have to find ways to deal with that."
On the positives of this match…"Obviously we continue to play better in doubles and Kharitonova continues to ride her streak here. After a match like this, it's really difficult to see anything positive."

Mississippi State 4, #43 Florida 3
March 3, 2019 at Gainesville, Fla. - Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex
Doubles (Order of finish: 2,1)
1. Victoria Emma/McCartney Kessler (UF) def. Magda Adaloglou/Tamara Racine (MSU) 6-4
2. Tsveta Dimitrova/Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Emma Antonaki/Anastasia Rentouli (MSU) 6-4
3. Janina Braun/Sara Lizariturry (MSU) vs. Anastasia Kharitonova/Marlee Zein (UF) 6-5 (susp.)
Singles (Order of finish: 5,2,1,3,6,4)
1. No. 12 Jarlskog (UF) def. No. 89 Adaloglou (MSU) 6-3, 7-6(2)
2. No. 104 Antonaki (MSU) def. No. 33 Kessler (UF) 6-3, 7-5
3. Rentouli (MSU) def. No. 52 Emma (UF) 0-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. Racine (MSU) def. Zein (UF) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
5. Kharitonova (UF) def. Braun (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Meredith Roberts (MSU) def. Katie Kubicz (UF) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3


Other Men's Results:

  • #2 Wake Forest won at Duke 7-0 - Deacs won 12 of 13 sets in singles - Gojo played No. 1 
  • #9 Columbia def. #39 Tulane 7-0 - Lions won 12 of 13 sets in singles
  • #10/#8 Florida def. #42 Arkansas 6-1 - Gators won 10 of 13 sets in singles - Arky's lone point came from Oscar Mesquida at No. 1
  • #12/#7 TCU def. #11/#13 Illinois 4-0 - Horned Frogs rolled through dubs and won in straights at 2, 4, and 5. Illinois led at 1 & 3 while #6 never got started (played indoors on five courts)
  • #17/#20 Minnesota def. #43 Drake 6-1 - Gophers took dubs and won in straights at 2 and 3 and in three sets at 4, 5, and 6. Drake's lone point came from Vinny Gillespie at No. 1. 
  • #24/#18 Oklahoma def. #21/#17 Florida State 4-1 - Sooners took dubs and got straight set wins at 2, 5, and 6 while FSU won in straights at 1. Neither OU's Spencer Papa or FSU's Aziz Dougaz played in singles
  • #27 Vanderbilt won at #30 Ole Miss 4-1 - Commodores dropped the dubs point but won in straights at 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • #34 South Carolina won at #45 Tulsa 5-2 - Gamecocks took dubs and won in straights at 1, 2, and 6 with a three set win at 5
  • UCF def. #29 Miami FL 4-0 - Knights won the final College MatchDay of the season with the dubs point and a straight set win at 2 and three set wins at 4 and 5. 
  • #38 Texas Tech def. Iowa 5-2 & Nebraska 6-1 
  • Charlotte won at #49 Georgia State 4-3 - 49ers dropped dubs but won four singles matches with Alejandro Garcia Moreno clinching 6-1 in the third at 5
  • Clemson def. Georgia Tech 4-3 - Simon Baudry won the decider at No. 2 singles 6-1, 7-5 (all matches finished in straight sets


Other Women's Results

  • #1/#2 North Carolina def. Louisville 4-0 - Heels won every completed set in singles
  • #6 Vanderbilt def. #41 Arkansas 6-1 - Dores won dubs and 10 of 13 sets in singles
  • #7/#12 Kansas won at Oregon 7-0 - Jayhawks won 10 of 12 sets in singles with Oregon forfeiting at No. 6
  • #10/#8 South Carolina def. Ole Miss 4-0 - Gamecocks won 8 of 10 sets in singles 
  • #11/#14 NC State def. #44 Notre Dame 5-2 - Pack dropped dubs but won at 1 through 5 in singles with two of those in straights and the other three in three sets
  • #12/#15 LSU def. #34 Auburn 4-1 - LSU sophomore Eden Richardson clinched 6-4 in the third at 1 - the other two matches were tight (6-6 in third on 4; AU up 5-4 in third on 5)
  • #14/#10 Ohio State def. #46 Baylor 5-2 - Buckeyes took dubs and picked up quick straight set wins at 3, 5, and 6 to make it 4-0
  • #25/#21 Kentucky def. #39 Missouri 4-1 - Cats took dubs and won in straights at 2, 3, and 4
  • #28 Oklahoma def. Purdue 4-2 & UMKC 4-1 - OU's Martina Capurro clinched the Purdue match with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 2 - Sooners led 4-1 in third on other courts
  • #33 Wake Forest def. #20/#16 Virginia 5-2 - Deacs won dubs and added three straight set wins in singles plus one in three sets
  • #35 Georgia Tech def. #27 Syracuse 4-3 - GT led 4-0 before Syracuse won the final three courts


***All quotes are from the respective school's recaps

If there are two rankings listed the first ranking is the ITA ranking and the second is the USTA rankings

Read 506 times Last modified on Monday, 04 March 2019 10:48

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