By Patrick Doty
The Mav tennis team returned to action in snow-filled Omaha Friday and Saturday with a pair of wins against Kearney and Emporia State after two matches were postponed earlier in the week.Saturday’s match-up against the Emporia State Hornets was a thriller down to the last swing at Hanscom Park Tennis Center.
In the final match of the night, with the team score tied at 4-4 and senior team captain Maggie Russell down one set and losing 2-5 in the second, the outlook seemed bleak for the Mavs.
“We were completely down and out,” said Coach Bill Nichols. “It looked like one more game and the whole shebang was going to be over.”
Refusing to be fazed by the deficit, Russell rallied back and won the second game 7-6. She went on to win the final game with another close score, 10-8, and secure the 5-4 win for the Mavericks.
“It was the perfect win. I couldn’t have asked for it to shake down any better than it did,” Nichols said. “To come out with a win after feeling like we were completely down-and-out was just a thrill.”
After sophomore Rachel Faulk and Russell lost their doubles match in a tiebreaker, Faulk also rallied back to continue her stellar season. With a singles win over Hornets No. 1 Marcela Bayon, Faulk remained undefeated in singles play for the season.
The No. 3 doubles team of Amy Pierson and Katie Spahn won their match by a convincing score of 8-1, but went on to lose their respective singles matches.
“To be able to win the match against one of the best, or maybe the best, team in the region will keep our backs up and push us forward,” Nichols said.
Friday’s match against intra-state rival University of Nebraska at Kearney did not contain nearly the drama of Saturday’s match. The Mavs did not lose a single set in the 9-0 win.
The Mavs play their second North Central Conference match on Friday against Minnesota State Mankato at 6 p.m. in the Hanscom Park Tennis Center.