(Editor's note: Montana State athletics press release)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill—Montana State’s magical 2021-22 season continued Wednesday when Matej Panik and Jamieson Nathan combined to beat Virginia’s 12th-ranked doubles team of Chris Rodesch and Ryan Goetz in the first round of the NCAA Individual Championships in Champaign, Illinois.
Panik and Nathan dropped the first set 6-4, with Virginia breaking serve at 1-1 and staying on serve for the win. The Cats answered with a dominant second set. MSU broke serve to go up 2-0, then broke again to go up 5-1 and served out the set to win 6-1.
Buoyed by the second set show of strength, Panik and Nathan went up 6-2 in the third set 10-point tie-breaker. Goetz and Rodesch rallied to draw within one point, with Nathan serving up 9-8 and a chance to clinch the match.
Virginia returned the serve, but when the each team attacked the net Nathan returned a shot to UVa’s forecourt. The Cavaliers returned it into the net, and Montana State had clinched a historic win.
Montana State advances to the round of 16 on Wednesday, facing either sixth-ranked Finley Murgett and Tad McClean or Auburn or North Carolina’s 16th-ranked tandem of Brian Cemoch and Mac Kiger.