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Five in a Row for Women's Tennis, Beat McNeese 6-1

by Frank Mercogliano

LAKE CHARLES, La. — The New Mexico women’s tennis team made it five in a row with an easy 6-1 victory over McNeese, giving UNM an 8-1 record on the year.  It ties the 2015 NCAA Tournament team for the best start by a Lobo women’s tennis team in the last 23 years.

The only other Lobo team to start better than 8-1 was in 1998, when Kathy Kolankiewicz’s Lobo opened the season 12-0 on the way to a 21-5 mark.  Against McNeese, getting a fifth straight win turned into a relatively easy proposition.

Once again, the doubles point went UNM’s way, as the Lobos swept the lower two slots.  Changing up the doubles pairings, head coach Vicky Maes opted to pair Hsuan Huang with Sarah O’Connor at No. 2 doubles and Hsiang-Wen “Albie” Huang with Satoho Toriumi at No. 3, and that move worked perfectly.  Huang and Toriumi delivered a 6-0 set for the first part of the doubles point, and Huang and O’Connor won 6-4 for the other half.

After that it was a veritable cakewalk as UNM took the first five matches, all in straight sets.  Myu Kagayama got it rolling with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 4, and that was quick ly followed by Hsuan Huang t No. 2, who won 6-1, 6-2.  The clincher came from Toriumi, who won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.

The two teams played everything out, and UNM took two more to go up 6-0 with Albie Huang winning 6-4, 6-0 and Yue Lin “Polly” Chen winning 6-3, 6-2.  The only thing left was No. 3 singles.  O’Connor, who had lost her first set 6-4, won the second 6-2, and ended up in a 10-point tiebreaker, that went to her opponent Natalia Ballo 11-9.

UNM will host UTEP on Saturday in a return to McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium at 1 p.m.

NOTES: Kagayama is now 16-6 in singles … UNM has now used 15 doubles combinations, and UNM is now 21-5 in doubles in its nine matches … Hsuan Huang and Toriumi each improved their winning streaks to seven in a row.