LAS CRUCES, N.M. – UMKC men's tennis (13-8) defeated UT Rio Grande Valley (5-21) 4-2 Saturday in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the NM State Tennis Center. The Roos won three singles matches and claimed the doubles point to earn a spot in the championship match against New Mexico State Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
“We started out on fire with great intensity and heart to win the doubles point,” head coach Kendell Hale said. “UTRGV is a well-coached team and they were fighting all the way to the end.”
In doubles action, Airam Castellano (Gran Canaria, Spain) and Mike Psarros (Athens, Greece) defeated Elliot Johnstone and Yehonatan Kaufman 6-3 in the No. 1 match. The No. 1 tandem for the Roos is now 13-1 on the season. Tom Kruse (Flensburg, Germany) and Vinh Pham (Lenexa, Kan.) clinched the doubles point with a 6-1 triumph over Andres Hernandez and Mateo Schmit on the No. 3 court. Uldis Gaismins (Riga, Latvia) and Amaury Navette (Paris, France) were trailing 4-3 to Koby Jansen and Clement Sarradin when the Roos won the second contest.
Kruse beat Johnstone 6-1, 6-1 in No. 3 singles. Psarros defeated Hernandez 6-2, 6-3 on the No. 5 court. Pham outlasted Schmit 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the No. 6 contest to clinch the match.
“Vinh played an amazing third set to clinch for the Roos,” Hale said. “That's what we need is seniors to step up and lead. Psarros and Kruse played some lights-out tennis to help us get the momentum when we needed it.”
Castellano fell 6-4, 6-4 to Koby Jansen in the No. 1 singles match. Gaismins was beaten 7-5, 6-4 on the No. 2 court.
Last year, UMKC fell 4-3 to the Aggies in the finals of the WAC Championship.
– UMKC –