#69 Lobos Fall Narrowly to #41 Northwestern at Home
Feb. 24, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The #69 Lobos match against #41 Northwestern was a match that could only be described as a nail-biter. The match came down to the wire with only the last two courts on to decide the winner. The Lobos will travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Miami and Texas Tech on March 2-3, 2013.
The match got started off this morning with doubles.
“Riaan [Du Toit] and I got our first win together at number two,” Phillips said. “We got down to a quick break but I think we figured out some things. They are really aggressive on their serves and we started to hold our serve better and volley better. We are working on things but we definitely getting better to where we need to be. Hopefully, we can mesh well enough to continue playing.”
With number one and number two doubles at 1-1 so far, this meant that the doubles point would have to be decided by the winner of the third court.
At number three doubles was the duo of James Hignett and Mads Hegelund facing off against Fedor Baev and Spencer Wolf. The two were neck and neck with each other. They were so close, in fact, that in order to decide the winner a tiebreak would have to be played. The Lobos took the tiebreak by three points and clinched the doubles point with a final score of 9-8 (7-4).
We took it one point at a time, one game at a time,” Hegelund said. “We found ourselves in the tiebreaker at the end. We got down early in the tiebreaker but we turned it back around and said to ourselves, ‘Let’s go for it’. We came out on top and it was great. Honestly, that was the most fun tennis match I’ve ever played in my college career. It was awesome.”
With the doubles point behind them, the Lobos would see just how far that momentum can carry them.
At number one singles, Samir Iftikhar fought in a three set battle against Spencer Wolf. The two were at each other’s throats with some yelling and some cheers after every point. Iftikhar took the first set 6-4, but Wolf answered back taking the second set 6-2. They moved onto a full third set tiebreak since the match had not yet been decided. Iftikhar tried to fight his way back into the match taking five games, but Wolf closed him off taking the final two games winning with a final score of 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
At the number two spot, Berg had a close first set against Smith falling with a score of 6-4. He pushed it all the way to second tiebreak with a chance of moving into a third set, but Smith crushed any chances of that winning the tiebreak 7-0. Smith won with a final score of 6-4, 7-6 (7-0).
At the number three position, Phillips, who was battling the flu, kept his composure and cool to defeat his opponent, Balaji, with a close first set tiebreak with a score of 7-6 (7-5). After that first set, Phillips gave his opponent no hope in coming back into the match winning with a final score of 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
“He beat an opponent today that he lost to last year,” Head Coach Alan Dils said. “He did a great job. That is good leadership from a senior right there, to get it done when he doesn’t feel well.”
At the fourth court, Du Toit fell in a close first set to Kumar with a score of 6-4. He was not out of the match just yet as he pushed the second set to a tiebreak. Kumar got the better of him, however, defeating Du Toit with a final score of 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
At number five singles, Mitch McDaniels fell in close sets to Pasareanu with a score of 6-4, 6-3.
At the number six spot, Hegelund fell in the first set to Chris Jackman with a score of 6-1. Hegelund bounced back in the second taking it by force with a score of 6-4. Jackman would answer back and clinch the match for the Wildcats in the third set as he defeated Hegelund with a final score of 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
The Lobos are now 5-6 overall and are now 4-1 at home with four more matches to be played at home later on in the season.
“Northwestern did a great job when it came down to crunch time,” Dils said. “They did the right things. Are we talent-wise less than they are? If we are, it is not by much. They do a couple of things better than we do under crunch time. We are working on that and getting better. We are getting better every match. I’m disappointed in losing but I’m not disappointed in how we played and competed.”
The Lobos will travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Miami and Texas Tech on March 2-3, 2013.
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