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Lobos Drop 5-1 Decision to USF

by Frank Mercogliano

TEMPE, Ariz. — New Mexico picked up a singles win as Georgio Samaha won his sixth consecutive match but it wasn’t enough as UNM lost a couple of three-set matches that would have swung the match to UNM as the Lobos lost to South Florida 5-1.  UNM will finish the Arizona State Invitational on Sunday against an opponent to be determined.

New Mexico had its chances in the match as USF took the doubles point 2-1.  The teams split the first two matches as Nicolas Prieto and Arda Azkara won 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to counterbalance a 6-1 loss at No. 3 by Rafael Abdulsalam and Georgio Samaha.  That left the doubles point to No. 1 where Alex Maggs and Jan Pucalka got close, but a late break gave the point to their opponents with a 7-5 loss.

In singles, UNM needed four wins, but got just Samaha’s 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles.  UNM was on the way to a second point as Azkara was up 7-6, 3-2 in his match at No. 1, and UNM lost three other nailbiters.  Two were in three sets as both Aram Noroozian lost his first match at No. 2 and Abdulsalam lost at No. 3, both in three sets.  Additionally, Daniil Kakhnuik lost 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) in a tight match at No. 4.