By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
The UNO men’s tennis team split weekend action in Kansas City, falling to UMKC 7-0 Friday morning then dropping Emporia State 6-3 in the afternoon. Though the Mavs were unable to earn any points against UMKC, one of the Summit League’s best squads, UNO quickly pushed the loss under the rug and went back on the court to sweep doubles and split singles against Emporia State.
“It’s always rough seeing that 7-0 on the score sheet but overall if you look at the scores there’s a lot of positives to take from the men’s side,” head coach Mike Saniuk said. “After the match I don’t think they were down, they were…I don’t want to say pleased but a little more upbeat knowing that they’re right there with those teams.”
“They definitely carried that momentum over to the Emporia match which was good to see.”
UNO’s match with UMKC was their second of the season against a future Summit League opponent. But unlike the first matchup with South Dakota State in February, the Mavs were unable to earn any team points and were shut out 7-0.
In doubles, only the two spot of Connor Larson and Anthony Forcucci won more than two sets. Larson and Forcucci were defeated 8-5 while Carlos Ramos Salazar and Peter Greteman in the one spot fell 8-2 and Nathan Greteman and Ben Williams were beaten by the same score.
Nathan Greteman and Andrew Lescelius had the best chances to earn singles victories. Though both fell in straight sets, the pair each pushed one of their sets to 7-5.
Nathan Greteman lost 7-5, 6-1 and Lescelius was defeated 6-0, 7-5. Ramos Salazar dropped the first spot 6-0, 6-1, Forcucci fell in the second spot 6-1, 6-1, Larson was beaten 6-3, 6-2 in the third spot and Williams lost the fourth spot 6-3, 6-0.
But redemption was only a few hours away and UNO took full advantage of it. Against former MIAA opponent Emporia State, the Mavs started off well in doubles then split singles to win 6-3.
UNO faced the Hornets with the same doubles teams, and it proved to be a good move. Ramos Salazar and Peter Greteman won 8-6, Larson and Forcucci were victorious 8-4 and Nathan Greteman and Ben Williams won 8-3.
The Mavs only needed two singles wins to get the victory, but it wasn’t without some difficulty. All three of UNO’s top spots had to go three sets to get a win.
Ramos Salazar won 6-4, fell in the second set 6-4, then played the 10-point tiebreaking third set, dropping the set to Andrew Davis 15-13. Forcucci was in a similar situation in the two spot but rebounded from a long first set to take the last two.
Mat Edwards won the lengthy first set 7-6 (15-13), but Forcucci made quick work of him in the second 6-2. That momentum carried over to the third set where Forcucci won 10-4.
Larson played three sets as well, but his victory came a little bit quicker. Larson started off with a 6-2 win, lost the second set 6-3 but came back for a 10-7 third-set win.
“Our two player, Anthony, played very well,” Saniuk said. [He] came from behind, lost the first set, won the second set then got the win in the breaker.”
“That focus is something that we really haven’t seen a whole lot of this year. For him to do that was a good stepping point for him in the season.”
Ben Williams dropped the fourth spot 7-5, 6-3, Nathan Greteman lost the fifth spot 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) and Lescelius won in the sixth spot 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
UNO was scheduled to face IPFW Saturday afternoon in Kansas City but the match was cancelled due to rain. The Mavs return to the court Thursday at Creighton.