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Lobos Drop First Match of Season 5-2 to NAU

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M — New Mexico swept all three doubles matches for the fourth straight time this season, but the Lobos could only muster one more point in singles, falling to Northern Arizona 5-2 in the teams’ home opener, which was played indoors in the Estes Tennis Center Bubbles due to the severe cold weather.

UNM clinched the opening point with identical 6-4 wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.  Hsiang-Wen “Albie” Huang and Hsuan Huang won at No. 2 and Sarah O’Connor and Maria Sodre did likewise at No. 3.  At the clinching point, the match at No. 1 doubles between Yue Lin “Polly” Chen and Myu Kageyama for UNM and Mimi Bland and Dina Dittmann was in a tiebreak, so they elected to finish, with Chen’s hard forehand forcing a ball into the net for a 7-4 tiebreak victory.

That gave UNM a 1-0 lead, but NAU had the better of the day in singles.  UNM fell behind 2-1 when Sofia Markova defeated Kageyama 6-2, 6-1 and Dittmann knocked out Chen 7-5, 6-0.  The Lobos got one back when Hsuan Huang finished off a 6-3, 6-4 win to even the match at 2-2, but the Lobos fell behind 3-2 when O’Connor lost 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in a match that freshman held a lead in both sets.

That left it to Nos. 5 and 6 singles, but NAU clinched the match when Maria Sodre, who bounced back from a 6-2 opening set to send it to a third set, winning the second 6-4, couldn’t outlast opponent Laura Dahl, falling 6-2 in the third.  WIth thet match decided, Albie Huang lost 7-5, 6-1 to mae it a 5-2 final.

The Lobos host Abilene Christian on Sunday at 10 am in the Indoor Bubbles.