CMU overpowered by Cameron in tennis

Mavericks face tough test against ranked men's, women's teams

Colorado Mesa’s Andres Garcia-Rojas, left, backhands the ball over the net as his doubles partner, Andres Hernandez, backs him up during their match against Cameron (Okla.) University at the Elliott Tennis Center.



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Colorado Mesa’s Andres Garcia-Rojas, left, backhands the ball over the net as his doubles partner, Andres Hernandez, backs him up during their match against Cameron (Okla.) University at the Elliott Tennis Center.

The Colorado Mesa University men’s and women’s tennis teams got a taste of one of the top teams in its new region.

The Mavericks found out that, while they have some work to do, they may be closer than they thought.

The No. 20-ranked Cameron (Okla.) University men defeated the Mavericks 7-2 and the No. 12 Aggies women defeated Mesa 8-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Elliott Tennis Center.

“This school is strong,” CMU men’s player Andres Garcia-Rojas said of Cameron. “I think we came out not with the intent to win. We came out here with the intent not to get embarrassed. I think that’s what happened today. We didn’t come out thinking, ‘Let’s win.’ We came out thinking, ‘Let’s make it close.’ We built them up.

“The only thing that separates us from them is confidence. That’s the way it is in the pros as well. The guys that trust themselves and their shots win.”

CMU coach Dan MacDonald agreed.

“You’re never happy with a loss, but we played well,” MacDonald said. “We’ve just got to execute better on the bigger points. I think we’re there skill wise, it’s the belief. That’s what separates No. 1 from No. 40. We need to be mentally stronger.

“I think this will bode well down the line. We want to peak at the RMAC. Hopefully that’s what we’re building to.”

Garcia-Rojas picked up one of the two wins for the men (7-7). The freshman defeated Jorge Gerosi 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 3 singles.

“That was a great win for (Garcia-Rojas),” MacDonald said. “He’s been working hard. He plays really smart. He’s a crafty guy. He’s not going to overpower you, but he plays smart tennis.”

Garcia-Rojas nearly blew a 5-2 lead in the second set.

“He got mad at me for line calls or something,” Garcia-Rojas said. “He said, ‘You have to cheat now,’ during the changeover. He was in my head. I was all over the place.”

Gerosi rallied to even the set 5-5 when Garcia-Rojas snapped out of it.

Garcia-Rojas trailed 5-1 in the second set’s tiebreaker before he rallied to take the next five points to win the match.

“He framed a lob that went sky high. I ran back and barely got it back and hit the overhead long,” Garcia-Rojas said. “Everything changed after that. The momentum shifted at that point.”

Another Mesa freshman, Taylor Macres, persevered for a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, (10-7) victory at No. 4 singles.

Mesa senior Andres Hernandez led in his No. 6 singles match before losing 2-6, 6-3, (10-3).

Those results only made losing all three doubles matches that much tougher to swallow.

“On the men’s side, if we could’ve got a win at one of those doubles, that puts a lot more pressure on (the opposing) team,” MacDonald said. “When you’re up 3-0, you can play freely. When you’re up 2-1, there’s a little more pressure to win more singles.”

Senior Brason Hollabaugh didn’t play because of a family emergency, MacDonald said. Hollabaugh usually plays No. 4 or 5 singles and No. 3 doubles.

Skyler Nelson and Kristyn Wykert got a win in doubles for the Mesa women (7-10), but no one could follow it up in singles.

Cameron (7-1) swept the singles matches without dropping a set.

“On the women’s side,” MacDonald said. “I think the women may have been a little fatigued. That was their fourth match in four days. We got to have that belief we can beat a ranked team.”

SKIING

Four Colorado Mesa University Nordic skiers earned All-American honors last weekend at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships at Sun Valley, Idaho.

They were Brooke Bosman, Kacie McCleary, Mira Hopkins and Duncan Koehn.

The women’s team finished third overall and the men placed fifth. St. Olaf College won the women’s team title and the University of Wyoming won the men’s team title.

Bosman, McCleary and Hopkins led the women’s relay team to a third-place finish. The men’s relay team of Tre Anastasia, Koehn and Dustin Wanstrath finished fifth.

Bosman placed eighth in the 15-kilometer race Friday. Hopkins was 10th, McCleary placed 11th, Tessa Grigsby was 19th and Courtney Berg took 20th.

In the men’s race, Anastasia was 16th, Koehn 19th and Wanstrath was 20th.

The team is coached by Dave Aschwanden and Christina Stark and the program is funded by a grant from the Jean Thomas Lambert Foundation.

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