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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

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