LAS CRUCES, N.M.— The New Mexico State men’s tennis team was a couple of points away from snatching victory away from I-25 rival New Mexico Saturday afternoon at the NM State Tennis Center, but eventually lost, 4-2, to the Lobos to fall to 8-9 on the spring season.
The Aggies started the day by narrowly losing the doubles’ point, which would become a major factor in the match. Senior Marc Westgate and sophomore Naveen Manivannan, playing at the No. 1 doubles spot, defeated UNM’s Samir Iftikhar and James Hignett, 8-4.
Junior Germain Degardin and freshman Charles Barron lost at the three spot for NM State, so the point would be decided at the No. 2 spot where the Aggie duo of redshirt sophomore Paul Denele and junior Patrick Pfister lost by one point, 8-7, to Lobos Hayden Sabatka and Rodolfo Jauregui in a back-and-forth match.
NM State would get two wins in singles play as Denele won at No. 2 in three sets over
Sabatka, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, and Pfister defeated Hignett, 6-0, 7-6, at the five spot.
Aggie sophomore Strahinja Trecakov would lose, 6-2, 6-5, at the No. 1 spot and fellow sophomore Liam Goldberg would also lose in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at the four spot.
As in doubles play, NM State had a winnable singles match that fell through its hands. The sixth and final spot pitted Manivannan versus Lobo Mans Hegelund. Manivannan started strong, winning the first set 6-4, but the UNM senior Hegelund came back to defeat Manivannan in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Aggies will now look forward to a trip to Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday, March 30, for a dual match against Texas Tech.
NM STATE-2 UNM-4
#1 Singles Iftikhar (UNM) def. Trecakov (NM State) 6-2, 6-5
#2 Singles Denele (NM State) def. Sabatka (UNM) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
#3 Singles Degardin (NM State)/Jauregui (UNM) DNF
#4 Singles Van Der Vyver (UNM) def. Goldberg (NM State) 6-3, 6-2
#5 Singles Pfister (NM State) def. Hignett (UNM) 6-0, 7-6
#6 Singles Hegelund (UNM) def. Manivannan (NM State) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
#1 Doubles Westgate/Manivannan (NM State) def. Iftikhar/Hignett(UNM) 8-4
#2 Doubles Sabatka/Jauregui (UNM) def. Denele/Pfister (NM State) 8-7
#3 Doubles Hegelund/Van Der Vyver (UNM) def. Degardin/Barron (NM State) 8-4