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Lobos End Fall Season With Flourish

by Frank Mercogliano

ATLANTA, Ga. & DALLAS, Texas — You can only imagine how the evening phone calls went between the bus ride to dinner in Atlanta and Dallas between head coach Chris Russell and assistant coach Sonam Phutsok.

“Dominated again over there?  Huh, so did we!”

While that’s not really what was said, it could have been as the Lobos dominated at both sites, going a combined 22-9 in singles over the two tournaments as the Lobos closed out the final two tournaments of the season.  It should be noted that UNM’s defending Mountain West Player of the Year Arda Azkara didn’t play in either tournament after his quarterfinal run in the Norman Open.

Three Lobos were perfect in singles, with Georgio Samaha going 4-0 and both Alex Maggs and Aram Noroozian going 3-0.  The tournament also saw a bright spot for junior Daniil Kakhniuk, who is back after an injury last year cut he season short.  Kakhniuk went 3-1 over the weekend for his best tournament of the fall.

Kakhniuk and Ryoma Matsushita also went 3-1 in doubles as Daniil picked up six wins on the weekend.

In Atlanta, it was Noroozian and Maggs each going 3-0, and Recoura and Bellegy each going 2-1.  In Dallas, Samaha was 4-0 to lead the way with Kakhniuk going 3-1.

Overall for the fall season, UNM went 55-33 in singles and 17-15 in doubles.  Samaha, the team leader a year ago in wins with 24, led the way with an 8-2 fall record.  Noroozian, Abdulsalam and Arthur Bellegy all won seven matches.  UNM’s newcomers were terrifc during the fall as well with Bellegy, Nicolas Recoura, and Avery Tallakson going a combined 17-13.