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Lobos Drop 4-2 Match to Nevada

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — UNM shuffled its lineup, but the Lobos couldn’t overcome losing the doubles point, falling 4-2 to Nevada to complete a home weekend Mountain West pod.  The Lobos dropped to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in the league while Nevada moved to 7-4 and 1-1.

The Lobos were without Albie Huang, and that forced some lineup shuffling.  In doubles, UNM got a win at No. 1 from Hsuan Huang and Myu Kageyama 6-2, only their second pairing together this spring.  However that was all UNM got in doubles.  With Albie out, Lobo head coach went with Maria Sodre and Sofia Taborga at No. 2, but they lost 6-1 in their first doubles pairing together this year.  At No. 3 Polly CHen paired with Satoho Toriumi fo rthe first time this season, and they had a shot, trailing 5-4 and at deuce, but Nevadea’s Cristina Moll Alles and Gabriella Charalampidi won it 6-4.

In singles, UNM was in danger of getting whitewashed out of McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium as Nevada took five of the six opening sets.  UNM’s lone win was at No. 5, the spot normally occupied by Albie Huang.  Toriumi moved up and won her first set 7-5, and UNM had a golden opportunity at No. 2 singles for an opening set win as well.  Hsuan Huang couldn’t get a break at 6-5, and she went to a tiebreaker, where she fell behind 2-0 but climbed back in to get a pair of set points at 6-5 and 7-6.  It looked for sure at 7-6 she might take the set, coming to the net and dropping in a nice cross-court backhand srop shot, but Anastasia Luneva was able to reach it and send a curling winner that bent back into the court to even things at 7-7.  She took the last two points for a 9-7 tiebreak win.

Taborga, playing her first singles match of the year, lost at No. 6 6-4, 6-3 in a match she played well in as UNM fell behind 2-0.  Toriumi got one back with a 7-5, 6-3 win, and Chen at No. 1 and Sarah O’Connor at No. 3 both bounced back to win their second sets, forcing both to a third set.  Myu Kagayama did the same, winning 7-5 in the second and suddenly UNM was right back in it.

O’Connor, who lost her first set 6-1, won the second 6-1 but lost 6-2 in the third to put Nevada up 3-1.  Chen bounced back at No. 1 with a 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 win to make it 3-2, and Kagayama was down 4-3 but on serve in her match.  It was No. 2 where Hsuan Huang struggled in her second set, losing the final three games as Nevada clinched the 4-2 win.

The Lobos are on the road next week at Wyoming on Saturday at 10 and then the team stays in Laramie to face Colorado State on Sunday at 11:30 am.