Lobos Super on Sunday, Beat Grand Canyon 6-1
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico ripped through the doubles point and then clinched a victory in a scant one hour and 47 minutes as the Lobos won their second straight on the weekend, defeating Grand Canyon 6-1 on Sunday at McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium.
The Lobos swept through the doubles point with relative ease, scoring identical 6-3 wins at No. 2 doubles by Nicolas Prieto and Arda Azkara and at No. 3 by Georgio Samaha and Rafael Abdulsalam. That set up a superb round of singles.
After the drama of Friday’s 5-2 win over Santa Clara, there was none on Sunday. Samaha kept up his hot play at No. 6 singles with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Stan De Samucewicz. Samaha won the first six games of the match, and the last six games, dropping the three in the middle to open the second. That was quickly followed by Arda Azkara, who won again at No. 1 singles.
Azkara won 6-1, 6-4, converting the third of his match points. At 30-30 in a fun rally, his opponent Jiri Novak rushed the net and laced a forehand down the line that should have resulted in a break point for him. Azkara instead made like a cat, reflexively sticking out his racquet and sending a ball back across the court. Novak let out an audible “no way” and could do nothing but tap his racquet in approval. Moments later it was over and UNM led 3-0.
Alex Maggs, who had a shot at clinching on Friday, didn’t pass up his opportunity with a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win over Adrien Coulome. With the match clinched, Jan Pucalka was forced into a third set, but he staved off a match point and win 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (11-9).
Rafa Abdulsalam won his match at No. 2 6-3, 6-3 over Freddie Grant in an entertaining battle, and that left just No. 3 singles. Daniil Kakhniuk trailed his opening set 5-2 but drew even before falling 7-5. He then led 5-2 on his own in the second set. He had a set point at 5-4, 40-40 after a blistering ace, but his return during a long rally clipped the net-cord, and Martim Marujo was able to close him out 7-5, 7-5, avoiding a shutout.
The Lobos host three matches next weekend, hosting BYU on Friday at 3 and Saturday at noon before hosting Northern Arizona Sunday at noon.