March 23, 2013
STOCKTON, CALIF. -- Without two starters in the lineup, the University of New Mexico men's tennis team called upon its depth to rally for a tough 4-3 win over the Pacific Tigers on their home court.
Freshman Andrew Van Der Vyver, battling severe cramps late in the third set held off an impressive comeback attempt from Ben Mirkin at number five singles.
Showing composure beyond his years along with heavy inside out forehands, Van der Vyver hung on for the tough 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to seal the team win for the Lobos.
"The support from the guys on the team down the stretch was massive! I couldn't have done it without them," Van der Vyver said. "To clinch my first duel feels amazing, I was cramping but I knew if I could just get through a few more tough points I could pull it out, that's what I focused on."
To set the stage for the dramatic finish, the Lobos picked up the doubles point first by securing wins at numbers one and two.
Sophomore Samir Iftikhar at number one singles pushed the lead to 3-2 for the Lobos after his convincing win with a score of 6-3, 6-1. Pacific answered back to even the match at three-all with a win at number four over Mads Hegelund with a score of 6-4, 6-4. This led to Van der Vyver's match to be the deciding win for the entire dual match
Head coach Alan Dils had nothing but great things to say about the team's performance as well as the fight from Pacific.
"I'm proud of the team for delivering a gritty performance against a very well coached, disciplined, and tenacious Pacific team," Dils said. "We have one guy out with the flu, another out because of injury and our team's depth really came through today. I'm proud of Andy for keeping his composure and clinching a tough match on the road. We have some things to clean up before our match with Boise, and we'll take tomorrow to address them."
The Lobos will travel to Boise, Idaho tomorrow to prepare for their match on March 25, 2013 against conference opponent Boise State. It will mark the first conference match for the Lobos this season.
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