KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s tennis team (9-9, 4-0) clinched a share of the WAC Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament with a 4-3 victory on Friday afternoon over New Mexico State (12-7, 3-1) at the H-F Racquet and Fitness Club in Homewood, Ill.
“Our guys stepped up in a big way and never quit,” Head Coach Kendell Hale said. “We were down 5-2 in two of our doubles matches, with match points against them, and they both kept fighting to give us the doubles win that was ultimately the difference in the match.”
The Roos will shoot for the outright title tomorrow afternoon when they face UT Rio Grande Valley at 4 p.m. CT.
The Roos kicked-off Friday’s match with a narrow 2-1 doubles victory to claim the first point of the match. UMKC’s top line duo of No. 72 Airam Castellano and Alex Pozo claimed the first victory with a 6-1 win over Chris Goncalves and Luis Pliego Flores.
Tom Kruse and Diego Giraldo found themselves down 5-2 as well, but the Roos No. 2 pairing would reel off the next five games to take the match 7-5 over Stijn Haan and Mauri Benitez and clinch the doubles point for the Blue & Gold.
In singles play, Hunter Clark fell at No. 5, 6-2, 6-2 to Benitez, evening the match at 1-1, but Giraldo quickly followed with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Asmar at No. 4 as UMKC reclaimed the lead.
NMSU again tied the contest with a 6-4, 6-3 victory by Menard at No. 6 over Patel, but the Roos answered as Pozo took down Stijn, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 at No. 2, leaving the Roos one point shy of victory.
Kruse would provide that point for UMKC as the Roos No. 3 beat Sergi Espias, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) to give the Roos the WAC Title.
At No. 1, meanwhile, Castellano claimed the first set against Goncalves, 1-6, but would fall in the final two, 6-4, 6-4, setting the final score at 4-3.
– UMKC –