UCCS men top Dallas Baptist

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 14, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS- Josh Johnson scored a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Kerry Koppa at No. 4 singles to propel the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's tennis team to a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Baptist Patriots Tuesday at the Country Club of Colorado.

The Mountain Lions were leading the match 4-3 with Johnson and Koppa still competing at No. 4 and UCCS' Marc Knutila playing Matt Nations at No. 5. Knutila had just taken a hard-fought second set to tie his match, but with the No. 4 match well underway, Knutila's match at No. 5 would finish only if Johnson lost.

Knutila did not have to finish, but Koppa made it close.

After taking the first set 6-3 and losing the second 2-6, Johnson took a quick 3-0 lead in the third. Koppa battled back to tie the match at five before Johnson rallied to take the final two games. With the win, Johnson improved to 7-2 in singles play this season.

The Mountain Lions' hottest player, though, is Jason Schultz, who teamed with Eric Rivera for an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles Tuesday and topped Travis Dixon 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. For the season, Schultz and Rivera are 8-2 in doubles play.

"We just click as a team," said Schultz. "Our games complement each other. He's really strong on the backhand and I'm more of a forehand player."

An honor student, Schultz's academic success has actually helped him succeed on the court this spring.

"I worked out my class schedule so that I got done in 3½ years," said Schultz, "so right now I can just focus on tennis."

Rivera also won his singles match on Tuesday, while Marc Knutila and Max Grassby earned a point for UCCS at No. 3 doubles.

The Mountain Lions improved to 7-3 on the season. The have gone 3-2, all against nonconference opponents, this spring and were scheduled to play Winona State later Tuesday. Schultz believes the schedule will serve UCCS well when they return to Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action.

"I definitely think its positive getting different competition," said Schultz. "Our coach (Matt Hays) has scheduled a lot more matches this year against different opponents. It gives us different styles of players to compete against and that improves your game."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Josh JohnsonJosh Johnson
Josh JohnsonJosh Johnson
Max GrassbyMax Grassby
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