February 7, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team moved to 8-2 on the season after picking up a 4-2 win against Pacific on Fri., Feb. 7 at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex.
It was a close match for the two opponents, but the Lobos pulled through with their fifth consecutive win against the Tigers. UNM and UOP competed using a pro-set format which brought a few changes to the tennis court. Doubles consisted of one set to eight. Singles was still best two out of three sets, but once the match was decided all other matches went unfinished.
UNM switched up its doubles lineup for the Friday evening match and it seemed to do the trick for the Lobos. Sophomore Andrew Van Der Vyver moved up from his usual No. 3 doubles spot to the No. 1 position to compete with teammate Hayden Sabatka. The duo claimed one of UNM’s two doubles wins after defeating Marlon Brand and Daniel Alameh, 8-6, in a tight match up. Samir Iftikhar and James Hignett competed in their usual No. 2 spot and won against UOP’s Sem Verbeek and Miguel Diaz.
UOP put up a fight in singles play as well. Sabatka picked up his first singles loss of the season after losing a highly contested match against Alameh. Sabatka battled the Tiger through two tough sets before dropping, 7-5, 7-6. Iftikhar was also defeated in a heated match up. UOP’s Verbeek defeated Iftikhar after three long sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Fortunately, Rodolfo Jauregui, Mads Hegelund, and Hignett all claimed wins for UNM and sealed the victory. Mitchell McDaniel’s was in the third set of his match when the Lobos clinched the win. He did not have to complete his match due to format rules.
No. 51 Oregon is the next opponent on the Lobo’s schedule. UNM hosts the Ducks on Sunday at 11 a.m. MTN at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex.
Post-Match Quotes from Associate Head Coach Bart Scott:
“It was sort of a bittersweet win today. On one hand I felt like our guys weren’t quite mentally as tough as they had been, but on the other hand we found a way to win against a very well coached, tough team. I give them a lot of credit. Pacific already had our respect, but they showed why they will be a tough opponent against any team this year.”
“We’re going to have to play much better to beat a very talented Oregon team. We will be ready for a fight though, that’s for sure! Thanks to those that came out tonight and we’re looking forward to more of Lobo Nation to come out on Sunday!”
Result: UNM def. Pacific, 4-2
Format: Pro Set
1) Sabatka/Van Der Vyver (UNM) Brand/Alameh (PAC), 8-6
2) Hignett/Iftikhar (UNM) def. Verbeek/Diaz (PAC), 8-3
3) Hegelund/Jauregui (UNM) Stolyarov/Cederwall (PAC) -- UNFINISHED
1) Verbeek (PAC) def. Iftikhar (UNM), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2) Alameh (PAC) def. Sabatka (UNM), 7-5, 7-6
3) McDaniels (UNM) & Stolyarov (PAC) -- UNFINISHED
4) Jauregui (UNM) def. Diaz (PAC), 6-2, 6-3
5) Hignett (UNM) def. Mirkin (PAC), 7-5, 4-6, 6-0
6) Hegelund (UNM) Cederwall (PAC), 6-3, 6-4