San Antonio - The Trinity Tigers men’s tennis team, ranked sixth in the NCAA Division III, split two matches Saturday with higher division teams at the Butch Newman Tennis Center.
Trinity (15-6) was edged 4-5 in the opener with the Division I University of the Incarnate Word, and then bounced back to defeat Division II’s McMurry University 7-2.
UIW clinched the matchup with Trinity at No. 4 singles, as Nico Moreno lost a last-match-on-the-court battle 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8).
The Tigers began the match with the Cardinals by taking a 2-1 lead after doubles. Moreno and Paxton Deuel won the No. 1 line 8-4, while Charlie Curtis and Clayton Niess took No. 3 doubles 8-3. Incarnate Word closed the score to 1-2 as Jordan Mayer and Greg Haugen lost a tight 6-8 match at No. 2 doubles.
The match was evened at 2-2 after No. 3 singles, with Aaron Skinner falling 1-6, 1-6. Jordan Mayer gave Trinity a 3-2 lead with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles. But UIW came back and won No. 1 singles, as Deuel lost 2-6, 6-2. The match see-sawed some more, with Curtis winning the No. 6 line 6-3, 6-0. Then, it was all-squared after No. 2 singles, as Haugen came up short 5-7, 2-6.
In spite of a rain-hampered afternoon, the Tigers completely turned around their day against McMurry. Trinity won all three doubles matches, with Deuel and Moreno winning 8-4 on the No. 1 line, Haugen and Jordan Mayer getting an 8-3 nod at No. 2, and Curtis and Niess picking up an 8-4 victory at No. 3.
Haugen gave Trinity a 4-0 lead by winning No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-4; and Skinner had the honor of clinching at No. 4, by a score of 6-1, 6-1. Deuel won No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-3; and Curtis took the No. 6 match 6-1, 6-4. Moreno lost a three-setter 6-4, 4-6, 5-10 at No. 3 singles; and Jordan Mayer fell 6-7, 4-6 at No. 5, as McMurry picked up its other two points.Trinity will host San Antonio’s St. Mary’s University at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, April 10. The Rattlers are ranked No. 27 in Division II.