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Lobos Add Matsushita as Three Lobos Earn Regional Honors

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A host of good news abounded within the Lobo men’s tennis program as head coach Chris Russell has announced the addition of RyomaMatsushita to the program for the 2022-23 season.  Ryoma, who hails from Saitama, Japan comes to UNM after lettering the past two seasons at Oregon.

Additionally, three Lobos earned end of season Mountain Region honors as Arda Azkara was ranked eight in the final Mountain Region singles rankings while the doubles team of Alex Maggs and Jan Pucalka were ranked ninth in doubles.

As a team, the Lobos finished the year ranked No. 6 in the Mountain Region.  UNM lost in the Mountain West title match 4-3 to Nevada.

Matsushita comes to UNM as a junior with two years of eligibility remaining after lettering for the Oregon Ducks in 2020-21 and 2021-22.  With Oregon, Ryoto went 16-16 in his career in singles, including 13-11 in dual matches, mostly at No. 6 singles.

A strong junior player, Matsushita advanced into the main draw at both the 2019 Australian Open juniors event and the Wimbledon juniors event, doing so through qualifying.

Matsushita joins a Lobo squad that was one game away from making it the NCAA Tournament, doing so with five freshmen in the lineup.  Matsushita should bring a veteran presence to the squad, one that returns the top seven players in singles from a year ago.

Russell, who will enter his second season with the Lobos in 2022-23 and who got to see Matsushita up close as an assistant with Washington in the Pac-12, is excited to bring in the talented transfer who immediately adds another potent singles and doubles player into the lineup.  “Before coming to the U.S, Ryoma competed against some of the best under 18s in the world, some of whom have become nationally-ranked in U.S college tennis and others who are competing on the pro tour,” said Russell. “He has a tremendous tennis foundation and is excited to reset as a Lobo!”