KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s tennis team (8-8, 3-0) capped off a perfect 3-0 weekend in the opening WAC cluster when it knocked-off WAC pre-conference favorite Grand Canyon (14-5, 2-1) 6-1 on Saturday afternoon’s Senior Day at the Plaza Tennis Center.
“I love this win,” Head Coach Kendell Hale said. “They’ve always been a rival of ours since we joined the conference, but we defended our home. That’s what it’s all about, defending our home turf and our championship. We won it last year and we are defending champs, no matter who is picked as favorites.”
With the doubles point coming down to the No. 2 line, the Roos pairing of Tom Kruse and Diego Giraldo came from behind to beat Gregoire Balenci and Justin Cvitanovic, 7-6, winning the tiebreaker 7-3 to secure the point for UMKC.
In singles play, Patel and Castellano quickly made it 3-0 in favor of the Roos with Patel taking down Leo Andreolli, 6-1, 6-1 at No.6 and Castellano dismissing Rajaonah, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1.
The Lopes cut the margin to 3-1 when Fucile defeated Pozo, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2, but Clark soon followed with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Grant at No. 5 to clinch the match for the Roos, his second straight clincher.
The Roos remaining two matches, meanwhile, each came down to a third set tiebreak.
At No. 4, Giraldo defeated Grego, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6, while at No. 3, Kruse took down Balenci, 6-7, 7-5, 10-6.
Following the match, the Roos honored their three departing members, Castellano, Pozo and Clark.
“Each of our seniors have a different story,” Hale said. “Airam has been here four years and Alex and Hunter have been here for one and two years, but the impact they’ve made on our program has been immense. You can see from Airam’s records that he is going to go down in the UMKC history books. Pozo has the first ever ranking in school history with Airam. Hunter clinched two big matches for us this weekend. They’ve all had an impact and continually give us what we need to win matches.”
The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Friday when they head to Des Moines, Iowa, to take on Drake at 6 p.m. CT on Apr. 6.
– UMKC –