ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico state men's tennis team slipped 4-3 to Rio Grande rival University on New Mexico on Saturday afternoon, March 10. The Aggies move to 5-4 on the season.
The Aggies made a promising start by picking up the doubles point for a 1-0 lead early in the dual match. Power duo Luis Ramirez and Marc Westgate battled their way to a 9-8 (7-3) win over the top Lobo pair. While Yannick Blank and Germain Degardin slipped 8-5 at the second spot, Daniel Fernandez and Naveen Manivannan helped the Aggies to the point with a 8-6 win over the Lobo duo at the third court.
"We had an exciting doubles competition going, but things took an unfortunate turn come singles play," head coach Carlos Vargas said. "We had to pull Luis Ramirez from his singles match with a minor injury, but I thought we competed hard and gave ourselves a chance. I am very pleased with the way competed in doubles. It is probably our best play date."
With each of the Aggies moving up a spot in singles, Fernendez was able to lock the point for NM State 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9), over 103rd-ranked Samir Iftikhar at the top spot. While Degardin and Westgate fell in straight sets at court Nos. 2 and 3, Denele was able to help the Aggies to the point at the fourth position with a three-game win over his Lobo counterpart. Denele dropped the first game 3-6, but came back for a 6-0 and 7-6 win in games two and three for the Aggie point.
The Lobos defeated NM State at the last two courts for the 4-3 win over the Aggies. NM State continues in Albuquerque as the team faces DePaul on Sunday, March 10.
University of New Mexico 4, New Mexico State 3
1. Daniel Fernandez (NMS) def. #103 Samir Iftikhar (UNM)2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9)
2. Conor Berg (UNM) def. Germain Degardin (NMS) 6-1, 6-1
3. Jadon Phillips (UNM) def. Marc Westgate (NMS) 6-0, 6-2
4. Paul Denele (NMS) def. Riaan Du Toit (UNM) 3-6, 6-0, 7-6
5. Mitch McDaniels (UNM) def. Strahinja Trecakov (NMS) 6-1, 6-0
6. James Hignett (UNM) def. Patrick Pfister (NMS) 6-0, 7-6
1. Ramirez/Westgate (NMS) def. Van der Vyver/Berg (UNM) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Du Toit/Phillips (UNM) def. Blank/Degardin (NMS) 8-5
3. Fernandez/Manivannan (NMS) def. Hegelund/Hignett (UNM) 8-6