The A-10 men’s tennis championship came down to the No. 2 singles match Sunday, pitting Colonials senior Ugur Atalay against Xavier sophomore Mesa Mei for the point that would earn their team the league title.
After Mei took the first set, he was sidelined by an injury that prevented him from playing to his full strength. Unwilling to quit on his team, the Musketeers sophomore played through the pain, but it hampered his performance and he dropped the next two sets to to Atalay.
After the match concluded, and GW had claimed its second straight Atlantic 10 championship, Xavier head coach Eric Toth complimented Atalay and the Colonials for their sportsmanship during the No. 2 singles match and celebration after claiming the A-10 title.
“The atmosphere was set for a special finish to this year’s tournament, but Mesa just physically could not be at his best. That happens sometimes in college tennis and Mesa did the best he could to finish. I give Ugar Atalay credit for the way he executed to finish the match, but more importantly how he conducted himself in a tricky situation. He has been a class act in his four years at GW and today was no exception,” Toth said in a news release. “I also congratulate [Colonials head coach Greg] Munoz and the rest of his squad on another championship, but mostly for the class he and his guys showed in winning the match, ideally not the way they would want to clinch a championship. They were classy. Kudos to them.”
Atalay, also a member of GW’s No. 1 doubles pair with freshman Francisco Dias, and the rest of the Colonials will next head to the NCAA tournament, where they will look to avenge last year’s loss in the first round to Duke.