CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (KAUZ) - No. 14 Midwestern State claimed its fourth Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament championship in the last five seasons with a 5-4 win over Cameron Saturday at the HEB Tennis Center.
With the win, the Mustangs received the LSC's automatic bid to the NCAA postseason for the sixth consecutive season. The NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Tennis Selection Shows stream live on NCAA.com at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
MSU previously won the conference's postseason tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2017, all under coach Scott Linn.
Sophomore Bianca Duff fought off five match points to erase a 6-1 deficit, then used the 10-8 win in the second set tiebreaker to clinch the match with a 6-7 (7-4), 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 win over Mathilde Thibaudat at No. 2 singles.
The Mustangs took a 2-1 lead after doubles as the No. 2 and No. 3 flights improved to a combined 38-0 in the last 19 matches.
At No. 3, senior Daria Panferova and freshman Maddie Rowe won their 19th consecutive match, dusting Melany Opolz and Rebeka Velasova, 8-2.
Greta Lazzarotto and Duff extended their program record to 22-straight victories taking an 8-4 decision over Sarah Frendo and Sara Petric at No. 2.
The Aggies continued to battle back in singles. CU won the first three singles matches to take a 4-2 lead.
Petric defeated Lazzarotto (6-4, 6-2) at No. 5, while Velasova took down sophomore Emilija Segetlija (6-1, 6-1) at No. 6. In the day's only ranked singles showdown, 29th-ranked Shviadok topped 23rd-ranked Coffman (6-3, 7-5).
Midwestern fought back using Panferova's 17th-straight victory beating Frendo (7-5, 6-1) at No. 3 before Ramirez leveled the match at 4-all with a three-set win over Opolz (6-3, 1-6, 6-3) at No. 4.
No. 16 Midwestern State captured its fourth conference postseason tournament championship rallying to take down 44th-ranked Cameron, 5-4, Saturday at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi.
The Mustangs improved to 20-5 on the season, marking the fifth-time MSU has eclipsed the 20-win plateau. The postseason title is the first since 2013 and second during the Scott Linn era.
Midwestern is in position to advance to the postseason as the South Central Region's top seed. The Mustangs learn their fate Tuesday night when the NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Tennis Selection shows stream live on NCAA.com at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
It wasn't easy for the Maroon and Gold, who took down the Aggies 6-3 a little over a week ago. Trailing 4-3, 73rd-ranked Angel Palacios and 12th-ranked Vasudev Vijayaraman both earned victories to clinch the match as the final two courts standing.
For the second consecutive match, MSU failed to win at least two doubles courts. Prior to yesterday's win over Western New Mexico, the Mustangs were 0-3 when going into singles down, 2-1.
At the No. 2 flight, Vijayaraman and Denney Norrie opened the match with a decisive 8-3 win against Julen Gutierrez and Stefan Svicevic, improving to 17-8 on the year.
The Aggies answered however, upsetting both of MSU's ranked doubles teams at the No. 1 and No. 3 flights. The 24th-ranked pair of Alex Martinez Roca and Palacios were unable to hold on against Julien Aubry-Damon and Mateo Velasco at No. 3 falling 8-6 to even the match. Przemyslaw Zielinski and Vinicius Santos upset 11th-ranked Dillon Pineda and Nolan McCaig, 9-7 at No. 1 to take the 2-1 lead.
Singles was extremely tight on both sides, but MSU claimes wins in two of three split-set matches to gain the advantage.
Freshman Jean Muniz earned his 15th win of the year downing Svicevic 6-2, 6-1, at No. 6 to even the match before MSU regained the lead on the racquet of Martinez Roca. The freshman swept Aubry-Damon in the first set, 6-0, but held on after a flurry in the second set, winning the tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-1).
Cameron pulled within a point of clinching the match with wins at the No. 4 and No. 2 courts. McCaig fell in an extremely close contest with Velasco -- 7-5, 6-4 -- at No. 4, while Pineda couldn't hold on after taking the second set against Santos, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Palacios battled out of a first-set deficit to topple Gutierrez, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, for his team-leading 20th win of the season to tie the match at four.
Vijayaraman clinched the match in thrilling fashion in the third set. After splitting the first two frames, 3-6, 6-3, the Chennai, India, native trailed 20th-ranked Zielinski, 5-4, in the third. The senior stormed back, winning the final three games to clinch the title.