Metro men’s tennis faltered this week, losing conference matches April 7 and 8 at Denver’s Gates Tennis Center to the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Montana State University at Billings, 9-0 and 6-3, respectively.
The team bounced back with a 9-0 beat down April 12 over Colorado Christian University April 12.
The men’s team is 9-9 overall; 3-3 in conference play. The women’s team is 8-8 overall; 3-2 in conference play. As of April 9, the men’s team was fourth in the regional rankings.
Despite the losses, the Roadrunners can still make the NCAA tournament if they hold on to their top four spot in the regional rankings.
Metro women’s tennis team lost to conference leading UNK 5-4, but won back-to-back matches against MSUB and CCU, 9-0, and 6-3. The team is ranked seventh in the regional rankings.
The match against CCU proved to be an easy task for the men’s side. Junior Mike Riley shined defeating CCU’s Luke Black 6-0, 6-0 in singles. They went on to finish off Colorado Christian in doubles, 8-2, 8-1, and 8-0.
The women’s team also performed well, despite early struggles. Metro’s top two players, Alicia Holm and Nicole Herrmann, dropped their matches. The rest of the squad went on to win in straight sets. Metro later took two doubles matches after dropping the first.
The match against Montana State was a blow for the men’s team, as the Runners were in front of MSUB in the regional rankings heading into the match.
Metro lost in each of their top three singles matches, as well as the No. 2 and 3 doubles matches.
Co-captain senior Lucio Cangiano won his No. 1 doubles match against MSUB 8-6, but stumbled in his No. 1 singles match; losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
“I played well, but I lost my mind in the third set,” Cangiano said. “I was really unhappy.”
The Brazilian lefty believes his team needs a little more work before they enter the postseason.
“Hopefully, our team can improve and practice hard for the regional tournament,” Cangiano said.
The women’s team played their best game of the season against MSUB, and tennis head coach Beck Meares said she was proud of her team.
“The girls played really, really good today,” Meares said.
Coming off a tough 5-4 loss against UNK the previous day, the women turned it around sweeping MSUB and everyone won their matches. The team was forced to a third set only once against MSUB.
“After yesterday’s match (April 7 against UNK), we went over a few things,” Meares said. “They went out there and really changed it up. The score shows it.”
The women’s team will need to win the upcoming Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament, starting April 22, in order to advance to the regional tournament.
While the postseason picture is not yet clear, Meares said she thinks both teams can make noise if they advance that far.
“On both sides we definitely have the skill,” Meares said. “If we can start winning (the big points), both teams can definitely make a run.”