"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 straight win to punch a ticket to the Round of 16 for the second straight season. The Mustangs face 13th-ranked California, San Diego on Wed., May 14 at the Sanlando Park Tennis Center in Altamonte Spring, Fla. First serve is set for 12:30 p.m.
St. Edward's came in as the hot team winning 14 of its last 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 over 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. "I was really glad that won because it was 5-4 and each match was so important."
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.
"I felt like I got a little too far ahead of myself and the guy started playing a little better," he said. "I just wanted to come out strong in the third set and try to catch momentum."
Norrie rebounded to give the Mustangs their first lead of the match at 4-3 by claiming the decisive set 6-1.
"I was trying not to look around too much, but I did have a gut feeling that I needed to pull this match out for my team," he said. "I wanted my teammates to really depend on me."
St. Edward's tied the match when Patrick Clynes came off the court with a hot contested 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over MSU junior Kacper Boborykin at No. 1.
It was a good thing 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.
"I knew I needed to make more balls. I wasn't making him play and I was beating myself," Liston said. "Coach Linn helped me a lot and gave me some tactical advice and I just went with it. (Agoglio) got tight. On the match points he had, he didn't play well. I went with it and played well the rest of the match."
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.
"It's always tough because we always want to stay on the court as long as we can because it gives each other hope," Liston said. "If I'd have lost that 6-2 in the second set, our season would have been done."
South Central Region 1 Championship
Midwestern State 5, St. Edward's 4
Pedro Bronstrup/Felix Bake (SEU) def. Tomas Grejtak/Ramon Toyos (MSU ) 8-6
Kacper Boborykin/Kyle Davidson (MSU) def. Patrick Clynes/Alexandre Bueno (SEU) 8-5
Maximo Agoglia/Adrian Garza (SEU) def. Jarrod Liston/Zack Santagate (MSU) 9-8 (8-6)
Patrick Clynes (SEU) def. Kacper Boborykin (MSU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
Felix Bake (SEU) def. Kyle Davidson (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
Ramon Toyos (MSU) def. Pedro Bronstrup (SEU) 6-4, 6-4
Jarrod Liston (MSU) def. Maximo Agoglia (SEU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
Christopher Norrie (MSU) def. Alexandre Bueno (SEU) 6-1, 6-7 (5-8), 6-1
Tomas Grejtak (MSU) def. Adrian Garza (SEU) 7-5, 7-5
Order of Finish
Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,6,5,1,4)
St. Edward's (15-8)
Midwestern State (18-6)
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