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Lobos Down CSU to Move to 2-0 in MW Play

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Leonie Hoppe did it again, winning a grueling tiebreaker after falling behind and clinching UNM’s second straight Mountain West win for a second straight game as the Lobos downs Colorado State to move to 13-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Mountain West.  Colorado State dropped to 5-6 overall and 1-1.

Hoppe’s clinching win finished off a terrific opening weekend that saw UNM beat UNLV 4-3, UNM’s first win over the Rebels since 2005.  It hadn’t been that type of drought against Colorado State but it was UNM’s first win over the Rams since 2018.

UNM as they usually do, won the doubles point, doing it without a win from Hoppe and Katherinee Jhang as they lost for the first time in the spring as a duo.  But Maria Sodre and Hsuan Huang took a 6-3 win for Huang’s 62nd career doubles win.  Then the Vandeputte twins of Maud and Bente won their match at No. 3 doubles on back-to-back slams, one from each, to give UNM a 1-0.

From there, UNM was in control of the match.  Maria Sodre jumped into the lineup at No. 6 and made an immediate contribution with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Sasha Richterova.  CSU got one back when Rdaka Buzkova beat Sarah O’Connor, but even before those handshakes, UNM got it back to a two-point lead when Maud Vandeputte continued her heater with a 6-3, 6-3 win.  It was her ninth win in her last 10 matches.

Katherine Jhang and Zara Lennon played a fun match at No. 1 singles, with each taking turns making picture-perfect shots, but it was Lennon who got the best of Jhang, 6-2, 7-5.

However, UNM was in control as both Huang and Hoppe were winning, and it was Hoppe who ended it, winning 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.  Hoppe was trailing 5-4 in the opening tiebreaker but won four of the final five points.  Huang was up 4-2 in her third set when it ended.

UNM now heads out for four matches on the road, starting with matches on Friday and Sunday at San Jose State and Fresno State respectively.