Stevens: New Mexico Lobos Women's Tennis 2012 Season Review

May 9, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Women's Tennis - 2011-12 Season Review

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

The hope for the future of New Mexico Lobos women's tennis is really an easy thing to envision.

There is youth. The Lobos went into their 2011-12 net battles with only two juniors on their 10-player roster.

And there is junior-to-be Michaela Bezdickova and sophomore-to-be Maria Sablina, the two University of New Mexico players named to the 2012 All-Mountain West team.

There are obvious building blocks for the coach New Mexico hires to replace Roy Canada, who resigned from the head coaching job at the season's end, leaving UNM with a 17-49 record.

It's not fair to suggest that the 2011-12 season was not a trying one for this young Lobo squad. New Mexico started out strong, winning five of seven matches before dropping 10 of 13. The young Lobos posted three straight wins in Bozeman, Mont., over Utah State, Montana and Montana State.

UNM also had early wins over Western New Mexico and UTEP. The win over Western New Mexico was the squad's only win at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex as the Lobos' other seven wins in the spring came outside Albuquerque.

The Lobos struggled to an 8-13 mark and went 1-6 in the Mountain West regular season before dropping out of the MW Tournament in the first round.

However, even though the results on the team side of the scoreboard did not change much from last year (8-13 from 8-15), there was individual improvement on the court. The Lobos might have lost a lot of matches this past season, but they also won a lot.

New Mexico won 52 matches in 2011 and posted 90 singles wins in 2012. UNM had 43 wins in doubles this season compared to 23 a year back. The youth grew a few Lobo fangs - and never went down without a fight.

Bezdickova obviously was the showcase Lobo this past season as she made the All-MW team in singles and also joined Sablina on the doubles' team. The 6-foot sophomore also showed considerable improvement on the court both in her physical skills and her confidence.

"I always go out to win," said Bezdickova. "If you don't expect it, it probably won't come."

Bezdickova, from the Czech Republic, posted a solid 21-9 record for New Mexico playing in the No. 1 singles spot. Bezdickova's improvement was obvious on the court and she added 11 wins from her 10 wins a season back. She now has 31 career wins at UNM.

In doubles competition this past season, Bezdickova notched 15 wins with a variety of Lobo partners. She has 24 career doubles wins. Alyssa Caffey had a strong season in partners' play with 14 wins.

Sablina did well in her rookie season at the major-college level and posted an 11-19 mark in singles. UNM also got double-figure wins from Susanna Kuuttila (10) while Kristin Eggleston, Michaela Oldani and Katie Wookey were all a single win away from the double-figure column with nine season wins.

Eggleston has 26 career singles wins as a Lobo and Oldani has 27 doubles wins.

The Lobos followed a strong fall schedule with improved play in the spring, but there are obvious steps that need to be taken in 2012-13. The Lobos won one conference match in 2011 and one in 2012 - both wins coming over Colorado State.

The next Lobo coach obviously has some work to do, but the season of 2011-12 revealed that there is a lot of promising, young Lobo talent to work with.


Michaela Bezdickova 6-0Soph. - 1L
Alyssa Caffey 5-5Soph. - 1L
Kristin Eggleston 5-5Junior - 2L
Nikolina Grbac 5-6 Soph. - HS
Susanna Kuuttila 5-7Fr. - HS
Sarah Mahboob Khan 5-9 Fr. - HS
Michaela Oldani 5-10 Jr. - 2L
Laura Richardson 5-7 Jr. - 2L
Maria Sablina 5-6Fr. - HS
Katie Wookey 5-9 Fr- HS