February 21, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. -- The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team rallied from a 3-1 deficit to come back and defeat the Fresno State Bulldogs, 4-3, on Friday afternoon. The Lobos improve to 2-1 in conference play.
The Lobos dropped the doubles point to start the match, but rebounded to win four of the six singles contests to hand the Bulldogs their seventh loss of the season.
It was a tight match the whole way. The Lobos lost in the No. 1 spot to start off doubles play. Hayden Sabatka and Andy Van Der Vyver replied with a win in the No. 2 spot for UNM to put the score at 1-1. It all came down to a battle between Rodolfo Jauregui and Mads Hegelund and FSU’s Ethan Lopez and Nikolas Papic in the No. 3 spot. The Bulldogs defeated Jauregui and Hegelund, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point.
“It was a dog fight,” head coach Alan Dils said. “It was a great match, but the wolves upset the Bulldogs today. We had to fight for every single point and every single match in doubles and singles. Fresno played really well. We fought really hard, they fought really hard.”
Singles play also came down to the wire. James Hignett picked up a win in the No. 5 spot to put the score at 1-1, but FSU answered with two quick wins to take a 3-1 lead. Samir Iftikhar fell to Sai Kartik Nakireddi in the No. 1 spot and Mitchell McDaniels came up short against Papic in the No. 4 position.
Hegelund and Sabtaka kept the Lobos in the match by claiming wins in the No. 2 and No. 6 spots. It was a 3-3 match as Jauregui battled John Darmstaeder in the No. 3 spot. Jauregui claimed the match for the Lobos after pulling off a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 win after three hard fought sets.
“Win or lose, I was really proud of our guys, but of course it is more fun when you win,” Dils said. “They had to fight really hard for it and they deserve the win.”
The Lobos are now 12-3 on the season.
UNM faces the Santa Clara Broncos on Sunday at 11 a.m. MT in their second road match of the weekend.
#69 New Mexico 4, Fresno State 3
1. Sai Kartik Nakireddi (FS) def. Samir Iftikhar (UNM) 6-2, 6-1
2. Hayden Sabatka (UNM) def. Sam MacNeil (FS) 6-3, 7-6
3. Rodolfo Jauregui (UNM) def. John Darmstaedter (FS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. Nikolas Papic (FS) def. Mitch McDaniels (UNM) 6-2, 6-4
5. James Hignett (UNM) def. Ethan Lopez (FS) 6-1, 6-2
6. Mads Hegelund (UNM) def. Alexandros Georgios (FS) 1-6, 6-1, 6-2
Match Notes: New Mexico 11-3, 2-1 MW; National ranking #69
Fresno State 3-7, 0-2 MW
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,1,2,6,3)