Aggies defeat Vandy to advance to quarterfinals
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 21 Texas A&M men's tennis team survived a second-round thriller versus No. 71 Vanderbilt to earn a 4-3 victory and advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, where it will face No. 6 South Carolina, Friday, April 21, at the Yarbrough Tennis Center, with first serve set for 6 p.m.
The Aggies (17-10, 8-5 SEC) advanced thanks to Giulio Perego's heroics on court 2. For the second time this season, the sophomore secured a come-from-behind victory as the teams were tied 3-3, to win the match and punch A&M's ticket to the quarterfinals.
The Maroon & White started the match with Vanderbilt (8-17, 3-11 SEC) strong in doubles play. On court 1, underdog duo No. 71 Matthis Ross/Pierce Rollins upset their third ranked pair in the last four matches, topping No. 19 Siim Troost/Jeremie Casabon (6-3). Raphael Perot/Kenner Taylor ensured the advantage at the break, as the duo bested Macsen Sisam/Joubert Klopper (6-3) on court 3, which gave the Maroon & White the early lead.
Headed into singles play, Vanderbilt evened the score with a win on court 6. Answering back was No. 64 Perot, as he faced the Commodores' Nathan Cox. The pair traded early games, however, Perot turned on the gas and claimed the opening frame, 6-2. Refusing to slow his momentum, he repeated his opening set score to claim the match (6-2, 6-2), as A&M led 2-1.
Doubling the advantage for the Maroon & White was JC Roddick, as he battled Sisam on court 6. Roddick fought back from an early deficit to start the match, carrying that charge to steal the opening set, 6-3. The duo traded blows in the second, as they were knotted at 5. However, it was Roddick who would down Sisam (6-3, 7-5) and claim the point.
With the Commodores knotting the match at three-all, the Aggies' hopes fell on Perego as he faced Klopper. Despite dropping the opening set, 6-2, he showed his quality in the second, as he bounced back to tie the match at one set each following a 6-4 frame. With the pair traded points, meeting at six games all as the match was decided by a tiebreaker. With experience in this situation earlier in the year, it was Perego who was able to outlast Klopper to take the set and match for A&M (2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1)).
Fans can follow the team in the quarterfinals through Auburn's live stream,
while live stats are available all week through Auburn's website.
No. 64 Raphael Perot Def. Nathan Cox (6-2, 6-2)
Giulio Perego Def. Joubert Klopper (2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1))
Michael Ross Def. Guido Marson (6-4, 6-4)
Siim Troost Def. Trey Hilderbrand (6-4, 3-6, 7-5)
Jeremie Casabon Def. Luke Casper (6-2, 6-0)
JC Roddick Def. Macsen Sisam (6-3, 7-5)
Matthis Ross/Pierce Rollins Def. No. 19 Siim Troost/Jeremie Casabon (6-3)
Trey Hilderbrand/Giulio Perego - Michael Ross/Nathan Cox (5-4) unfinished
Kenner Taylor/Raphael Perot Def. Joubert Klopper/Macsen Sisam (6-3)
- Raphael Perot has tallied the most singles wins in dual matches on the team with 16.
- Noah Schachter and Raphael Perot pace A&M with five ranked wins in dual matches this season.
- Rahul Dhokia and Kenner Taylor hold perfect 4-0 records in dual match singles play.
- Schachter/Trey Hilderbrand lead A&M with 13 dual match doubles wins.
- Every Aggie to take part in a dual match this season has secured a singles win (12 players).
- Noah Schachter boasts two top-30 singles wins so far this season.
- The Maroon & White have won 10 ranked matches this season, four of those have been the top 25.
- The team jumped from No. 24 to No. 21 in the team rankings.
- Ranked in singles: No. 50 Noah Schachter, No. 64 Raphael Perot, No. 110 Trey Hilderbrand and No. 125 Pierce Rollins.
- Ranked in doubles: No. 39 Schachter/Hilderbrand and No. 71 Rollins/Matthis Ross