Khamis helps Mavs win first spring home match

Rashad Khamis returns the ball during his doubles game in Tuesday’s match against Hastings College at Elliott Tennis Center. Khamis plays both No. 2 doubles and No. 2 singles for Mesa State.

Rashad Khamis knows the Mesa State College men’s tennis team needs him to be successful.

The junior from Corona, Calif., figured if Mesa State coach Dan MacDonald was willing to give him some scholarship money, he needs to help the Mavericks win.

“I wanted to be a big impact player on this team,” Khamis said. “I felt obligated to play an important role being recruited. I felt wanted. I feel like I owe Mesa State and I want to do my best
for them. That’s how I was in the fall. Now I just want to contribute, give the team some points and do my best.”

The junior college transfer from Riverside (Calif.) Community College, contributed Tuesday, leading Mesa State to an 8-1 victory over Hastings (Neb.) College at the Elliott Tennis Center.

Mesa State (7-1) swept the doubles matches and won five singles matches.

“We came out with a lot more energy, especially from the lower guys,” MacDonald said.

“Rashad, Kevin Nydam and Willie (Kellar) really (played well) today. It was about time. We need to get some better play out of them if we’re going to be successful in the RMAC.

“We needed to get back on the winning track after the tough loss to Western (New Mexico).”

MacDonald had Khamis and Nick Provenza switch singles positions in hopes of getting the Mavericks moving in the right direction.

“Whatever the coach wants to do, I’ll just keep doing my thing,” Khamis said. “It was our first home match, so it was exciting. I was definitely pumped up.”

The switch paid off for Khamis, who easily defeated Travis Bronson 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

“That was a good win for Rashad,” MacDonald said. “I think he’ll be a key to our team.

“He has a big game, he’s just got to reel it in a bit. He looks to dictate with his forehand. He’s having a way better spring than he did in the fall. He’s a good competitor. Every day he’s getting better, but we’ve got to get him some confidence.”

Provenza moved up to No. 2 singles and appeared to be on his way to victory, but lost 1-6, 6-4, 10-5 to Tyler Benson.

“Nick’s a little off his game right now, but he’ll be OK,” MacDonald said. “His movement seemed bad. He’s not closing points out at the net like he’s used to doing. A lot of it was push tennis. I’d like to see him be a little more aggressive.”

Jordan Chomko won a tough match at No. 1 singles, rallying to defeat Wil Hotz 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 10-8.

Niko Carrizo defeated Chris Ondrey 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4, Nydam won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 and Kellar won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 6.


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