No. 23 Texas Tech Trips No. 25 Texas A&M, 4-3|
Francisco Zambon won the deciding match to give Texas Tech a 4-3 win over Texas A&M on Saturday.
April 7, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Two weeks down, two rivals in toe.
No. 23 Texas Tech (13-6, 2-0 Big 12) knocked off No. 25 Texas A&M (12-10, 1-2 Big 12), 4-3, Saturday night in front of 657 fans who braved the cold and wind at the McLeod Tennis Center.
"This was a tremendous day," said Red Raider head coach Tim Siegel. "I cannot say enough on how much the fans meant to us tonight. They truly made a difference in the outcome of this match."
The Red Raiders defeated the Aggies for the first time since 2008, snapping a five-match losing streak to Texas A&M. It was also the last time Texas Tech and Texas A&M would meet in a conference match, as the Aggies are in their last year in the Big 12 Conference.
"The way we battled back after losing a heartbreaker in doubles was incredible," added Siegel. "Every player on our team contributed. I am so extremely proud of Francisco to come through the way he did tonight. It was a great win for him and a great win for our team."
The win moved the Red Raiders into a share of first place in the Big 12 Conference with Oklahoma (12-3, 2-0 Big 12). This also marks the first time in the history of Texas Tech tennis that both the men's and women's programs are in first place at the same time this late in the season.
The evening started with the doubles play. The No. 28 Texas Tech tandem of Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar cruised past No. 30 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore, 8-4. The Aggies answered with Colin Hoover and Alixis Klegou's win over Gabriel Wanderley and Jeff Bryan and No. 3, 8-4. The point was decided when A&M's Nial Angus and John Lewis just edged Rafael Garcia and Vitor Manzini, 9-7.
Klegou, who is ranked No. 29, quickly made it 2-0 for Texas A&M, as he dispatched No. 57 Escobar, 6-1, 6-2. No. 96 Carvalho gave Tech its first point of the night, as he stormed past Colin Hoover, 6-4, 6-2. Manzini then tied the match at 2-2, when he picked up a straight-set win over Angus, 6-4, 6-4.
Garcia then gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the night, after he upended No. 103 Lewis, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. But it was a short-lived leave for Tech, as the Aggies answered with a three-set win from Jeremy Efferding over Wanderley, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
That put the match in freshman Francisco Zambon's hands. Zambon took the first set against Jordan Szabo, 6-3, but Szabo answered with a 7-5 win in the second. Zambon answered in the third with a 6-3 win in the closing set for the victory and the match.
"I cannot say how well this team gutted this one out today," said Siegel. "Francisco really stepped up big today for himself and his teammates."
The Red Raiders return to action on Friday at No. 75 Oklahoma State and Sunday at No. 21 Oklahoma.
#23 Texas Tech 4, #25 Texas A&M 3
Luke Siegel (center), son of Texas Tech men's tennis head coach Tim Siegel, threw out the first pitch at Saturday's Texas Tech-Oklahoma baseball game. It was a strike.