No. 13 Texas A&M edges No. 14 Men's Tennis, 4-3 in State Farm Lone Star Showdown
April 16, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 14 Texas (16-5, 3-2 Big 12) took a hard-fought doubles point and added wins from sophomore Kellen Damico and Olivier Sajous, but No. 13 Texas A&M (14-7, 5-1 Big 12) proved to be too much in a 4-3 victory over the Longhorns Thursday evening in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown at Texas A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center.
Texas A&M collects the men’s tennis point in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown, but Texas continues to lead Texas A&M in the season-long standings, 8.5-5.0. The Aggies’ victory snaps Texas’ six-match winning streak that dated back to 2006.
The Aggies opened the doubles session with a victory at the first slot, but the Longhorns rallied with wins at the second and third positions to nail down the doubles point. Texas A&M’s Conor Pollock and Austin Krajicek opened with an 8-4 win at first doubles over Texas sophomores Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico, before UT registered its pair of wins.
Juniors Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala responded with an 8-4 win at second doubles over Alexey Grigorov and Colin Hoover before a Longhorns rally at third doubles sealed the doubles point for Texas. UT senior Miguel Reyes Varela and junior Olivier Sajous found themselves in a hole early on at third doubles against the Aggies’ Wil Spencer and Marcus Lunt, but the Horns rallied to take an 8-6 win to clinch the doubles point.
Texas A&M responded with a pair of singles wins to take a 2-1 lead. Krajicek defeated Corrie by a 6-2, 6-2 count at second singles, and Hoover posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over Zavala at sixth singles. Later in the match, Grigorov hung on for a 7-5, 6-3 win over UT’s Reyes Varela at fourth singles to push the A&M lead to 3-1.
Texas’ Damico suffered a first-set defeat to Spencer at third singles before roaring back to take the next two sets and finish off his match to pull the Longhorns within 3-2. Damico prevailed by a 6-3 count in the second set, and Damico broke Spencer’s service late in the final set to assume a 6-4 victory and improve to 4-0 in dual matches against Texas A&M.
After dropping a tight first set by a 7-5 count to Pollock at first singles, Texas’ Kutrovsky cruised to a 6-1 second-set win to force an extra set. Pollock broke Kutrovsky’s service only to see Kutrovsky pull within 5-4. But, Pollock picked up the set’s final game shortly after Damico’s win to clinch his match and seal the team victory for the Aggies, as Texas A&M assumed an insurmountable 4-2 lead.
In the remaining match at fifth singles, A&M’s Marcus Lunt took the first off of UT’s Olivier Sajous, 7-5, but Sajous would win a tiebreaker in the next set, 7-3, to force an additional set, which was played in a 10-point tiebreak format given that the team victor had been decided. In the tiebreak, Sajous was victorious by the slimmest of margins, 10-8, to secure UT’s second singles win and the final team point of the match.
Texas wraps up its regular season on Sunday, April 19 when it hosts Nebraska on Senior Day at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center. Texas seniors Miguel Reyes Varela and Jonah Kane-West will be recognized shortly before the match, which gets underway at 2 p.m. Central.
On Kellen Damico’s win at #3 singles: Kellen fought back after being a little distracted in the first set. But, he regrouped and played tough second and third sets. He tried to rally the team with a really good performance against an outstanding player.