Open Announce

Women's Tennis Readies for MW Tournament

by Frank Mercogliano

TUCSON, Ariz. — The New Mexico Lobos head to Tucson, Arizona for the 2022 Mountain West Tournament.  It’s the league’s first conference tournament since 2019, as the 2020 season was wiped out by the pandemic and there was no tournament last year.

For New Mexico, they enter the tournament at 11-10 overall and 2-7 in the Mountain West.  They are the No. 9 seed and it will face off with the Nevada Wolf Pack on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Mountain Time.  Earlier this season UNM lost a 4-2 decision to Nevada in Albuquerque, a match that saw UNM play it short-handed.  This time the squad should be at full strength.


No. 1: Yue Lin “Polly” Chen (12-14, 7-10 at No. 1)
Chen has lost four in a row, but it’s a bit deceiving as she was a point away from winning on Friday when her match with UNLV was halted.  Her last singles win officially came on March 27, when she defeated Milka Genkova of Nevada 1-6, 6-0, 6-2.

No. 2: Sarah O’Connor (10-18, 3-7 at No. 2, 2-5 at No. 3)
O’Connor heads into the conference tournament on an upswing, having scored UNM’s only point against San Diego State with a 6-4, 6-4 win.  That ended a seven-match losing streak that is deceiving, because as UNM’s only freshman in the singles lineup, she has been right there, and has had four halted matches in that run, three of which she was winning.  She has played in a team-leading 11 three-set matches this season.

No. 3: Hsuan Huang (17-10, 3-5 at No. 2, 5-2 at No. 3, 1-0 at No. 4, 2-0 at No. 5)
Huang has moved up and down the lineup but has found a home at No. 3 singles.  She is second on the team in singles wins, and she has won three of her last four, and was leading when San Diego State decided to head to the airport, otherwise she might be four of her last five.  She seems completely over a rare six-match losing streak and more in line with her play earlier this season when she won eight in a row with two unfinished matches she was leading in.

No. 4: Myu Kageyama (21-10, 3-1 at No. 3, 9-4 at No. 4)
The team leader with 21 singles wins, Kageyama has been UNM’s most consistent point-winner in dual play. She has won three of the last four and like Hsuan Huang, is playing very well. In a crazy stat, whomever has won the opening set in her matches has won the match 30 of the 31 times.

No. 5: Hsiang-Wen “Albie” Huang (14-9, 3-0 at No. 4, 6-6 at No. 5)
Albie is one of two five-year letterwinners on the team (Chen is the other), and she along with Chen are the only Lobos to have played in a Mountain West Tournament.  She more than anyone has struggled with consistency, as three times in Mountain West play due to teams only having four indoor courts, she basically only got to warm up.  She owns one of the bigger moments of the season, winning a clinching tiebreaker 7-5 over San Jose State.

No.6: Satoho Toriumi (17-7, 1-0 at No. 3, 1-0 at No. 5, 6-3 at No. 6)
Don’t let the smile fool anyone, Toriumi is a monster for UNM at the bottom end of the lineup. She is tied for second in singles wins despite having seven unfinished matches in the last 10 for UNM, going 2-1 over that timeframe.  She did have a streak of eight wins in eight matches earlier this year.


No. 1 (Chen/Kageyama, 12-8, 12-4 at No. 1)
A team-best 12 doubles wins as a duo (no other pairing has more than six) usually can get UNM off to a good start.  They have won four of their last six matches and were up in two others. Overall, Kageyama’s 18 doubles wins is the most on the team.

No. 2 (H. Huang/O’Connor, 4-9, 3-8 at No. 2)
The pairing has scuffled, winning just once in the last nine outings, but the team did pick up a key doubles win over Utah State in a match UNM would win.  Prior to the latest run, O’Connor had won eight of nine doubles matches and Huang five of six.

No. 3 (Toriumi/Sofia Taborga, 2-2, 2-2 at No. 3)
This pairing is fairly new, rejoining the lineup just two weeks ago and winning twice, including the clinching doubles win against nationally ranked Fresno State.  Taborga joined the team along with fellow freshman Maria Sodre at the semester break.