WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Midwestern State used a gritty effort to outlast a determined St. Edward's (Texas) squad 5-4 in the South Central Region No. 1 championship on Sunday afternoon at the MSU Tennis Center.
"This wasn't our best performance of the season, but it may have been our most gutsy," MSU coach Scott Linn said. "We had several guys who could have just turned it in. Each of them kept fighting."
The Mustangs claimed their fifth consecutive win to punch a ticket to the Round of 16 for the second season in a row. The Mustangs face UC San Diego on May 14 at the Sanlando Park Tennis Center in Altamonte Spring, Florida. .
St. Edward's came in as the hot team winning 14 of its past 15 matches against Division II competition since taking a 7-1 loss to MSU back in February.
The Hilltoppers brought adversity to the Mustangs by taking a 2-1 lead at the end of doubles play then moved ahead 3-1 when Felix Bake claimed a 6-1, 6-4 against Kyle Davidson at the No. 2 singles position.
MSU freshman Ramon Toyos responded by taking down Pedro Bronstrup in straight sets at the No. 3 spot (6-4, 6-4). From that point on, it was all about the fight in the Mustangs.
Junior Tomas Grejtak endured leg cramps, even taking a medical timeout midway through the second set, before surviving Adrian Garza 7-5, 7-5 at No. 6 to even match at 3-all.
"I had some health issues, so I had to change my game plan a little bit. I knew my team needed this point, so I tried to dig in," Grejtak said.
Freshman Chris Norrie appeared to have his match at the No. 5 position under control by taking the first set 6-1, but SEU's Alexandre Bueno fought back to take the second set in a tiebreaker.
Norrie rebounded to give the Mustangs their first lead of the match at 4-3 by claiming the decisive set 6-1.
St. Edward's tied the match when Patrick Clynes came off the court with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win against MSU junior Kacper Boborykin at No. 1.
MSU junior Jarrod Liston fought off match points in the second set, falling behind SEU's Maximo Agoglio by a set at 6-1 and was on the ropes 5-1 in the second.
Liston rallied back to claim the next six points for a 7-5 win in the second set then put away Agoglio, who was suffering through a bout of cramps of his own, in third set 6-4 for the clinching win.