FRESNO, Calif. – Top-seeded host school Fresno State claimed the 2014 Mountain West Conference title on Sunday afternoon after defeating the Lobos in the championship match at the Sierra Sport & Racquet Tennis Club. New Mexico finishes the season with a final record of 17-8.
UNM duo Natasha Smith and Dominique Dulski tallied a win in the No. 2 doubles spot, but the Bulldogs managed to sneak ahead in the remaining two doubles matches and claimed the first point of the day.
The Lobos hung on until the end in singles play, but FSU managed to gain a slight edge once again.
Dulski put up a quick 6-1, 6-1 victory to put the score at 1-1, but teammates Smith and Michaela Bezdickova were not as successful. Smith fell in the No. 4 spot to Sofya Malysheva, 6-2, 6-2. Bezdickova dropped to Sophie Watts, 6-2, 6-1, to record her second loss of the tournament.
Rachana Bhat kept the Lobos alive with her 7-5, 6-1 victory against Anne Susdorf. Bhat will finish her first season at UNM with a perfect singles record of 16-0.
With the score at 3-2, Lizette Blankers battled FSU’s Rana Sherif Ahmed. After being down a set, the All-MW Honoree almost came back for a victory, but Sherif Ahmed claimed the match after winning the second set, 7-5.
Meredith Hopson was ahead in her match in the No. 3 spot as the match was called.
The young Lobo squad has nothing to hang its head about. This was UNM’s first championship match appearance since 2004. Additionally, The Lobos’ seventeen victories this season are the program’s most wins in ten years.
After dropping out of the MW tournament in the first round last year and finishing the 2013 season with a 7-15 record, its safe to say that this program is making strides in the right direction.
Result: FSU def. UNM, 4-2
1) Watts, S./Watts, A. (FSU) def. Bezdickova/Blankers (UNM), 8-3
2) Smith/Dulski (UNM) def. Malysheva/Agrawal (FSU), 8-7 (1)
3) Murtagh/Ahmed def. Bhat/Baklini (UNM), 8-1
Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1)
1) Watts, S. (FSU) def. Bezdickova (UNM), 6-2, 6-1
2) Sherif-Ahmed (FSU) def. Blankers (UNM), 6-2, 7-5
3) Hopson (UNM) & Agrawal (FSU) -- DNF
4) Malysheva (FSU) def. Smith (UNM), 6-2, 6-2
5) Dulski (UNM) def. Watts, A. (FSU), 6-1, 6-1
6) Bhat (UNM) def. Susdorf (FSU), 7-5, 6-0
Order of Finish: (5, 1, 4, 6, 2)