FRESNO, Calif. – For the first time since 2008, the University of New Mexico women’s tennis team is advancing to the semifinals round of the Mountain West Championships. The second-seeded Lobos defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack, 4-2, on Saturday morning to earn their spot in the next round.
“Total team effort this morning in our win over a talented Nevada team,” interim head coach Kelcy McKenna said. “Our girls competed very well and we are looking forward to tonight's semi-final match.”
After several rain delays and schedule changes at the Sierra Sport & Racquet Tennis Club in Fresno, Calif., the Lobos were finally able to play their match and prove that this UNM squad is certainly much improved compared to the last few seasons.
Due to the weather-caused schedule alterations, all of the quarterfinal matches started with singles play and only used doubles competition if necessary. The Lobos, who are predominantly strong in doubles play, got off to a rocky start with the unusual match format, but pulled through with four wins in singles allowing doubles to go unplayed.
Senior Michaela Bezdickova dropped the first match for the Lobos to give UNR a 1-0 lead.
The score was at 3-2 as Rachana Bhat battled in the final singles match. She won her first set 6-4, but the second set was extremely tight. After being down 4-2, Bhat rallied to win the set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (3). She clinched the match and is now 14-0 on the season in singles this season.
The Lobos do not have much time to rest up before the semifinals as the matches are scheduled for Saturday evening. UNM will face No. 3 seed San Diego State at approximately 5 p.m. PT. This will be the first meeting this season between the Lobos and the Aztecs.
Result: UNM def. Nevada, 4-2
1) Okhremchuk (UNR) def. Bezdickova (UNM), 6-3, 6-0
2) Morales-Hidalgo (UNR) def. Blankers (UNM), 6-2, 6-3
3) Hopson (UNM) def. Smiley (UNR), 6-4, 6-3
4) Smith (UNM) def. Konigsfeldt (UNR), 6-2, 6-0
5) Dulski (UNM) def. Legendre (UNR), 6-2, 6-3
6) Bhat (UNM) def. Magusiak (UNR), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Order of Finish: (1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6)