Men's Tennis Battles No. 21 ASU Tough in 4-2 Loss
TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of New Mexico took the doubles points and had three chances to put Arizona State behind the 8-ball, but in all three instances, it was the 21st-ran ked Sun Devils who showed why they are, well, ranked 21st. Arizona State rode three first-set tiebreakers to three straight set wins to overcome UNM 4-2. UNM now finishes its four-match Arizona road swing with a match at Arizona on Monday.
The Lobos for the second straight game played brilliant tennis against a top team in the nation, and had a chance. Thursday it was a 4-3 loss to unbeaten Oregon. Oregon was bested 5-2 by Arizona State, but it looked like UNM would be in position for a shocker. The Lobos took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Dominic West and Sergio Molina finished off that doubles point with a 6-4 win after teammates Stepan Holis and Alex Maggs won by the same count. UNM could have swept doubles as Jake Trondson and Raul Dobai were up 6-5.
That sent UNM into doubles up 1-0 and Trondson made it 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles after moving up from No. 6 a match ago. With Trondson winning his first set and as he was on his way to a win, Rafael Abdulsalam took a 6-3 win in his opening set and in the top three matches, all three went to 6-6 tiebreakers. UNM, which needed just three singles matches to score the upset, would have been in prime position with just one of the tiebreak wins, but none came as Raul Dobai at No. 1, Dominic West at No. 2 and Stepan Holis at No. 3 all lost the tiebreakers.
That put them behind as Arizona State would take the next four matches to win it 4-2. ASU picked up a win at No. 6 when Christian Lerby beat Facundo Bermejo, who was back in the lineup, 6-3, 6-3. After dropping first set tiebreakers, Dobai and West fell to make it 3-2 ASU, and Abdulsalam couldn’t hold off George Stoupe, losing 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Holis bounced back and was up 4-2 in the second when the match ended.
For UNM, the team is now 2-3 having played three Pac-12 schools, BYU and Grand Canyon. Arizona State is now 8-1.
NOTE: UNM’s three losses have come to teams that are a combined 24-5.