STEVENS: Gallant Effort by Ben Dunbar & Lobos Falls Short in 4-3 Loss to SDSU
April 21, 2009
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The final moment of the dramatic match between Lobos and Aztecs reflected both the determination of the Lobos on a warm, sunny day at the Lobo Tennis Club and, unfortunately, the outcome.
New Mexico's Ben Dunbar extended his cramping body about as far as his protesting muscles would allow, but the rocket shot by San Diego's Giovanni Vaglietti was just out of Dunbar's reach.
It was kind of that way for the match, too. The Lobos placed themselves in a difficult position of having to win the final three matches, won two of them, but Dunbar's 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 loss to Vaglietti handed the Aztecs a 4-3 win Tuesday at the Lobo Tennis Complex.
The loss also cost the Lobos a share of the Mountain West Conference title, which now goes to the TCU Horned Frogs.
"These sort of matches come around once in a blue moon really, so they are nice to be a part of," said UNM senior Miles Bugby, one of the three Lobos who needed to win consecutive matches in order to defeat SDSU.
"We were right there, just short a few points here and there. It was a great match and none of us will be too bothered about this. We are pleased with the way we are playing and we'll keep our heads high.
"It was an unbelievable effort by Ben. He was dying out there, cramping up and he gave it his best effort. We are all proud of him."
The Lobos need to stay up mentally and physically as the MWC Championships hit Albuquerque Thursday through Saturday. The Lobos open play against Air Force on Thursday at the Jerry Cline courts located just East of Louisiana Blvd and South of I-40.
The Lobos will enter the MWC tourney as the No. 2 seed, which would have been their seed win or lose Tuesday vs. SDSU.
"Our goal is to fight as hard as we can every point, every game, every match," said Lobo coach Alan Dils. "I'm proud of the way the guys fought. We did everything we could to win that match and just came up short."
The fight in the Lobos was first seen in doubles when Graeme Kassautzki and Joe Wood rallied to beat Aztecs Bartosz Golas and Schulz Van Endert, 9-7. The doubles competition was locked at one match apiece and UNM needed the win to seize the lone doubles' point that is added to the team score.
"The doubles point was a great point," said Dils. "We were down a match point, down a break or two, and we come back and win that by a point."
The Lobos quickly, and uncharacteristically, got in trouble in the six singles' matches. The Lobos lost the first set in all six.
"I don't think we've lost the first set in all six matches all year," said Dils.
The Aztecs registered wins over Lobos Johnny Parkes, Phil Anderson and Kassautzki putting the pressure on Carl Ho, Bugby and Dunbar to produce wins. Ho beat Andre Feliz 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 and Bugby rallied to beat Bartosz Golas 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"I knew we were struggling and had lost all the first sets," said Bugby. "I knew my match mattered. I have lost the first set a number of times for some reason, so I'm pretty used to coming back. It doesn't bother me. I like to grind people down."
After Bugby and Ho got their wins, all the attention was on Dunbar's battle. It was a match that had to be stopped once so Dunbar could visit with a UNM trainer. Dunbar put up a brave fight, but needed to be at full strength to handle Vaglietti, who was serving well in the match.
"Ben was having body cramps and that makes it difficult," said Dils. "I have no regrets in how we played. It's always disappointing to lose, but I'm not upset we lost to San Diego State because they are a very good team."
The loss leaves UNM at 17-5 on the year and 4-2 in MWC play. SDSU is 14-11 and 2-3 in league play.
1. #125 Achim Ceban (SDSU) def. #79 Johnny Parkes (NM) 7-5, 6-1
2. Juan Gomez (SDSU) def. Graeme Kassautzki (NM) 7-6, 6-4
3. Miles Bugby (NM) def. #122 Bartosz Golas (SDSU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Giovanni Vaglietti (SDSU) def. Ben Dunbar (NM) 7-6, 5-7, 6-4
5. T. Schulz van Endert (SDSU) def. Phil Anderson (NM) 7-5, 6-3
6. Carl Ho (NM) def. Andre Feliz (SDSU) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
1. Achim Ceban/Juan Gomez (SDSU) def. Johnny Parkes/Miles Bugby (NM) 8-4
2. Graeme Kassautzki/Joe Wood (NM) def. Bartosz Golas/T. Schulz van Endert (SDSU) 9-7
3. Ben Dunbar/Carl Ho (NM) def. Giovanni Vaglietti/Andre Feliz (SDSU) 8-4