Mesa women’s tennis team hopes to hold onto top spot after RMAC Championships
The Mesa State College women’s tennis team may have a NCAA Division II tournament bid locked up, but it still has a lot to play for in the RMAC Championships this weekend.
The Mavericks (16-3, 7-0 RMAC) have clinched their third regular-season title in five years and will be the No. 1 seed for the RMAC tournament on Friday and Saturday in Denver. Mesa, though, is hoping to hold on to its No. 1 regional ranking and host an NCAA Central Regional next week. The Mavs are looking for their first regional bid since 2007.
“I think the women’s team will be a four-team race,” Mesa State coach Dan MacDonald said. “Even though we are undefeated (in RMAC), we beat Billings 6-3, Kearney 5-4 and Metro 6-3. To me, this is one of the deeper conference seasons in a long time. The tournament is wide open. We could have our hands full.”
That will make the Mavericks’ hopes of holding on to the top seed and opportunity to host regionals that much tougher.
“If we can get to the finals, I think we can hang on to the one or two seed (and host regionals),” MacDonald said. “We have a target on our back, but I’m confident we can take care of business.”
The top two teams in the Central Region will host two other teams May 6-8.
For the Mavericks to reach the RMAC finals, they will need their three through six singles players to continue to succeed.
“The key is to take two of the three doubles matches,” MacDonald said. “If we split the one and two singles, our three through six are tough.”
The Mesa State men (10-8, 3-4 RMAC) will be the fourth or fifth seed, depending on their dual against Colorado Christian at 3 p.m. today and the outcome of Montana State-Billings’ dual against Western New Mexico. The Mavs will play Billings either way in the first round of the RMAC tournament at 11 a.m. on Friday.
“We played Pueblo close and Pueblo beat Western New Mexico,” MacDonald said. “I think there are three teams with a good shot to win it with us and Billings with an outside chance.”
If Mesa State can beat Billings (the Mavs won 9-0 during the season), Mesa will play top-seeded Metro State.
Even if the Mavs don’t get past Metro State, MacDonald is confident the Mavs can hold onto their No. 5 ranking in the region and receive a regional bid.
“It would be tough, but I think we can do OK,” MacDonald said. “The key for the men is to take two of the three doubles.”
The Mavericks haven’t qualified for regionals since 2006.