WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Alabama men’s tennis team’s historical season came to an end in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after falling to No. 5 Texas A&M, 4-0, on Friday night at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Complex. The Crimson Tide (20-13) finishes the season with the most wins since 2009, and marks only the 10th time in program history the Tide has finished with 20 wins or more.
“It was an exciting run,” head coach George Husack said. “This is our standard now and this is where we want to be. Today we got beat by a better team, but the remaining courts were right there. Overall, I’m really proud of the team and the new standard they’ve set for the program.”
In doubles play, Texas A&M took the first point of the match after Rinderknech/Catanzariti defeated sophomores Thibault Cancel and Alexey Nesterov, while No. 3 Aguilar/Arconda bested No. 26 sophomore Edson Ortiz and junior Mazen Osama, 6-3.
In singles competition, the Aggies continued to extend the lead after No. 48 Jordi Arconada pushed past Cancel, 6-3, 6-3. Texas A&M closed out the match with back-to-back wins after No. 12 Arthur Rinderknech moved past freshman Patrick Kaukovalta, 6-4, 6-1, and No. 72 Valentin Vacherot earned a win over Ortiz, 6-4, 6-4, to end the match.
Alabama is 0-4 all-time in Round of 16 play, and 0-14 all-time against Texas A&M, however, the Tide had numerous accomplishments this season.
UA advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament after defeating No. 25 Kentucky to secure its 18th bid in the NCAA Tournament. Alabama earned a No. 3 seed in the Tallahassee Regional as the second-to-last team to make it into the tournament.
Alabama took advantage of the opportunity in the NCAA Tournament after cruising past No. 23 Tulane, 4-1, and then defeating host No. 11 Florida State, 4-2, to earn its fourth-ever trip to the Sweet 16 and first since 2007. The Round of 16 berth was the first-ever by a No. 12 seed in the SEC Tournament.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournaments will be played from May 23-28 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
1. No. 10 Mazen Osama vs. No. 5 Patrick Kypson, 3-6, 6-3, unf.
2. No. 12 Arthur Rinderknech def. Patrick Kaukovalta, 6-4, 6-1
3. No. 48 Jordi Arconada def. Thibault Cancel, 6-3, 6-3
4. No. 72 Valentin Vacherot def. Edson Ortiz, 6-4, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar vs. Alexey Nesterov, 7-5, 2-3, unf.
6. Zhe Zhou vs. Barnaby Smith, 6-4, 3-3, unf.
1. No. 3 Aguilar/Arconada def. No. 26 Osama/Ortiz, 6-3
2. Catanzariti/Rinderknech def. Cancel/Nesterov, 6-3
3. Zhou/Kaukovalta vs. Kypson/Vacherot, 5-3