On Saturday of Easter weekend, the Roadrunner men’s tennis team hosted the UT-Arlington Mavericks in the Runners’ last home Southland Conference match-up before they enter their new home in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Runners came into the weekend on a three-match winning streak, but the Mavericks eventually edged the Runners in a highly competitive afternoon, 4-3.
The Runners and Mavericks battled fiercely in the early doubles competition. The visiting Mavs jumped to an early advantage, winning two of the matches in tie-breakers (8-2, 9-8, 9-8).
The Mavs and Runners competed ferociously through all of the singles matches. Freshman David Kelleher fought back from an early losing set and eventually defeated UTA senior David Subirats (1-6,6-3,6-3).
“He’s done that quite a bit throughout the year and that’s been pretty impressive,” UTSA Head Coach Jeff Kader said about Kelleher’s performance.
After that victory, the Runners and Mavs were tied at three victories each. The UTSA and UTA tennis teams and the attending audience watched UTSA junior Tyler Brown and UTA junior Soren Goritzka compete against each other. The international battle resembled a major professional tournament.
Teammates and audience members watched as the two players battled for almost four hours in the Texas heat. The match was a display of heart and guts, each player matching each other point for point. Wood remained determined to keep up with his opponent, who was once ranked third in his home country Germany. Eventually Goritzka clinched the winning point for the Mavs, defeating Wood 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3).
The Roadrunners have one more matchup with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi before they participate in the Southland Conference Tournament in Nacogdoches, Texas. They will continue to sharpen their skills until then.
“When you have the opportunity, you need to finish it. If you leave someone hanging around for the rest the game, you tire yourself out so you need to put the game away on the first opportunity you have,” Kader said.
The Roadrunners will go on the road for their next tennis match in Corpus Christi to play against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on April 14.