Brown clinches match for Mavericks
Trevor Brown was too tired to celebrate.
The Colorado Mesa sophomore fought off a cold and persevered Friday night to defeat Metro State’s Trevor Jones 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the final match to clinch the Mavericks’ 5-4 victory over Metro State in the RMAC tennis semifinals at the Elliott Tennis Center. The Mavericks (13-8) play Western New Mexico for the RMAC tournament title at noon today. The winner receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II tournament in the South Central Region.
“This was pretty big for us, but we’ve got to focus on tomorrow,” Brown said. “We have one more match tomorrow; we want to win the championship.”
Brown realized the fate of the dual and the Mavericks’ season rested in his hands after Cody Freischlag won 7-5, 7-5 at No. 5 singles to even the dual 4-4.
“I didn’t know it came down to me until Cody won and we kept playing,” Brown said. “I kept going and tried to focus through it and was able to pull it out.”
Brown took a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, but Jones broke Brown’s serve get back to 4-3. Brown broke back and served out the match.
“He’s been battling a bad cold,” CMU coach Dan MacDonald said. “We usually call him RoboCop because he can usually play all day. He was running out of gas a little bit.”
Metro State won two of the three doubles matches and No. 1 singles player Josh Graetz upset All-American Jordan Lyden 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles for the early advantage.
The Roadrunners also won at No. 3 singles, but Mesa’s Spencer Weinberg and Blake Demond won at No. 2 and 4 singles to keep the Mavericks in it.
“Every time we’ve played them this year, it was 5-4,” MacDonald said. “If you would’ve (told) me if we would lose two of three doubles and Lyden loses and we someone find a way to win, I thought you’d be crazy.”
MacDonald said having Demond back in the lineup after sitting out the past two weeks with a sprained ankle made a big difference.
“Having Blake back in the lineup helped the bottom part of our singles players,” MacDonald said. “Blake had a big win in singles to get us rolling. Spencer had a big win. It was a great team win. The perseverance of the guys. Metro is a well-coached team that fought to the end, too.”
Colorado Mesa’s women rolled to a 5-0 victory over Colorado Christian in the semifinals.
Shannen McNamara and Kristyn Wykert won their singles matches to finish the dual before Katie Kirby started her match at No. 6 singles.
The Mavericks’ No. 1 doubles team of Kaylee Davis and Rachel McLaughlin avenged an earlier loss with an 8-6 win.
“One doubles had a big win,” MacDonald said. “Kaylee (Davis) was more aggressive at the net and they served better today. They were aggressive on second-serve returns.”
Mesa (11-7) plays Western New Mexico for the RMAC title at 9 a.m. today. The winner receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II tournament.
MacDonald was selected the RMAC men’s and women’s coach of the year after leading the women to the regular season title and the men to a second-place finish.
Lyden and Spencer Weinberg made the all-RMAC first team in singles and doubles on the men’s side.
Andres Garcia-Rojas made the second team and Trevor Brown the third team in singles. Brown and Garcia-Rojas and Demond and Freischlag made the second team in doubles.
Natalie Martin and Davis made the women’s first team in singles. Davis made the first team in doubles with McLaughlin.
McNamara and McLaughlin made the second team in singles. Emily Dodson, Kristyn Wykert and Katie Kirby made the third team.
McNamara and Wykert and Dodson and Katie Metz made the third team in doubles.