For the second time in three matches, freshman Duarte Vale and junior McClain Kessler played from behind with the doubles point on the line. Unlike their comeback win against No. 11 Michigan on Feb. 9 – in which Vale and Kessler saved two match points – the pair lost 7-5 on Friday as No. 6 Texas A&M swept the No. 11 Florida men’s tennis team 4-0 in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.
Sophomore Johannes Ingildsen and senior Chase Perez-Blanco were the first Gators to fall in the match’s doubles action. After focusing on aggressive service games in practice this week, Ingildsen and Perez won only 33 percent of their first serve points in a 6-2 loss to sophomore Valentin Vacherot and freshman Barnaby Smith at the No. 3 position.
On court No. 2, junior Alfredo Perez and freshman Oliver Crawford won their second consecutive match with a 6-4 defeat of freshman Juan Carlos Aguilar and senior Jordi Arconada – the nation’s No. 6-ranked doubles pair.
After Vale and Kessler failed to secure the doubles point on the No. 1 court, singles play was an uphill battle for Florida.
Texas A&M (6-1) dominated the top positions, winning quickly on the No. 3 and No. 2 courts over Vale and Ingildsen, respectively. On court No. 1, Perez won the first set over freshman Patrick Kypson before dropping the next two in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss which clinched the Aggies’ victory.
“We put ourselves in a hole early and Texas A&M capitalized on it,” coach Bryan Shelton said in a release. “Our guys are fired up to get back out there and improve from today.”
Leaving their matches unfinished were Crawford and Kessler, who were both in third sets, and freshman Andy Andrade, who held a one-set lead at the match’s close.
In the first round of consolation play, the Gators (4-3) will challenge No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday at noon.