January 26, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team lost its first match of the season after coming up short in a 4-3 nail-biting match against Utah on Sunday afternoon.
The Lobos came out of the starting gate, winning two of the three doubles matches to earn the doubles point and take the 1-0 lead. Freshmen Hayden Sabatka and Rodolfo Jauregui claimed one of the two wins for the Lobos as they defeated UU’s Slim Hamza and Cedric Willems, 6-5. UNM’s veteran players Samir Iftikhar and James Hignett clinched the point for the Lobos after beating Alejandro Medinilla and Matt Cowley, also 6-5.
Utah came into singles play looking for revenge after losing doubles. The Utes were uneasy on the court and hungry for a win.
Despite the high energy from Utah, Sabatka and Jauregui took control of their matches and started UNM off with two quick singles points. UNM led 3-0 for a short amount of time before Utah answered with 3 singles wins of its own. No. 1 Iftikhar, No. 5 Hignett, and No. 6 Van Der Vyver all came up short in their matches. With only one match left on the court, the intensity was high at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex.
With the score tied at 3-3, the match came down to the No. 2 singles match pitting Lobo Mitchell McDaniels and Ute Ben Tasevac. McDaniels took the first-set 6-5. Tasevac replied with a 6-4 win in the second match. McDaniels battled in the third set, but Tasevac snuck past and clinched the match for the Utes beating McDaniels 6-2.
“It’s just one of the matches that is tough to lose,” Head Coach Alan Dils said. “I told the guys that we will lose this match five out of ten times because it’s just one of those difficult matches. We fought hard until the end and I’m extremely proud of our guys.”
The Lobos are now 7-1 in the season.
UNM faces Boise State on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. MTN at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex. This will be the Lobo’s first conference match of the season.
Utah – 4, New Mexico - 3
1) Hayden Sabatka/Rodolfo Jauregui (UNM) def.
Slim Hamza/Cedric Willems (UU), 6-5
2) Samir Iftikhar/James Hignett (UNM) def.
Alejandro Medinilla/Matt Cowley (UU),
3) Ben Tasevac/Devin Lane (UU) def.
Mads Hegelund/Andrew Van der Vyver (UNM), 6-5
1) Hamza (UU) def. Iftikhar (UNM), 6-5, 6-2
2) Tasevac (UU) def. Mitchell McDaniels (UNM), 6-5, 4-6, 6-2
3) Sabatka (UNM) def. Medinilla (UU), 6-0, 6-2
4) Jauregui (UNM) def. Willems (UU), 6-4, 6-3
5) Lane (UU) def. Hignett (UNM), 6-5, 6-2
6) Mayer (UU) def. Van Der Vyver (UNM), 6-3, 6-5