The Aggies (4-6, 1-0 WAC) came up just two points shy of winning the match. NM State and Air Force were tied 3-3 with only the No. 6 singles match left undecided. Air Force's Steven Young defeated Felipe Frattini of NM State in a third-set tiebreaker, winning 6-1, 1-6, and 7-6.
"There were some disappointing matches," head coach Carlos Vargas said. "We looked a little rusty today. Unfortunately I think this long layoff from competition hurt us, and it showed today."
NM State swept the doubles matches but was unable to capitalize on the early team lead. The Aggies later dropped four of the six singles matches.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of Matej Stakne and Luis Ramirez improved to 6-2 on the season with their 8-6 victory. Ramirez also won at the No. 2 singles position, improving his singles record to 7-3.
"We complicated things by not deciding the match early," Vargas said. "Air Force is a very feisty team and they are fighters. The longer we stayed on the court the more complicated it got."
However the Aggies will not have much time to dwell on the loss. They leave for Tucson, Ariz., Saturday to play No. 47 San Diego State on March 11 and host Arizona March 12.
"We're playing two tough matches over there," Vargas said. "We're going to need to play much better tennis than what we played today. But I think we can and rise to the occasion."
Air Force at New Mexico State
March 8, 2012 at Las Cruces, N.M.
(NM State Tennis Complex)
Air Force 4, New Mexico State 3
No. 1: Lance Wilhelm (AFA) def. Matej Stakne (NMSU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
No. 2: Luis Ramirez (NMSU) def. Landon Kinsey (AFA), 7-6, 7-6
No. 3: Marc Westgate (NMSU) def. Andy Jackson (AFA), 6-3, 7-5
No. 4: Alex Grubbs (AFA) def. Germain Degardin (NMSU), 6-4, 6-4
No. 5: Alex Lineberry (AFA) def. Patrick Pfister (NMSU), 7-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 4, 2, 5, 1, 6
No. 1: Stakne/Ramirez (NMSU) def. Wilhelm/Grant Taylor (AFA), 8-6
No. 2: Westgate/Frattini (NMSU) def. Jackson/Grubbs (AFA), 8-3
No. 3: Degardin/Eduardo Cabrita (NMSU) def. Kinsey/Joey Brandt (AFA), 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3