Huskers Defeated by Aggies

By NU Athletic Communications
David Bendheim defeated the nation's 15th-ranked singles player on Friday.
David Bendheim defeated the nation's 15th-ranked singles player on Friday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications
Lincoln - The Nebraska men's tennis team fell to 0-3 in conference play on Friday afternoon when they came out on the losing end of a 5-2 match against No. 21 Texas A&M at the Nebraska Tennis Center. The loss makes the Huskers 9-12 overall this spring, while the Aggies improved to 11-8 and 2-4 in Big 12 play.

The Huskers got off to a rocky start, losing all three doubles matches and heading into singles play in a 1-0 hole. The loss of the doubles point was a bad omen for Nebraska, which heading into the day's match was 0-10 when it dropped the doubles point.

Nebraska wouldn't go down without a fight, however. NU's David Bendheim defeated his third ranked opponent of the season, beating 15th-ranked Conor Pollock in a wild match. Both sets went into tiebreakers, with Bendheim winning both, including a 12-10 thriller in the first-set tiebreaker. Freshman Calin Paar also defeated a ranked opponent, A&M's Wil Spencer, the 90th-ranked player in the nation, 6-4, 6-4. Paar has won seven of his last eight matches, including two over ranked opponents.

“They beat us pretty bad in doubles, but I thought we had some chances in singles, which we did,” said NU Head Coach Kerry McDermott. “I'm very proud of the way David and Calin played, beating ranked guys. To play and beat those guys at the top is good. When you're winning at No. 1 and No. 2, you hope that you can just go right down the lineup and win, but that didn't happen for us.”

The Huskers came close at No. 4 and No. 6 singles, but ultimately lost both. Francois Van Impe took the first set at No. 4 singles 6-3, but lost the next two sets 6-4, 6-4. Karl Jones fell at No. 6 singles, and like Bendheim's match at No. 1 singles, both sets went to a match tiebreaker, this time with the Husker player on the losing end of both.

“It's like we're panning for gold, and one or two guys are always coming up with nuggets and the rest of the guys are coming up with worms,” McDermott said in an unconventional analogy. “We're getting there, but we're running out of opportunities.”

The Huskers travel to Texas to play Texas Tech in its first road Big 12 match of the season on Sunday. They return home for their final home match on Tuesday against Nebraska-Kearney, at the Nebraska Tennis Center. First serve against UNK is scheduled for 2 p.m., while Sunday's match against Texas Tech is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Texas A&M 5, Nebraska 2

No. 1 Pollock/Krajicek (A&M) def. Melo/Schneider (NU), 8-3
No. 2 Beatty/Spencer (A&M) def. Paar/Van Impe (NU), 8-5
No. 3 Bain/Chirico (A&M) def. Bendheim/Stahmer (NU), 8-6

No. 1 David Bendheim (NU) def. Conor Pollock (A&M), 7-6 (10), 7-6 (3)
No. 2 Calin Paar (NU) def. Wil Spencer (A&M), 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 Austin Krajicek (A&M) def. Hendrik Stahmer (NU), 6-2, 6-0
No. 4 Chris Chirico (A&M) def. Francois Van Impe (NU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 Matt Bain (A&M) def. Renato Melo (NU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 Kayvon Karimi (A&M) def. Karl Jones (NU), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)


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