Lobos Claim Four Titles at UNM Balloon Fiesta Invitational

Oct. 7, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –The Lobos finished the weekend off nicely with three champions and two co-champions as the final day of the UNM Balloon Fiesta Invitational draws to a close. There was a great turnout from the community every day to support their Lobos and to watch the players claim their titles as tournament champions in singles and in doubles.

In the Cherry doubles draw, Samir Iftikhar and Mads Hegelund teamed up to face U.S. Air Force Academy’s Stephen Young and Ali Rizvi in the consolation bracket to win the match 8-3.

In the Silver doubles draw, the Lobos won both main draw and consolation. James Hignett and Riaan Du Toit faced Northern Arizona’s Dominic Bermudez and Patrick Schimmelbauer in the main draw finals to drop only two games to claim the title with a score of 8-2.

“It felt good to win doubles with Riaan [Du Toit],” Hignett said. “It’s a growing partnership. This was our fifth match together and we lost only one in the Denver Invitational. We are getting better every match and I think it is becoming a good partnership.”

On the other side of the draw, Evan Corona-Saunders and Simon Hegelund faced New Mexico State’s Jeremy Harlas and Guilherme Carvalho to win the consolation title in a close tiebreak match with a score of 9-8.

After doubles was over, it was now time to move onto singles where the level of intensity and frustration was reaching close to a boiling point.

In the Cherry singles draw, Iftikhar faced off against New Mexico State’s Luis Ramirez in the finals.

Iftikhar won the first set with a score of 6-3. It’s the second set that put these two fierce competitors into a close match. Ramirez blew Iftikhar out of the water in the second set with a score of 6-1, forcing a third set to take place to decide the champion. The two were neck and neck in the third set up until the point where both players had four games and at that time, Iftikhar used his fitness level to his advantage to win the match and claim the title with a score of 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

Mads Hegelund fell to New Mexico State’s Daniel Fernandez in the Cherry draw with a score of 6-1, 6-2.

In the Silver singles draw, Hignett and Du Toit who teamed up in doubles to win the title, decided to both share the singles title also. The two were named co-champions after making it to the finals with strong semifinal victories.

In the Turquoise singles draw, Mitch McDaniels faced New Mexico State’s Eduardo Cabrita in the main draw finals. McDaniels had no contest as he claimed the first set 6-2, but was force to go to a tiebreak in the second set as Cabrita kicked up his game. The two finished last in the tournament with McDaniels coming out on top as he claimed his title with a final score of 6-2, 7-6.

“I played really well in that match,” McDaniels said. “Obviously, I could play better. This fall season is all about improving. The other guys and I are definitely improving so it’s exciting going into the ITA Regionals because we are all playing really well and improving with every match on what we needed to work on during this season.”

In the White singles draw, Simon Hegelund was rescheduled to face New Mexico State’s Carvalho and dropped only three games to win the match 6-2, 6-1.

“I’m very pleased with the weekend,” Head Coach Alan Dils said. “I thought overall we fought really hard and we are working on certain things to improve upon in both singles and doubles and from past tournaments, we have implemted a lot of those things and I thought we did a good job. We fought hard in a lot of close matches and I definitely think we won a lot more than we lost and I’m very pleased. We need to rest up our bodies and our minds with ITA Regionals coming up in a week and half.”

The Lobos next tournament will be the ITA Regional tournament being held in Las Vegas, Nev. from Oct. 17-21.

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