Teams triumph through semester

A Sun Belt Championship for men’s tennis, wins over Ohio State and Memphis for men’s basketball and a 19-0 start to the season for the softball team are just a few highlights from UTA Athletics this spring.

The men’s basketball team continued winning games behind the emergence of sophomore forward Kevin Hervey, who averaged 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and leadership from UTA head basketball coach Scott Cross, who became the program’s all-time leader in wins.

The train was derailed briefly when the team learned Hervey would miss the rest of the season before a home game against first place Little Rock.

A four-game losing streak followed, but a resilient UTA squad rallied to win eight of its final 10 games to earn the third seed going into the Sun Belt Championship in New Orleans.

UTA made it to the semifinals of the tournament and eventually fell to the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

But that wasn’t the end for the Mavs.

They received an invite to the Postseason Tournament with a chance to expand on an already historic season.

The team ultimately fell in the quarterfinals against the New Jersey Institute of Technology after injuries to sophomore guard Kaelon Wilson and freshman guard Nathan Hawkins proved too much to overcome.

The team tied the program record in wins (24) while setting records in points (2,762), assists (590) and 3-pointers (307).

UTA also locked down Cross through the 2019-2020 season, so this appears to be only the beginning for the men’s basketball program.

The women’s basketball team almost overachieved as a sixth seed in the Sun Belt Championship by nearly trumping third-seeded Louisiana but ultimately fell 59-53.

The Lady Mavs finished the season at 15-16 overall and 10-10 in Sun Belt play while battling through nagging injuries to sophomore guard Cierra Johnson and senior forward Toma Zaleckaite.

UTA head coach Krista Gerlich agreed to a contract extension through the 2019-2020 season.

UTA baseball is fighting for a playoff spot in the Sun Belt Championship behind the second-best team batting average (.294) and the solid starting pitching led by junior pitcher Kadon Simmons.

The softball team impressed with its historic 19-0 start to the season led by freshman pitcher Samantha Clakley and sophomore second baseman Sandra Mendoza.

The Mavs played their final game of the season Sunday at Allan Saxe Field and won against Troy University in walk-off fashion to send the seniors off on a high note.

Men’s and women’s tennis impressed, going 18-10 and 17-5, respectively.

The underdog men’s team shocked the conference with a Sun Belt Championship after beating the first, second and fourth seeds in the tournament as a fifth seed.

The No. 64 women’s team’s run was cut short in the semifinals against the No. 53 South Alabama Jaguars in a 4-3 loss.

With plenty of underclassmen across every sport, UTA Athletics has a chance to continue building upon this impressive spring semester and build a winning culture.


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