ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team recorded its first conference loss of the season after the Lobos fell to No. 44 Boise State in a close 4-3 match on Friday evening.
The Lobos tried to prevent history from repeating itself, but came up short against the Broncos. Losing a nail-biting 4-3 match to BSU is all too familiar to UNM. Last season, BSU clinched the Mountain West Conference title with a 4-3 win. This year, a 4-3 win gave the Broncos their first conference victory of the season.
UNM put up a fight in doubles competition, but couldn’t get the job done. No. 1 doubles team Hayden Sabatka and Rodolfo Jauregui and No. 2 doubles team Samir Iftikhar and James Hignett dropped their matches to the Broncos, allowing BSU to pick up the first point of the night.
The Lobos saw more success in singles play. No. 45 Iftikhar picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 54 Andy Bettles. Sabatka captured the second win for UNM after defeating Nathan Sereke in a tough three-set contest (3-6, 6-5, 6-4). Mads Hegelund closed out the night with a Lobo win after beating Toby Mitchell in the No. 6 singles position (6-4, 4-6, 6-4).
Unfortunately, BSU answered with three wins of its own and claimed the match victory. The Lobos were one match shy of ending their losing streak against the Broncos. UNM has not beaten BSU since 2005.
On the bright side, there is always the chance that the Lobos get a second opportunity for revenge at the end of the season.
Boise State def. UNM, 4-3
. 1) McClain/Patton (BSU) def. Sabatka/Jauregui (UNM), 6-4
. 2) Bettles/Tenreiro (BSU) def. Hignett/Iftikhar (UNM), 6-5
. 3) Van Der Vyver/Hegelund (UNM) & Mitchell/Sereke (BSU) – UNFINISHED
. 1) Samir Iftikhar (UNM) def. Andy Bettles (BSU), 6-2, 6-3
. 2) Hayden Sabatka (UNM) def. Nathan Sereke (BSU), 3-6, 6-5, 6-4
. 3) Thomas Tenreiro (BSU) def. Rodolfo Jauregui (UNM), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
. 4) Garrett Patton (BSU) def. James Hignett (UNM), 6-2, 6-5
. 5) Brendan McClain (BSU) def. Andy Van Der Vyver (UNM), 6-5, 6-3
. 6) Mads Hegelund (UNM) def. Toby Mitchell (BSU), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4