The 10th-ranked and second-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team pulled off the season trifecta of No. 49-ranked and seventh-seeded Oklahoma State with a 4-0 shutout in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big 12 Tennis Championship held Friday afternoon at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
The Aggies (22-5) defeated the Cowboys (8-13) for the third-straight time this season by claiming the doubles point early and three straight-set performances in singles play from sophomore Colin Hoover (Victoria, Texas), sophomore Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) and junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.). It took a little under two and a half hours to complete the match, after a slight delay from the original noon start time due to light drizzle.
A&M will face seventh-ranked and third-seeded Baylor (21-5) tomorrow in the semifinals at noon (CT), while top-seeded and third-ranked Texas (23-2) squares off against No. 15-ranked and fourth-seeded Texas Tech (21-4). The Aggies have now advanced to the semifinals in each of the last three years under head coach Steve Denton and assistant coach Bob McKinley.
Hoover and freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) combined for an 8-2 victory over Maximilian Kuhn and Ilija Martinoski to improve their record to 4-0 on the season at No. 3 doubles, while the No. 43-ranked tandem of junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) and senior co-captain Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) raised their record to 7-1 with an 8-5 win over Anton Bobytskyi and Eric West at No. 2 to give A&M the early 1-0 advantage.
“We got off to a good start in doubles which spring-boarded our effort in singles,” Denton said. “I felt like we responded well in our first match of the tournament. We were back to our old selves and did not give up any free points. We did a good job of staying on top of them today. It’s important to not have a lot of long matches when you potentially could play three matches in three days, so you need to be able to rest your guys as much as possible. I thought we were able to accomplish that today by taking care of OSU in straight sets.”
Colin Hoover, who clinched several key matches last season for the Aggies, has provided a spark after replacing freshman Niall Angus (London, England) in the lineup in the last two matches. He quickly dispatched Oklahoma State’s Maximilian Kuhn, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6 singles followed by Frenchman Alexis Klegou, who gave up only three games to Eric West, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 4. Jeff Dadamo, ranked No. 44 nationally in the latest Campbell/ITA rankings, sealed the first-round victory with a 6-4, 6-1 tally over No. 112-ranked Anton Bobytskyi at the No. 2 line.
The Aggies last beat Baylor, ranked No. 9 nationally in both team’s last meeting, by a count of 6-1 during the regular season on April 7 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. It marked A&M’s first victory over the seven-time defending Big 12 Tournament champion Bears since 2006.
“We know we will have to raise our level of play tomorrow to have a chance at making the finals,” Denton said. “Baylor has been playing well and is a dangerous team, so we know it’s going to be a really close match.”
All-session passes to the 2010 Big 12 Championship are available for purchase at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center priced at $10 for adults and $5 for youth, while day passes are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.
Live scoring for all Big 12 Championship matches will be available at www.TexasSports.com.
(10) TEXAS A&M 4, (49) OKLAHOMA STATE 0
Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship Quarterfinals
April 30, 2010
Penick-Allison Tennis Center
at Austin, Texas
No. 1 – (7) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) vs. (5) Oleksandr Nedovyesov (OSU), 6-2, 3-5, DNF.
No. 2 – (44) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. (112) Anton Bobytskyi (OSU), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 3 – Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M) vs. Aleksey Bessonov (OSU), 4-6, 5-2, DNF.
No. 4 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) def. Eric West (OSU), 6-0, 6-3.
No. 5 – Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M) vs. Ilija Martinsoki (OSU), 3-6, 4-4, DNF.
No. 6 – Colin Hoover (Texas A&M) def. Maximilian Kuhn (OSU), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 1 – (5) Krajicek-Dadamo (Texas A&M) vs. (16) Bessonov-Nedovyesov (OSU), 6-4, DNF.
No. 2 – (43) Grigorov-Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M) def. Bobytskyi-West (OSU), 8-5.
No. 3 – Bautista-Hoover (Texas A&M) def. Kuhn-Martinoski (OSU), 8-2.
ORDER OF FINISH
Singles: 6, 4, 2*
Doubles: 3, 2