ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico women's tennis team closed out their regular season with a 7-0 victory over Air Force on Saturday, taking a four match winning streak into next week’s Mountain West Championship.
“I am incredibly proud of this young team,” interim head coach Kelcy McKenna said. “We came out ready to compete and played some very solid tennis. These young ladies have put in a lot of hard work over the past two weeks and it certainly showed in today's match.”
Saturday’s perfect sweep of the Falcons was long overdue, as the Lobos had not defeated AFA since 2009.
After an intense hour of doubles competition, the Lobos came out with the point. Freshmen duo Rachana Bhat and Susan Baklini recorded an 8-3 win the in the No. 3 spot to give UNM a slight lead, but the No. 1 and No. 2 courts were tightly contested the whole way throughout. Misa Bezdickova and Lizette Blankers pulled off an 8-6 victory over AFA’s Natasha Rizvi and Mary Meyers to seal the deal for the Lobos. Natasha Smith’s and Dominique Dulski’s match was at 7-6 when it was called.
The Lobos gained an early lead in singles play and never looked back. Meredith Hopson was the first off the court. She won her first set 6-1 and then her opponent retired due to an injury.
Dulski tallied the third win for the Lobos and Smith clinched the match with win in the No. 4 spot.
Bezdickova and Blankers finished simultaneously and gave UNM a 6-0 edge. Bezdickova, the only senior on the roster, recorded her tenth singles win of the season in her final home match as a Lobo.
Bhat finished the match with one more UNM victory to give the Lobo’s the perfect sweep. Her win in the No. 6 position extended her singles winning streak to thirteen matches and allowed her to go undefeated in the regular season.
The Lobos will head to the MW Tournament with a final regular season record of 15-7, 4-1.
It was a successful Senior Day match for Bezdickova and graduating junior Susanna Kuuttila. Both Lobos were honored before the match.
Result: UNM def. Air Force, 7-0
1) Bezdickova/Blankers (UNM) def. Rizvi/Meyers (AFA), 8-6
2) Smith/Dulski (UNM) && Tran/ L. Forlini (AFA) – UNFINISHED
3) Bhat/Baklini (UNM) def. Hueffnor/Magday (AFA), 8-3
Order of Finish: (3, 1)
1) Bezdickova (UNM) def. Tran (AFA), 7-5, 6-2
2) Blankers (UNM) def. Meyers (AFA), 6-4, 7-6
3) Hopson (UNM) def. Rizvi (AFA), 6-1, ret.
4) Smith (UNM) def. Magday (AFA), 6-1, 6-2
5) Dulski (UNM) def. L. Forlini (AFA), 6-0, 6-2
6) Bhat (UNM) def. Landram (AFA), 7-6, 6-3
Order of Finish: (3, 5, 4, 1, 2, 6)