For the freshmen on the men’s tennis team, the postseason will be a new experience. They don’t know what to expect.
For the team’s four seniors, Jhonathan Gonzalez, Mario Muniesa, Daniel Armengol and Pablo Colvee, postseason is a chance to repeat as Sun Belt Conference champions and advance to the NCAA tournament.
First, the seniors will play their final match at home Thursday against Texas Tech University. Gonzalez said he hasn’t allowed his mind to wonder about how far the Mavericks can go in the postseason.
“I don’t really think too far ahead,” he said. “When I was a sophomore, we put too much pressure on ourselves and we didn’t play the way we wanted to. Last year, we didn’t talk about it too much and we ended up winning.”
The Mavericks won the Sun Belt Championship in 2016 after victories against University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia State University and University of South Alabama.
This season, the team has focused on building upon the standard it set last year. Head coach Diego Benitez specifically highlighted February, the month the Mavericks went 8-2, as a time when the team improved.
UTA has won four of its last five matches, and Muniesa said the team is capable of beating anybody in the country.
“We’re really happy with where we’re at right now,” he said. “We are really confident that we can accomplish great things.”
UTA is 14-7 this season and 12-2 at home. While Muniesa is excited to see how the Mavericks perform in the postseason, he said it’s a bittersweet feeling to near the finish line of his collegiate career.
“A part of me is sad, because I’ve experienced so many good things here,” Muniesa said. “I don’t want it to end.”
While the seniors don’t know how many more times they will take the court, Gonzalez said they just have to focus on what’s in front of them.
“Just take it one match at a time,” he said. “The results will come.”