Chirico edged in consolation semifinals of the at Baylor HEB Intercollegiate Invitational

Texas A&M’s Chris Chirico (pronounced CHUH-REE-co) was edged by Texas Tech’s Michael Breler, 6-3, 6-3, in the consolation semifinals of the top singles flight at the Baylor HEB Intercollegiate Invitational held Sunday afternoon at the Baylor Tennis Center.

Chirico, a junior from Philadelphia, Pa., went 3-2 at the three-day tournament after posting a 3-0 mark against top players from Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi en route to the consolation semis.

“Chris is much improved from last season and you could see it after the first day of the tournament when he played against (sixth-ranked All-American) Arnau Brugues of Tulsa in the opening round,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “He is playing a lot better tennis and will really help us out this year. (Michael) Breler just played well and didn’t make too many mistakes in today’s match.”

With the fall used as a precursor to the official spring season, Denton saw a lot of improvement in the returning players, while also gauging the development of the newcomers to the team.

“We had some good progress made by our younger players this weekend,” he said. “It was good to see them get their feet wet and gain some valuable match play. There were many positives made by everyone on the team and that’s what you are looking for early on in the season. We use the fall to identify what needs to be worked on and address them. I was a little disappointed with our doubles, but we will make adjustments and continue to work hard in practice to be successful in that area.”

The Aggies will continue fall tournament play at the D’Novo ITA All-American Championship to be held on Oct. 3-12 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Men’s Tennis Recap HEB Baylor Invitational Day 2

No. 4 seed Bruno Rosa and No. 8 seed Christoph Müller had their runs in the A flight singles come to a close Saturday as the Rice men?s tennis team wrapped up play at the HEB Baylor Invitational.

Rosa knocked off No. 13 seed Victor Kolik of Tulsa in straight sets before falling Baylor’s Jordan Rux 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Müller dropped a 6-4, 6-1 decision to No. 9 seed Blake Strode of Arkansas in the Round of 16.

“This is an extremely tough tournament but our players can improve from their performances this weekend,” head coach Ron Smarr said. “We had a couple of impressive wins, but the weekend could have been better. We’ll get back to practice and get ready for ITA All-American and South Central regional tournaments.?”

Andy Wang lost a hard-fought 7-6 (5), 6-2 match to ULL?s Arlen Domoney in the Round of 16 of the B Singles Flight.

Sam Garforth-Bles lost 6-3, 6-0 against Chris Nott of Arkansas in the A Singles Consolation.

In doubles action, Müller and Garforth-Bles were beaten 8-2 by Wisconsin’s Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka in the Round of 16 of the A Doubles Flight.

The Owls return to action as the D’Novo ITA All-American Pre-Qualifying gets underway on October 3. 

Chao Falls at Riviera/ITA Women’s All American Championships Pre-Qualifying

Rice heads to Cougar Fall Draw on October 10-12 at UH’s Hoff Courts

 Rice’s Julie Chao dropped a 7-5, 6-1 decision to Tiffany Welcher of Alabama Saturday in the opening round of Pre-Quafifying at Riviera/ITA Women’s All American Championships on the Pepperdine campus.

The Owls head to the Cougar Fall Draw on October 10-12 at UH’s Hoff Courts.

Craddock, Damico Fall at ITA All-American Championships

Longhorn duo wins in the pre-qualifying round of 16 before falling in the quarterfinals

Texas sophomore Amanda Craddock and freshman Krista Damico scored a round-of-16 doubles victory before falling in the pre-qualifying quarterfinals Sunday at the ITA All-American Championship.                 

                Craddock and Damico opened the day by defeating San Diego’s Juliette Coupez and Samantha Mouly, 8-6.  The Texas duo was unable to stave off elimination in the quarterfinals, falling by an 8-3 count to Georgia’s Cameron Ellis and Naoko Ueshima. 

                Texas junior Vanja Corovic begins play on Monday in the singles qualifying round at the ITA All-American Championship.

ITA All-American Championships

Pre-Qualifying Doubles Round of 16

Craddock/Damico (UT) def. Mouly/Coupez – 8-6

Pre-Qualifying Doubles Quarterfinals

Ellis/Ueshima (UGA) def. Craddock/Damico (UT) – 8-3

Aggie Men at Baylor Invitational

The Texas A&M men’s tennis team opens the fall season at the eighth annual Baylor HEB Intercollegiate Invitational on Sept. 26-28 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco, Texas.

The three-day tournament will feature 22 players currently ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason rankings including senior All-American and team captain Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas), who is ranked 17th nationally in singles. He is among five returners from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad which includes junior Chris Chirico (Philadelphia, Pa.), sophomore Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas), sophomore All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) and sophomore Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.). Krajicek and Spencer are also ranked No. 97 and No. 102 respectively.

“We are looking forward to competing this weekend,” said Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton who enters his third season in Aggieland. “The HEB Invitational is consistently a strong tournament field with top players from the Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and schools in our region. It will give our players the opportunity to face some of the best players in the nation early on in the season.”

There are some new and old faces to the tennis program with the additions of local freshman product Austin Klores (Franklin, Texas), freshman Colin Hoover (Victoria, Texas), sophomore Patrick Dean (Dallas, Texas) and junior Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas), who returns to the team after serving a two-year Mormon mission.

“First and foremost, we really have great team chemistry this year,” Denton said. “That’s going to help us out a lot combined with our strong work ethic. Our players are coming to work every day in practice with a lot of excitement and focus. We are on track to have a really good season based on our preseason practices.”

Pollock and Krajicek, the top-seeded doubles tandem in the field, are ranked No. 4 nationally, while teammates Spencer and Chirico are ranked No. 45. Pollock and Krajicek are looking to continue their success from the 2007-08 season, which saw the pair reach the NCAA Doubles Championship semifinals for the first time in school history.

A&M is one of 19 schools to have players competing in the tournament draw along with host Baylor, Fresno State, Nevada, Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UT Arlington, Portland, Texas, Air Force, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas, UTSA, New Mexico State, Rice and TCU.

Play begins on Friday and concludes on Sunday. The tournament will consist of two 64-player singles draws, flights A and B, as well as a 32-team doubles draws in both flights A and B.

Texas Men’s Preview–HEB Classic

Juniors Olivier Sajous and Josh Zavala and sophomore Ed Corrie heading to three-day event

WHAT:  The H-E-B Baylor Invitational, a three-day event featuring one 64-player “A” singles draw, one 32-player “B” singles draw, one 32-team “A” doubles draw and one 16-team “B” doubles draw.

WHEN:  Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28 – all day, each day

WHERE:  Baylor Tennis Center – Waco, Texas

WHO:  Texas juniors Olivier Sajous and Josh Zavala and sophomore Ed Corrie will represent the Longhorns in Waco.  The Longhorn trio will join 22 ranked singles players at the event.  Players from 20 schools will be competing this weekend.

LAST TIME OUT:  Texas picked up 15 singles and doubles victories at the Olympia Fields Invitational from Sept. 19-21 in Olympia Fields, Ill.  Junior transfer Olivier Sajous picked up three singles victories in his Texas debut. 

Texas Women’s Preview–ITA All-American

Horns kick off 2008-09 season at the ITA All-American Championships

WHAT:  Texas begins fall tournament play at the ITA All-American Championships, one of three individual national championship events on the 2008-09 schedule.

WHERE:  Pre-qualifying rounds at Pepperdine University – Malibu, Calif.

Qualifying and main draw rounds at the Riviera Tennis Club – Pacific Palisades, Calif.

WHEN:  Pre-qualifying singles and doubles rounds on Sept. 27-28; qualifying singles and doubles rounds from Sept. 30-Oct. 1; main draw play from Oct. 2-5

WHO:  Junior Vanja Corovic is slated to compete in the singles qualifying draw and the doubles qualifying draw with senior Marija Milic.  Junior Stephanie Davison and sophomores Caroline Larsson, Amanda Craddock, and Maggie Mello are set to compete in the singles pre-qualifying draw.  Davison will join Larsson in the doubles pre-qualifying draw, where Craddock will team up with freshman Krista Damico.  Mello will team up with junior Sarah Lancaster.

ITA RANKINGS UPDATE:  Junior Vanja Corovic ranks 45th in the ITA preseason singles rankings.  Corovic and senior Marija Milic rank No. 12 in the ITA preseason doubles rankings. 

Aggie Women Final Day at Milwaukee Tennis Classic

The Texas A&M women’s tennis team won four of seven singles matches and two of three doubles matches on the final day of the 33rd Annual Milwaukee Tennis Classic, hosted by Marquette University and the Western Racquet Club.


“This tournament showed what we need to work on, which is exactly what these fall tournaments are meant to do,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “We got a lot out of the tournament, and we know what we need to work on to get stronger.”


The Aggies opened the final day taking on Alabama in singles. Freshman Sheri Olivier highlighted singles play for the Aggies, defeating Meritt Emery, 6-4, 1-6, 10-7, to go undefeated in the tournament at the No. 4 line. In addition, Kleinecke complimented Aggie freshman Lauren Santacroce, who had a come-from-behind victory in the final match at the No. 5 line after losing the first set and also trailing in the tiebreaker.


“I was proud of Sheri for winning all of her singles matches this weekend, and for Lauren for showing good composure and being able to handle the pressure and come away with the win,” Kleinecke said.


In doubles, Christi Liles and Elzé Potgieter were crowned tournament doubles champions after defeating Marquette’s Paola Calderon and Gilian Hush, 8-4, at the No. 1 line. Santacroce and Ashley Turpin picked up the other win for the Aggies, defeating Maggie Wilson and Elly Strother, 8-2, at the No. 3 line.


“Coming into the tournament, I didn’t know where we would be in doubles,” Kleinecke said, “and to win two of three of the doubles matches each day was a great accomplishment, especially with Stephanie Davidson (illness) being out of the lineup. I was proud of Elzé and Christi for winning all three of their doubles matches.”


The Aggies return to competition Oct. 10 and 11, with several players competing in the Midland Invitational in Midland, Texas, and the other competing in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.


Day 3 Results

Alabama vs. Texas A&M (singles)

Tiffany Welcher (ALA) def. Elzé Potgieter (A&M), 3-6, 6-2, 10-4

Paulina Bigos (ALA) def. Morgan Frank (A&M), 6-4, 7-6

Christi Liles (A&M) def. Alice Tunaru (ALA), 6-3, 6-2

Sheri Oliver (A&M) def. Meritt Emery (ALA), 6-4, 1-6, 10-7

Lauren Santacroce (A&M) def. Shelley Godwin (ALA), 5-7, 6-3, 10-8

Taylor Lindsey (ALA) def. Ashley Turpin (A&M), 6-4, 6-3

Christina Amo (A&M) def. Bianca Svensson (ALA), 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 


Texas A&M vs. Marquette

Liles/Potgieter (A&M) def. Calderon/G. Hush (MU), 8-4

R. Hush/Metzler (MU) def. Frank/Olivier (A&M), 8-7

Santacroce/Turpin (A&M) def. Wilson/Strother (MU), 8-2

Longhorn Men at Final Day of Olympia Fields Invitational

Longhorns Add Four Wins on Final Day of Olympia Fields Invitational

UT junior transfer Olivier Sajous completes successful weekend with straight-set win over Florida State’s Clint Bowles

Capped by junior transfer Olivier Sajous’ straight-set victory over Florida State’s Clint Bowles, Texas wrapped up play with four victories Sunday at the Olympia Fields Invitational.

Sajous posted a 7-5, 6-4 win over FSU’s Bowles, and junior Jon Wiegand added a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 win over Illinois’ Ruan Roelofse.  Junior Josh Zavala chipped in a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Illinois’ Billy Heiser.

Wiegand and senior Miguel Reyes Varela tacked on an 8-2 doubles victory over Florida State’s Chris Cloer and Bowles.

Texas resumes play on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Baylor Invitational in Waco.

Olympia Fields Invitational


Wiegand/Reyes Varela (UT) def. Clint Bowles/Chris Cloer (FSU) – 8-2

Abe Souza/Jordan Knue (ILL) def. Schellenberg/Zavala (UT) – 8-5

Roy Kalmanovich/Waylon Chin (ILL) def. Sajous/Kane-West (UT) – 8-5



Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. Miguel Reyes Varela (UT) – 6-0, 7-5

Olivier Sajous (UT) def. Clint Bowles (FSU) – 7-5, 6-4

Calon Alpar (ILL) def. Jonah Kane-West (UT) – 6-4, 6-2

Jon Wiegand (UT) def. Ruan Roelofse (ILL) – 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4

Andrew Bailey (FSU) def. Rook Schellenberg (UT) – 7-6, 5-7, 6-4

Josh Zavala (UT) def. Billy Heiser (ILL) – 6-7, 6-3, 6-4

Rice Men Day 2 and 3 at ULL Fall Invitational

Day 3

The Rice men’s tennis completed the opening weekend of the fall season Sunday at the Ramada Inn-LCVC ULL Fall Invitational.

Vishnu Rajam resumed his B Flight quarterfinal match at 2-2 in the third set against Oscar Machuca of Southern Miss. Maschuca won four of five game to claim 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 victory.

Tobias Scheil’s bid for the A Flight finals came up short as top-seeded Piotr Banas of ULL edged out a 7-5, 6-4 win.

The Owls head to the Baylor Invitational next weekend. 

Day 2

Tobias Scheil notched a pair of straight-set victories and advanced to the A Flight singles semifinals Saturday at the Ramada Inn-LCVC ULL Fall Invitational.

Scheil took down Nicholls State’s Eric Fischer 6-3, 6-1 before dismissing LSU’s Jonathan Tragardh by the count of 6-4, 6-3.

Down a set and a break, Dennis Polyakov rallied to turn the tables on ULL’s Piotr Olechowski. The Houston native won 12 of the last 13 games for the 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 triumph. Polyakov’s bid for the semifinals fell short as Memphis’ Jorge Vasquez picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win.

In the B singles flight, Vishnu Rajam knocked off LSU’s David Roberts 6-4, 6-3. Rajam’s quarterfinal match against Oscar Machuca of Southern Miss was paused at 6-7 (2), 6-4, 2-2 due to rain.

Singles action continues Sunday, while doubles play has been cancelled.