Open Announce

Lobos Edged by Utah State in Regular Season Finale

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s tennis team concluded its regular season Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 defeat to Utah State at McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium. The Aggies rallied from a 3-0 deficit for the victory to improve to 10-11 overall and 4-2 in the Mountain West, while the Lobos fell to 9-12 overall and 3-3 in the conference.

The Lobos opened the match by taking the doubles point for a 1-0 lead. After the Aggies posted a victory at No. 1 where Bodin Zarkovic and David Cierny topped Arda Azkara and Nicolas Prieto, 6-1, on Prieto’s senior day, the Lobos won at No. 2 and No. 3 to take the point. Alex Maggs and Jan Pucalka defeated Jack Ninteman and Javier Ruiz 6-3 at No. 2 before Georgio Samaha and Rafael Abdulsalam downed Felipe Acosta and Gergi Mico Fenollar at No. 3, 6-2, to clinch the doubles point.

In singles play, each team won three first sets as the match remained close. The Lobos pushed the advantage to 2-0 as Azkara topped Zarkovic 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 1 position. At No. 3, Aram Noroozian defeated Fenollar 6-3, 7-5 to give New Mexico a 3-0 lead. Utah State got on the board at No. 4 where Acosta downed Pucalka 7-5, 6-3.

The last three matches all went to three sets, with the Aggies taking all three to complete the comeback. At No. 6, Ruiz saved two match points in the third-set tiebreaker to edge Samaha 6-3 3-6, 7-6(6). Roko Savin held off Maggs 7-5, 3-6 7-5 at No. 5 to tie the match. In the final match on the courts, Cierny topped Abdulsalam 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 to give Utah State the win.

Both teams will return to action next week at the Mountain West Tournament, beginning Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colo.