ABILENE, Texas - McMurry University men's tennis put on a dominating display in earning an 8-1 Heartland Conference win over the University of Texas of the Permian Basin at the Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center. The "Senior Day" victory was McM's fourth in its last six matches.
The War Hawks upped their overall record to 9-10 overall and 3-1 in Heartland matches. The Falcons, conversely, fell to 7-9 for 2014 and 1-4 versus the league.
Three tight battles in doubles play to open the day all ended up on the McM side of the ledger, giving the hosts a 3-0 cushion heading into singles play. Winning at No. 1 singles were Casjen Rico and Dustin Douglas, defeating UTPB's Justin Pena and Adam Cheney, 9-8 (8-1).
At the Nos. 2 and 3 matches, McMurry's teams won by identical 8-6 scores in both. At No. 2, seniors Preston Steblein and Felipe Cruz won over Alvaro Sifuentes and Jaxon Imler, and at No. 3 it was McM's Carlos Perez and Hunter Ward getting by Caio Aguiar and Mateus Munhoz.
McMurry flexed its muscle in singles, winning five out of six matches, despite playing without No. 2 singles regular, and senior, Chris Breaux (illness). At No. 1 singles Cruz won a 6-3, 6-4 decision over Pena.
The McM lineup then shifted up a slot the balance of the matches. Dani Perez played No. 2 and defeated UTPB's Sifuentes, 6-2, 6-4. Rico won at No. 4 with a 6-3, 6-3 count versus Aguiar, while Cristiano Mendes, a senior, had to work a bit harder – but with the same result - at No. 5 versus the Falcons' Munhoz, 6-3, 7-5.
At No. 6, Tom Weir got the nod and improved his personal record to 4-1 in singles with his 6-1, 6-3 win over UTPB's Imler.
McMurry - currently sitting in third place in the Heartland Conference standings - will have a chance to leapfrog into the second spot tomorrow when it faces off against St. Mary's University (9-9, 4-1 HC), the team immediately ahead on the league leaderboard. The match begins at 11 a.m. in Mason, Texas.
McMurry University 8, Texas-Permian Basin 1
Apr 17, 2014 at Abilene, Texas (Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center)
1. Felipe Cruz (MCMMT) def. Justin Pena (UTPB-M) 6-3, 6-4
2. Dani Perez (MCMMT) def. Alvaro Sifuentes (UTPB-M) 6-2, 6-4
3. Adam Cheney (UTPB-M) def. Preston Steblein (MCMMT) 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 10-8
4. Casjen Rico (MCMMT) def. Caio Aguiar (UTPB-M) 6-3, 6-3
5. Cristiano Mendes (MCMMT) def. Mateus Munhoz (UTPB-M) 6-3, 7-5
6. Tom Weir (MCMMT) def. Jaxon Imler (UTPB-M) 6-1, 6-3
1. Casjen Rico/Dustin Douglas (MCMMT) def. Justin Pena/Adam Cheney (UTPB-M) 9-8 (8-1)
2. Preston Steblein/Felipe Cruz (MCMMT) def. Alvaro Sifuentes/Jaxon Imler (UTPB-M) 8-6
3. Carlos Perez/Hunter Ward (MCMMT) def. Caio Aguiar/Mateus Munhoz (UTPB-M) 8-6
Information for this story provided by McMurry Athletics.