The Alabama men’s tennis team dropped its final home match of the season, defeated by the Texas A&M Aggies 4-1 on Sunday.
The Crimson Tide started off the match strong, winning two out of the three doubles matches to win the doubles point and lead Texas A&M 1-0.
Junior Daniil Proskura and freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey make up Alabama’s second doubles team. Proskura and O’Shaughnessey defeated their opponents from Texas A&M 8-5.
“It was very exciting; it definitely helped us gain some momentum,” O’Saughnessey said. “It was big for us to get the first point.”
The Tide and the Aggies both had a doubles victory each, with the third and final match still in play. For the Tide it all came down to senior Jarryd Botha and sophomore David Vieyra. Botha and Vierya kept going back and forth with their opponents, as it was tied 8-8 headed into a tiebreaker to determine the match and the doubles point.
Botha and Vierya trailed 3-0 in the tiebreaker but then railed to win nine of the next thirteen points to win the tiebreaker 9-7 and give Alabama a 1-0 lead headed into the singles portion of the match.
“I thought Jarryd took over the whole match there,” head coach George Husack said. “They were very aggressive; it was exciting.”
In the tiebreaker the Alabama crowd really got into the match as it was behind Botha and Vierya right down to the wire. Husack said the crowd was a nice factor in the late stages of the Botha and Vierya match.
“It was nice to hear a late-match Alabama cheer; that was really cool for us,” Husack said.
The Tide led 1-0 heading into the singles matches and only needed to win three of the six to win the overall team match. Alabama wasn’t able to win any of the six singles matches as Texas A&M won four of them to win the overall team match 4-1.
With the loss, the Tide now has lost its last five and drops to 12-10 on the season and 3-7 in conference play.
Husack said it’s tough to get things going when you don’t have a lot momentum headed into the match.
“Headed into the singles I thought guys were a little tentative and a little unsure of themselves,” Husack said. “We have lost a few in a row here and you don’t have the momentum going in; there is definitely a sense of disbelief.”
Alabama now has only two regular season matches left before the Southeastern Conference Tournament begins. Despite the team’s recent struggles, O’Shaughnessey said everyone needs to push through, continue and finish the season strong.
“Everybody is having matches that they’re struggling in right now,” O’Shaughnessey said. “We just have to fight through it and compete, we are going to continue to work hard and hopefully we can get back on a winning streak at the end of the season.”