Lobos Downed by No. 20 Arizona 4-2
TUCSON, Ariz. — For the second straight match, UNM took the doubles point off a top 25 team, but for the second straight match, that top 25 team won four singles matches and defeated UNM 4-2. This time is was No. 20 Arizona after No. 21 Arizona State did it to UNM on Saturday.
UNM ended its four-match road trip in Arizona at 1-3, but that isn’t close to the story. UNM faced three teams in Oregon, Arizona State and Arizona that are now a combined 29-4. Of those four losses, two are Oregon’s losses … to Arizona and Arizona State. Certainly the task was borderline monumental, but the Lobos showed that they are right there, especially playing against opponents that didn’t have the practice restrictions the UNM did as the Lobos had no fall season and didn’t return to the court until late January.
UNM lost 4-2 to No. 20 Arizona and No. 21 Arizona State and 4-3 to Oregon, which was undefeated at the time.
Against Arizona, UNM swept the doubles point with Dominic West and Sergio Molina winning 6-3 at No. 2 and Jake Trondson and Raul Dobai winning 6-4 at No. 1. That put UNM up 1-0, but Arizona’s lineup featured three nationally-ranked singles players. Despite that, UNM handled itself quite nicely. Arizona went up 3-1 after wins at Nos. 1, 6 and 5, but UNM got one back from No. 4 singles. Rafael Abdulsalam faced No. 54 Filip Malbasic, and he swept him 6-2, 6-3.
That made it 3-2, and Stepan Holis had a chance to win his opening set, but he lost his first set tiebreaker 7-2 and then the second set 6-2. That ended the match which had it gone the other way would have set up a rousing finish at No. 2 as UNM’s Dominic West was toe-to-toe with No. 105 Gustaf Strom, with each winning a set by a 6-3 score.
Arizona improved to 12-1 overall, and UNM is now 2-4. However, the Lobos will get to play a home match on Friday at noon against Denver. That match will be at McKinnon and assuming the current county status stays at yellow (the update will be on Wednesday, March 10), UNM will be able to host that match at 25% capacity.