It was an old wild west shootout as the men’s tennis team (4-1) defeated the Midwestern State University Mustangs 4-3 in temperatures slightly above freezing on Saturday at the UTA Tennis Center.
Freshmen Eduard Simo and Andre Russo won their doubles match 6-1 but UTA's two other doubles pairs lost their matches, giving MSU the doubles point.
The Mavericks then won three straight singles matches including sophomore Enrique Pardo’s straight set victory 6-0,6-2 to take the lead 3-1.
Simo was defeated in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 while dealing with cramping issues as the athletic trainers stretched him out during points.
Junior Abhishek Bostola then lost his match 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 allowing MSU to tie it up at 3-3.
All eyes fell on Court 6 as Russo was down 4-1 in the third set.
He then won five straight points featuring some strong back hand play at the net that led him to win his match 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 and clinch the victory for the Mavericks.
Head coach Diego Benitez said he was impressed with Russo’s play.
“Andre did a great job staying focused forgetting about the score.” Benitez said. “He was able to just little by little focus on the present and the process and try to play high percentage tennis and pull it off.”
In the first match of the day, the Mavericks defeated Prairie View A&M 4-0.
Next up for the men's tennis team is a home date versus the University of the Incarnate Word at 2 p.m. Thursday at the UTA Tennis Center.
The women’s tennis (2-2) team fell against Rice University on Friday 5-2.
UTA's two points came via singles victories by senior Agustina Serio (7-5, 7-5) and freshman Lucia Natal (7-6, 6-1.)
The women’s team will be back on the courts at 11 a.m. February 21 as they host Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at the UTA Tennis Center.