March 16, 2013
PROVO, UTAH - The match between two nationally ranked teams, UNM and BYU, was everything it should be. There was suspense and intense emotion displayed throughout the entirety of it, but in the end BYU came out on top defeating UNM 5-2.
The Lobos were down in all of the doubles matches at the start of the match as BYU came out focused and ready. However, the Lobos got it together, regrouped, battled through some tough moments and snagged the doubles point. James Hignett and Mads Hegelund once again came through in the clutch, clinching the match at 3 doubles on their third match point to earn the 8-6 win.
One thing to keep in mind is the fact that BYU only has four tennis courts available so numbers one through four started first. BYU took three out of the four opening sets. Jadon Phillips at number three was the only Lobo to win the first set.
Riaan Du Toit and Sam Iftikhar battled back right away grabbing opening breaks to start the second sets. Iftikhar locked in mentally, refusing to give an inch and ran away with the second and third sets moments after Conor Berg lost his match at number one singles 6-3, 6-3.
The score was now Lobos two, Cougars one.
Du Toit took the second set and was up a break 4-3 in the third when a spell of unforced errors and renewed energy from his opponent got the better of him as he fell in three sets. Not long after that, BYU snatched the momentum as Philips lost in three tough sets.
The score was now Cougars with three, Lobos two.
By this time, the number five and six singles matches were underway. Hignett was at number five singles and Andrew Van Der Vyver was at number six. BYU capitalized on the final momentum swing and gutted out two first set breakers to take a commanding lead. Hignett fell at five clinching the win for BYU on home turf.
The Lobos will return home for a few days of practice then head to California to face Pacific. After that, UNM will travel to Boise State's home courts to start conference matches. Last year, Boise State won the conference title in the finals defeating UNM.
For the latest information, be sure to follow UNM men's tennis on Twitter (@UNMMenTennis) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UNM.Men.Tennis).