No. 2 New Mexico Takes Down No. 7 Nevada 4-1 In 2015 Mountain West Women's Tennis Championship Quarterfinal
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico swept four singles matches after dropping a hotly contested doubles point to defeat a game Nevada squad 4-1 and advance to the 2015 Mountain West Women’s Tennis Championship semifinals, where the Lobos will face the San José State Spartans at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday.
Due to inclement weather, the match was played in the Linda Estes Tennis Indoor Center instead of the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium at the University of New Mexico. All Saturday matches are scheduled for McKinnon.
As it was for the previous three quarterfinal matches, the doubles point came down to a winner-take-all showdown after the Wolf Pack team of Blaga Delic and Sheila Morales Hidalgo blitzed to a 6-1 win at No. 1 doubles. That was countered at No. 3 doubles as Rachana Bhat and Susie Baklini won 6-2. Baklini was a late sub for Meredith Hopson, who was under the weather.
That left it to No. 2 doubles, where Juliette Legrendre and Sheila Smiley needed a pair of set points before winning a tight one 7-5, giving the Wolf Pack the opening point. From there however, UNM took over.
The Lobos tied it when Sharon Coone won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. Emily Olivier used a big serve and a couple of early breaks to defeat Morales Hidalgo 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 for a 2-1 lead. Dominique Dulski grabbed a 6-4, 6-4 win and Bhat clinched it with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
No one was probably happier to see the match end then Natasha Smith and Hopson, who both were in tiebreakers for the Lobos. Smith wore a walking boot in the days leading up to the match and was clearly hobbled, while Hopson battled an upset stomach for much of the match.
“Nevada is a great team, and I though after losing that doubles point we stayed really composed and played good tennis one through six,” said Associate Head Coach Kelcy McKenna, who led the team in the absence of head coach Erica Perkins Jasper. “I’m really proud of how Natasha and Meredith were battling and fighting for us despite what they were going through. I honestly don’t know how Meredith was doing it.”
New Mexico, ranked 61st in the latest ITA rankings, improved to 14-9 on the season, while Nevada ends its season at 9-11.
Notes: Every match of the Mountain West Tennis Championships is available on the Mountain West Network, powered by Campus Insiders. Download the Mountain West app to your phone or tablet to catch all the action … New Mexico’s match-up with San José State will be the first meeting between the two programs since 1998 … Perkins Jasper missed the match after coming down with an upset stomach overnight … she also missed the entire 2014 tournament after giving birth to her second child