Jan. 21, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The start of the spring season has officially arrived and it couldn't have been any better for the Lobos as they start the season undefeated after blowing past the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 7-0. Freshmen Riaan Du Toit and Andrew Van Der Vyver won both of their singles matches, while Du Toit also got some doubles action with him and partner James Hignett winning at number two doubles.
Doubles could not have started any better as the crowd cheered after every point the Lobos won. Fellow athletes also came by to cheer, while others came to make some noise for UNM by blowing their vuvuzelas.
Van der Vyver put his first doubles match under his belt as he played at number one doubles with teammate Jadon Phillips. The two came close to winning but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Peter Nagy and Odon Barta got the better of them to win 8-6.
Du Toit and Hignett clinched the doubles point at number two doubles as they defeated Pietro Jorado and Matt Westmoreland with a score of 8-5.
After the Lobos took the doubles point, singles was to follow and it would be no different as the Lobos won all six of the singles matches.
Iftikhar took to the court at number one singles for the first time in his career and it looked like he quite enjoyed it. The first set he kept his momentum going from doubles into this match to take it 6-0 against Nagy. The second, Nagy had picked up his style of play to win four games but Iftikhar was more than ready to clinch the dual match win for UNM as he won the match with a final score of 6-0, 6-4.
"It was the first match of the season so it's very important to come out as sharp as we could," Iftikhar said. "We have been working really hard over the last couple of weeks to be ready for this match so this will hopefully send a message to some of the tougher teams that are coming up in the next few weeks and next couple of months."
At number two singles, Jadon Phillips had a close first set against Westmoreland. Phillips kept at it though and managed to secure the win after many rallies with a final score of 7-5, 6-3.
At number three singles, Du Toit started off the first set comfortably with a score of 6-1 against Gergo Weidinger. The second, he lost in a tight battle 6-4. It came down the tiebreak in the third set and the freshman was more than prepared for it to be tough. Du Toit pulled out the win in a close contest to win the match with a final score of 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8).
Mitch McDaniels had a pretty steady match against his opponent Barta to win the match with a final score of 6-2, 6-2.
Mads Hegelund came off the court first to secure a second point for UNM as he defeated Guillaume Rauseo with a score of 6-1, 6-2.
"It feels great being the first off the court today," Hegelund said. "It is always nice to give your moral support to your teammates. It is also nice to see that the team has a point already. I just focused on my game and tried to get a good atmosphere going. Before I knew it, I was off the court and it was awesome."
At number six singles, Van der Vyver changed his personal momentum as he defeated his opponent Jordao. He had a rocky first set but the second, he was more than happy to secure his first singles win with a final match score of 7-5, 6-2.
"It was nice to get our freshmen playing," Dils said. "Riaan Du Toit had a good fall and now he has his first dual match in. He is out there playing good and clinched the doubles serving and did a good job in singles. Andrew Van Der Vyver has been here less than two weeks and I kind of throw him in there at number one doubles."
"He was a little bit nervous and a little bit of deer in headlights at some point in there. He got it worked out and did a good job in singles. He struggled a little bit early but he started playing well. That should loosen him up and I'm expecting good things from both of those freshmen as well as those others ones too."
The Lobos will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. after this 7-0 win to face Wake Forest, Alabama, and Penn State in a round robin style match up on January 25-26.
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