MSU roundup: Men's tennis, Emily Brennan advance

MSU freshman Emily Brennan advanced to the NCAA National Championship on Thursday / Source: MSU Athletic Communications
MSU freshman Emily Brennan advanced to the NCAA National Championship on Thursday / Source: MSU Athletic Communications

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State punched its ticket to the national quarterfinals in dominating fashion, rolling to a 5-1 victory over 17th-ranked Bluefield State in the Round of 16 at the NCAA II Championships in Surprise, Arizona, on Wednesday.

The Mustangs make their fifth appearance (2006, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018) in the NCAA II Quarterfinals on Thursday, taking on No. 2 seed Columbus State at 11 a.m. (Central). The Cougars defeated Southwest Baptist, 5-0, on Wednesday to advance.

MSU pounced on the Big Blues early in doubles to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The 15th-ranked duo of Dillon Pineda and Nolan McCaig cruised to an 8-3 win over Girogi Datashvili and Tom Schmieta at No. 1 to open the match and stake MSU to a 1-0 lead.

BSC evened the match at one-all as Vasudev Vijayaraman and Denney Norrie fell to Ignacio Pulido and Arthur Figuiere, 8-5, at No. 2.

In the day's only ranked matchup, MSU's 40th-ranked tandem of Alex Martinez Roca and Angel Palacios outlasted 44th-ranked Alex Rudenco and Luke Busse, 8-5, at No. 3 to give the Mustangs a 2-1 edge going into singles.

Picking up where he left off in doubles, 73rd-ranked Palacios wasted no time in a complete domination of Datashvili, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3 to stretch the advantage to 3-1.

Not long after, 13th-ranked Vijayaraman toppled Figuiere, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 1 to put MSU within a point of clinching the match.

Seconds later, Martinez Roca secured the Maroon and Gold's berth into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Schmieta at No. 5.

MSU was down a set on all three remaining courts as the match was decided.

W. Golf: Brennan earns individual Nationals berth

It was a rough start for Midwestern State's Emily Brennan in the final round of the NCAA Division II Super Region 4 Championships played at the Hillcrest Golf Club.

But the freshman from Stoke-on-Trent, England went 2-under on the Back Nine to notch a 2-over 74 to finish sixth on the individual leader board.

The finish was good enough to earn qualification into the NCAA Division II Championships set for May 16-19 at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston.

Brennan becomes the second student-athlete in program history to earn nationals qualification joining 2015 champ Brenna Moore. She is the MSU player to finish in the Top 10 at a regional championship joining Moore (1st in 2015) and Taylor Klutts (9th in 2013).

Brennan notched scores of 74, 78 and 74 for a 10-over total of 226 and advances as the third individual qualifier joining Oklahoma Christian's Kate Goodwin, who finished tied for first with a 7-over 223, and Tarleton State's Casey Wild, who placed fifth with a 9-over 225.

Dallas Baptist claimed the team championship with a 37-over, 54-hole team total of 901. The Patriots move on to nationals along with West Texas A&M (907/+43) and California Baptist (909/+45).

Midwestern State finished with progressively improving team totals of 317, 315 and 304 for a 72-over 936 to tie for sixth with St. Mary's (Texas). The Mustangs finished seventh in each of their previous five postseason showings.

Freshman Juanita Gomez opened the third round with brilliance logging four birdies in the first seven holes on her way to a team tournament best even-par 72. The Medellin, Colombia native tied for 21st overall with a three-round, 16-over total of 232.

Fellow freshman Katie Reeves logged scores of 82, 77 and 79 to place 38th with a 22-over total of 238, while senior Sarah Moore tied for 42nd with tallies of 82, 80 and 70 for a 25-over total of 241.

Sophomore Lexi Read tied for 49th with scores of 84, 80 and 79 for a 27-over total of 243.

West Texas A&M's Holly Winter tied Goodwin for top individual medalist honors.

Keck, Mustangs finish strong to take 10th in Regionals

Clayton Keck closed out his collegiate career in style in the final round of the NCAA Division II West/South Central Region Championship Wednesday at LaPaloma Golf Club.

The senior from Tulsa polished off his round with an eagle on the par-5, 508-yard 17th hole then birdied the par-4, 423-yard 18th hole to log a 2-under 69.

Keck's play helped the Mustangs finish the season strong following an opening round 302 with a 289 and 293 to take 10th with a team total of 884 (+32).

Keck tied for 22nd overall with a 6-over total of 219, but wasn't the only Mustang to pick his play during the tournament.

Fellow senior Trip Hobson tied for 37th delivering his best score with a even-par 70. The Crockett, Texas native sandwiched a pair of 76s in the first and third rounds to total 222 (+10).

Junior Clayton Meyers pushed past a 79 in the opening round to notch two team countable tallies with a 71 and 73 to close with an 11-over total of 223.

Junior Chance Craig tied for 76th carding scores of 78, 76 and 75 for a 17-over total of 227, while freshman Conrad Rafferty recorded respectable scores of 76 and 72 in the first two rounds before struggling an 85 in the third.

St. Mary's (Texas) claimed top team honors posting a 9-over 861. The Rattlers advance to the national tournament along with California Baptist (865/+13), Holy Names (869/+17), UC-Colorado Springs (871/+19) and Colorado Christian (878/+26).

Colorado School of Mines' George Markham claimed individual medalist honors in a two-hole playoff over St. Mary's Emilio Gonzales. The two finished with 5-under totals of 208 over the three-round tournament.

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