As the sun set Wednesday night on the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, so did the men’s tennis team’s hopes for a victory against a state rival.
The No. 34-ranked tennis squad lost its first home match of the season to No. 14 Texas A&M University, 4-3. The men’s record now stands at 1-4 for spring dual matches. The road won’t get any easier, as the team will play each of their next seven matches against teams with national rankings of No. 56 or better, including five top-26 squads.
After starting out strong, winning the doubles matches and gaining a point in the overall score, the men only won two out of six singles matches.
Head coach Dave Borelli said the biggest reason for the loss was the team’s less-than-stellar showing in the singles portion of the matches.
“They got on top of us early, and I was disappointed in the play of a couple matches,” Borelli said.
Borelli said that although he was disappointed in the loss, especially among the players at bottom of the lineup, the team performed much better overall than they did against the University of Oklahoma in their previous match.
Sophomore Zach Nichols, who won his singles and doubles matches, said it was frustrating to lose to the Aggies, especially since this marks the second year in a row they lost to a rival team.
“It’s always fun to play A&M; it pumps a lot of people up.” Nichols said. “I thought we were going to get a win, but there’s a reason why they’re one of the best 15 schools in the nation.”
Senior Kriegler Brink, who won his singles and doubles matches, said the inconsistent singles play stems from a lack of mental confidence among some players.
“Some guys are in a slump in singles,” Brink said. “So if they can get out of that and play a little bit more loosely … then I think we’ll be better.”
The team’s next match is scheduled for Feb. 21 on the road against the University of Tulsa.