Clincher: Sargent seals Mavs’ weekend victories

Mesa State’s Victoria Sargent returns a shot Saturday afternoon during a doubles match at Elliott Tennis Center.

Victoria Sargent played the role of the clincher this weekend for the Mesa State College women’s tennis team.

Sargent won her No. 3 singles match each day to secure the team victory for the Mavericks, first over Western New Mexico on Friday, then 6-3 against Metro State on Saturday in the Mavericks’ only two home matches this spring.

“It’s hard to get used to playing matches here,” Sargent said. “When I got out here I thought I was practicing for a little bit, but we got the hang of it.”

Sargent is playing despite a balky right shoulder that lets her know when she’s reaching too far for a ball or too high for an overhead.

“I have multiple directional instability, meaning my shoulder is sitting off about an inch from where it’s supposed to be, so it’s just moving around in there,” she said. “I’m pretty sloped down (on the right side).”

She wears kineseo tape on her shoulder, which promotes blood flow.

“I bet I have a cool tan line,” she said, peeling a corner of the tape to peek. “I’m spidey girl.”

The match was delayed roughly a half-hour when Ross Gelina of Metro passed out and went into convulsions on the court in the first set of his No. 1 doubles match. Mesa State trainer Geana Gaasch quickly tended to him and emergency medical help was called.

He was taken to the hospital and released after blood tests and a CT scan were clear. His coach, Beck Mearas, said he’ll be seen by a neurologist in Denver.

Metro shuffled its lineup, moving Ryan Campbell from No. 2 to No. 1 doubles and from No. 3 to No. 2 singles. The rest of the Roadrunners’ lineup moved up one spot — they did not have a No. 3 doubles team or a No. 6 singles player, and defaulted those two spots, as well as No. 5 doubles in Mesa State’s 9-0 victory.

The Mesa State women won two of three doubles matches and picked up two quick wins in singles from the Sera twins. Kelleen, who normally plays No. 1, switched places with Kate Lowder, and won her No. 2 match over April Hirad 6-1, 6-0.

Kaitlan wrapped up her No. 4 match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Marianne Evangelista, and then Sargent gave the Mavericks the team win with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victory over Nicole Herrmann. It was the second straight day Sargent won a first-set tiebreaker.

“I try to get that (first set) so I’m not too far behind in the second. The people I played are pretty good, they were tough first sets both matches,” Sargent said.

The Mavs will likely enter the RMAC tournament April 22-23 as the No. 2 seed behind Nebraska-Kearney, the only team to beat them in conference play, with one dual against Colorado Christian remaining.

“Our win against (Western) New Mexico was pretty good for us,” Kelleen Sera said. “We’ve got the No. 4 spot in the (region) and that’s good.”

The conference tournament is intense, Sargent said, with a Davis Cup-type atmosphere.

“Everybody is cheering for their team and being really loud,” she said, “but I think we have a good chance.”


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