Mavs come up short in final

Colorado Mesa University’s Spencer Weinberg returns a shot in his No. 2 singles match against Western New Mexico on Saturday in the RMAC championship match.

Colorado Mesa University’s Jordan Lyden hits a shot Saturday during his No. 1 singles championship match in the RMAC tournament at the Elliott Tennis Center.

The final score doesn’t hint at it, but the gap is closing between Colorado Mesa and Western New Mexico, which won its fifth straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men’s tennis championship Saturday.

The Mustangs won the championship dual 5-2, but not reflected in the score were two three-set matches Mesa lost.

CMU’s Spencer Weinberg threw a scare into Jean-Laurent Pageaul at No. 2 singles, winning the first set 6-1 before losing 6-1, 6-4. Weinberg was up 3-0 and 4-3 in the third set.

The Mavs’ Blake Demond dropped his first set 6-1 at No. 4
singles, then stormed back to win the second set 6-1 before bowing 6-1 in the third set.

Weinberg said the Mavericks were bent on making amends for losing to Western New Mexico in the championship dual a year ago on CMU’s home court.

“We knew what to expect,” said Weinberg, who teamed with No. 1 singles player Jordan Lyden to win 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. “We came out firing. We didn’t want to lose on our own court again. We battled our hearts out, and there’s nothing we can regret.”

Mesa will return all of its starters, Weinberg said, adding, “We’re young, and we’re hungry. ... We’re hungrier than ever before. We can build off this.”

CMU won two of three doubles matches to start the dual, but the Mustangs won the first four singles matches to clinch.

Mesa coach Dan MacDonald gave the Mustangs their due.

“Western New Mexico’s men’s team is phenomenal,” he said. “I think we closed the gap considerably this year. ... We gave everything we had. We just lost to a better team.”


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