Women's Tennis: UNM Sweeps Northern Arizona in First Match of the Year
Albuquerque, N.M. - The New Mexico women's tennis team has started the 2003 season with a bang, recording a 7-0 victory over the visiting Northern Arizona Lumberjacks this afternoon at the Lobo Tennis Club in Albuquerque. The No. 9 regionally ranked duo of Maria Ruiz-Fabrega and Rachel Hatley proved their ability on the court, beating Karen Kmiec and Marjolein Klompmaker by a solid 8-5 mark.
"Today was a great start to our season," said head coach Kathy Kolankiewicz. "We have been practicing hard for the past few weeks and it has paid off."
UNM's No. 1 seeded team of Maja Kovacek and Tjasa Suvak defeated the Lumberjacks' No. 1 pair of Kirsten Balk and Ashley Dille by an overpowering score of 8-1. The Lobos capped of their doubles dominance with a win at the No. 3 spot from Tiffany Robertson and Michelle Heidbrink. The pair blanked opponents Katie Schurr and Christina Kloquinas 8-0.
In singles action, freshman Maja Kovacek, who earned a No. 7 central region fall ranking, squared off against NAU's Kirsten Balk at the No. 1 spot and defeated her opponent. After the first game going 6-2 in Kovacek's favor, a tie-breaker was required after the two were deadlocked at 6-6 in the second set. Kovacek won a convincing 7-4 game to give her the final 6-2, 7-6 decision. UNM's No. 2 ranked player, Tjasa Suvak handily defeated Karen Kmiec by a score of 6-3, 6-3. Suvak is currently ranked No. 10 in the fall central region rankings.
The Lobos' third singles win of the day came from No. 23 regionally ranked Michelle Heidbrink. Playing at the No. 3 spot for New Mexico, Heidbrink beat NAU's Marjolein Klompmaker 7-6, 6-1.
The final three Lobo singles wins were also decisive. Tiffany Robertson outplayed Julie Schmandt, 6-2, 6-0, while Rachel Hatley was victorious over Katie Schorr in two sets, 6-2, 6-2. The final Lobo victor was sophomore Maria Ruiz-Fabrega. The Albuquerque native defeated Ashley Dille, 6-2, 7-6 to give the Lobos a perfect 7-0 score as well as their first victory of the 2003 season.
New Mexico is now off for several weeks before they take to the courts against UTEP on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. in El Paso, Texas.y