WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - No. 16 Midwestern State buried Metro State with a singles onslaught to advance to the NCAA Division II nationals Monday at the MSU Tennis Center.
And it was no surprise.
The Mustangs caught the 38th-ranked Roadrunners with straight-set wins at Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles -- and they were through.
MSU matched the second most wins in program history improving to 21-5 (2000, 2001).
The Mustangs open play in Round of 16 at the Surprise (Ariz.) Tennis and Racquet Club on Wednesday, May 9th. MSU faces a yet to be determined opponent.
After the 11th-ranked team of Dillon Pineda and Nolan McCaig was upset 8-2 at the No. 1 line by 31st-ranked Josh Graetz and Joey Tscherne, the Maroon and Gold never lost a set to clinch the win.
The 24th-ranked pair of Alex Martinez Roca and Angel Palacios won an 8-2 decision over Calum Hayes and Alejandro Martinez at the No. 3 flight to even the match. Palacios moved into a tie with Michael Mills (2000) for fourth all-time with his 41st combined win of the season while Martinez Roca matched Mill's mark from 2001 with his 40th win of the year.
The duo of Vasudev Vijayaraman and Denney Norrie took the lead for MSU, downing Keenan Kaltenbacher and Daniel Llorente, 8-5, at No. 2.
The Mustangs left no doubt in singles, racing out to decisive first set wins on all six courts.
Martinez Roca blasted Kaltenbacher, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 5 to stretch the lead to 3-1, picking up his 20th singles win of the season. Freshman Jean Muniz followed, taking down Hayes, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 6 line.
Leading on the remaining four courts, McCaig clinched the win, besting Martinez, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 4 to send MSU to the NCAA Championship site for the fourth time under Head Coach Scott Linn.
Midwestern State draws a familiar foe in second-seeded Hawaii Pacific in the NCAA Division II Round of 16 set for Tuesday, May 8th at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Club. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. (Central Time).
The Mustangs played HPU to within 5-4 last month in Las Vegas. MSU claimed wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, while Daria Panferova and Emilija Segetlija added victories at Nos. 3 and 6 singles, respectively.
Maddy Coffman and Ashley Ramirez held a 6-2 lead at No. 2 doubles, but the Sharks' Lena Lutzeier and Barbora Kijasove rallied for an 8-6 win.
MSU's Bianca Duff and Greta Lazzarotto also extended singles matches with split sets at the Nos. 2 and 5 lines.
The Mustangs advanced to NCAA Division II nationals for the fifth time in the last six seasons with a hard fought 5-3 win over Cameron Saturday at the MSU Tennis Center.
MSU reached the quarterfinal round in 2015 and 2017.