DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU men’s tennis team posted a dramatic, come-from-behind win over Notre Dame, 5-2, on Sun., Apr. 3, at Haggar Tennis Stadium.
A rowdy crowd filled the stadium and cheered the SMU players to victory. The crowd erupted when Gwinyai Chingoka’s gutty three-set win at No. 2 singles clinched the win. Despite cramping in the third set, the senior posted a big 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Barry King in the decisive match.
"This was the best crowd we've had in my 12-year tenure," said Mustang head coach Carl Neufeld. "It was great to have our supporters and fellow student-athletes out cheering for our team. It was an amazing atmosphere."
After dropping the doubles point to fall behind 1-0, SMU roared back in singles, winning five of the six matches to improve to 11-9 on the season. Notre Dame suffered just its sixth loss of the season and fell to 15-6.
Leading the way for the Ponies was Paul McNaughton, who cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over the Irish’s Stephen Bass at No. 1 singles.
"Paul played super tennis today," said Neufeld. "He beat one of the top players in the country and helped set the tone for us today."
Peter Oredsson and Henrik Soderberg also posted straight-set wins, taking points at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.
SMU’s David Kuczer closed out the action, taking a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Ryan Keckley at No. 6.
”This is a huge win for us,” said Neufeld. “Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 20 in the country for most of the season, so for us to come out and win five of the singles matches says a lot about our players. I’m very proud of this team.”
Up next for the Mustangs is a visit from regional foe UTA on Wed., Apr. 6, at 2 p.m.