The 49ers men's tennis team took down UTSA in a nail-biting, 4-3 win in the quarterfinals but failed to follow it up the next day against No. 44 Middle Tennessee, losing 4-0 to end their season. Charlotte will finish the season 13-12, their first time above .500 in five years.
Quarterfinals vs. UTSA(4-3)
Charlotte head coach Kyle Bailey summed up the game perfectly when he said after the game.
"It was a great match, another nail-biter at Halton-Wagner. Our seniors once again stepped up. This is what it has been about down the stretch, these guys exhausting the tank and putting it on the line."
Charlotte lost both doubles matches to give the Roadrunners their first point of the day. Charlotte got the next two points in singles, and eventually, they were tied at three with one match to decide it. Leo Menezes delivered and took down UTSA's Kai Breitbach 7-6, 6-4 to give Charlotte the win with the match on the line.
"Leo came to play today," Bailey said. "This was one of the best matches that I have seen him play in a while, which was great to see."
Semifinals vs. No. 44 Middle Tennessee(0-4)
Charlotte started the doubles matches well, but it was Middle Tennessee that took both doubles matches. None of the Niners emerged victorious in their singles matches. Ignasi de Rueda, Stefanos Savva, and Leo Menezes were able to split sets one and two, but none got a chance to play set three as their matches were cut short once the Middle Tennessee victory was announced.
"We got off to a really good start in doubles, and I thought we had them on the ropes," Charlotte coach Kyle Bailey said. "They were having trouble adjusting to the court change. Then in singles, I thought we were not quite able to stick some of those moments and stay with what we were doing.
"Honestly, I thought we were in good spots; it was just a matter of being able to stay with it and continue. I felt when we were not able to do that, they loosened up a little bit and started to play a lot better."
This is the end of the road for four Charlotte players in Collin Thomson, Ben Wayand, Leo Menezes, and Ignasi de Rueda, the 73rd ranked player in the ITA singles rankings. Despite losing these key players, Coach Bailey will build on the team's success this year into next season.
"The seniors, Ignasi de Rueda and Leo Menezes, that we brought back, plus Ben Wayand and Collin Thomson as fourth-year seniors, took it on themselves to take the program and continue to push it forward," Bailey said. "For them to step up and beat a lot of the teams that we did is something to build on."