COLLEGE STATION — How appropriate on Senior Day in the final Texas A&M regular-season home match of the season for the three Aggie seniors at the top of the lineup—Austin Krajicek, Jeff Dadamo and Alexey Grigorov, to lead the No. 6 Aggie men’s tennis team to a 5-2 win over the No. 12 Texas Longhorns before a crowd of 545 in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown held at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. The win improves the Aggies’ record to 24-5 and 5-1 in Big 12 play while Texas falls to 17-7 and 3-3 in league play.
“Obviously this was a great win for us and for our senior class,” Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. “The seniors took care of business at their lines in doubles and then to have all three, Griggy (Alexey Grigorov), Jeff (Dadamo) and Austin (Krajicek) win their singles matches to finish it off, I couldn’t be more proud. What a great way for those guys to finish their senior regular season. They showed a lot of leadership and played well. I was very proud of how we competed coming off of the disappointing match on Wednesday (at Baylor). That showed a lot of mental toughness against a really good team like Texas.”
The Aggies came out of the gate with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to take the doubles point in the match. Krajicek, from Brandon, Florida, and Dadamo, from Tampa, Florida, are currently ranked No. 4 in the country in doubles and the senior tandem was the first doubles match in the books at the No. 1 line with an 8-3 win over the No. 8 doubles team of Jean Andersen and Ed Corrie from Texas.
Grigorov, from Moscow, Russia, teamed with his freshman doubles partner Junior Ore to clinch the doubles point with an 8-6 decision at the No. 2 line over Kellen Damico and David Holiner from Texas. Grigorov and Ore are ranked No. 48 in the country and Damico and Holiner are ranked No. 50.
Texas won the doubles match at the No. 3 position with Ben Chen and Vasko Mladenov edging the Aggies’ Alberto Bautista and Colin Hoover, 8-5.
In singles, Grigorov, playing at the No. 3 line, was the first to finish putting A&M up 2-0 in the match. Grigorov posted a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jean Andersen, who is ranked No. 105 in singles.
Dadamo, ranked No. 40 in the country, was next on the board at the No. 2 position to put A&M up 3-0 as he took down the top-ranked Texas player, Ed Corrie, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Corrie is ranked No. 33 in the land.
Texas would cut the lead to 3-1 as Vasko Mladenov defeated A&M’s Colin Hoover, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 5 line.
At the No. 1 singles, Krajicek, ranked No. 19 in singles, faced Kellen Damico, who is ranked No. 49. Krajicek broke Damico’s serve in the first game of the first set and posted a 6-4 victory in the first set. The second set went to a tiebreaker with Krajicek posting the 7-6 (3) win to clinch the match for A&M, 4-1.
“The match between Damico and Austin was very close with Austin playing a little more aggressive on some key points,” Denton explained. “Austin did what he has always been able to do, find a way to win and he closed the match out in style.”
Texas would pick up another point at No. 6 singles as Daniel Whitehead posted a 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 win over A&M’s Alberto Bautista.
The final match on the courts was at the No. 4 line where A&M’s Alexis Klegou outlasted Texas’ Ben Chen, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 13-11.
The win stretches the Aggies’ home match winning streak to 34 matches and the 24th victory this season ties the school’s third-best regular-season mark. Last year’s team posted 25 victories and the school record is 27 set by the 2001 squad.
Texas head coach Michael Center
On the match
“Texas A&M got to us early in doubles. It was very similar to the first match we played (in February) where we had won the doubles. But the Aggies got the point today. We have not scored against them at one, two or three singles this season, and we had match points at No. 4 and could not get the win. A&M kept the pressure on us today, and we came up short. A&M has a very good team and we knew it would be a tough match.”
On UT’s singles winners, Vasko Mladenov and Daniel Whitehead
“Vasko was under control today. He handled his emotions well. He served the ball well, considering the conditions, and did a really nice job in singles and doubles. Daniel was very good today. He lost a tough second set and fought back to win the match tiebreak. Ben Chen played well and had a chance to serve for the match, had match point. I am very encouraged by what I am seeing from Ben.”
The Aggies finished second in the Big 12 for a third straight year under the direction of head coach Steve Denton and assistant coach Bob McKinley. Next up for Texas A&M is the Big 12 Championships which will be held in Waco next week.
Saturday, Apr. 23, 2011
#6 Texas A&M 5, #12 Texas 2
Mitchell Tennis Center, College Station, TX
#1—(19) Austin Krajicek, A&M def. (49) Kellen Damico, UT—6-4, 7-6 (3)
#2—(40) Jeff Dadamo, A&M def. (33) Ed Corrie, UT—6-0, 7-6 (4)
#3—Alexey Grigorov, A&M def. (105) Jean Andersen, UT—6-4, 6-2
#4—Alexis Klegou, A&M def. Ben Chen, UT—4-6, 7-6 (6), 13-11
#5—Vasko Mladenov, UT def. Colin Hoover, A&M—6-4, 6-4
#6—Daniel Whitehead, UT def. Alberto Bautista, A&M—6-3, 5-7, 10-8
#1—(4) Krajicek/Dadamo, A&M def. (8) Corrie/Andersen, UT—8-3
#2—(48) Junior Ore/Grigorov, A&M def. (50) Damico/Holiner, UT—8-6
#3—Chen/Mladenov, UT def. (68) Bautista/Hoover, A&M—8-5
Order of Finish:
*Clinched the match.
Season Records: Texas A&M (24-5, 5-1) Texas (17-7, 3-3)