FRESNO, Calif. – For the first time since 2004, the University of New Mexico women’s tennis team will compete in the final match of Mountain West Championships. The Lobos (17-7) defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 4-2 on Saturday evening to advance in the conference tournament.
“Another incredible team effort by this young Lobo team,” interim head coach Kelcy McKenna said. “Each of these girls played with phenomenal heart all day long. We fought through a tough doubles point and competed well from top to bottom during this match. I am incredibly proud of these ladies!”
On Sunday morning, the Lobos will compete for their first ever MW Championship title and the opportunity is well deserved. UNM defeated Nevada and SDSU in the same day to earn a spot in the championship match. The Lobos battled the Wolf Pack on Saturday morning and then wrapped up the day with a victory over the Aztecs.
UNM kicked off the semifinal match by winning the doubles point in a tight battle. SDSU recorded an early 8-3 win in the No. 2 spot, but the Lobos held on in the No. 1 and No. 3 positions to eventually earn the point. Freshmen duo Rachana Bhat and Susan Baklini defeated SDSU’s Isabelle Hoorn and Tami Nguyen in a tiebreaker at seven-all. All-MW Honorees Michaela Bezdickova and Lizetter Blankers finished the job with a victory in the No. 1 spot.
Meredith Hopson and Blankers fell to their Aztec opponents allowing SDSU to remain in the match.
Bhat powered past Hoorn in the No. 6 position to clinch the match and continue her perfect singles record. She is now 15-0 in singles play.
The second-seeded Lobos will face the No. 1 seed of the tournament, the Fresno State Bulldogs on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. PT. The winner of Sunday’s match will claim the conference title and an automatic bid into the 2014 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships.
For full coverage and live scoring of Sunday’s match, head to:
Result: UNM def. San Diego State, 4-2
1) Blankers/Bezdickova (UNM) def. Johnson/Somoracz (SDSU), 8-6
2) Buth/Antonana (SDSU) def. Dulski/Smith (UNM), 8-3
3) Baklini/Bhat (UNM) def. Hoorn/Nguyen (SDSU), 8-7 (5)
Order of Finish: (2, 3, 1)
1) Bezdickova (UNM) & Antonana -- DNF
2) Buth (SDSU) def. Blankers (UNM), 7-5, 6-1
3) Nguyen (SDSU) def. Hopson (UNM), 6-2, 7-5
4) Smith (UNM) def. Davis (SDSU), 6-4, 6-2
5) Dulski (UNM) def. Somoracz (SDSU), 6-2, 6-4
6) Bhat (UNM) def. Hoorn (SDSU), 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: (4, 5, 3, 2, 6)