The New Mexico tennis team eased their way through day one of their weekend matches in California, but a force of nature would delay the momentum, as well as more victories on the court.
The Lobos (1-5) started off strong against Cal Poly (4-2), winning the doubles point without having to finish all three doubles matches. The UNM doubles pair of freshman Dominic West and junior Bart Van Leijsen won 7-6 (6) against seniors Tim Tan and Garrett Auproux on court two.
On court three, the New Mexico duo of senior Rodolfo Jauregui and junior Sean Baklini beat junior Karl Enander and freshman Antoine Noel 6-4.
Lobo sophomore Ricky Hernandez-Tong and freshman Lawrence Perrin did not complete their match on court one against seniors Ben Donovan and Corey Pang; Van Leijsen and Dominic West’s victory partway through the match on court one meant that the Lobos had won the doubles point, thus ending doubles play.
Unfortunately, the singles matches had to be postponed to the following morning due to rain, preventing the Lobos from carrying the momentum from the doubles matches into the singles matches. The delay also meant that the match with Loyola would have to be rescheduled for later in the season.
The Lobos also had a strong start to their singles play, with Hernandez-Tong defeating Auproux 6-2, 7-6 on court three and New Mexico’s Lawrence Perrin beating Noel 6-3, 6-4 on court five.
Van Leijsen, West, Escutia and Jauregui lost their doubles matches to Pang, sophomore Josh Ortlip, junior Axel Damiens and Ben Donovan, respectively, giving the Mustangs a 4-3 victory.
“We won the doubles point, had all of the momentum going into the singles matches, and then it rained,” UNM head coach Ben Dunbar said. “But Cal Poly are a team that is ranked around 40, so it was a good opportunity and experience for us.”
This upcoming weekend, the Lobos will travel to Utah, where they will play BYU (6-4), Nebraska (0-5), and Utah (8-1). BYU has won four out of its last five matches, and recently came away with a 4-2 victory against Boise State.
“BYU are always hard to play against at their place. They always have a crowd, and we had a really close match with them here last year where we won 4-3,” Dunbar said. “We play Nebraska the next day in Salt Lake City. They’re obviously a good team, but we are not going to go in feeling like they are the better team.”
After they face Nebraska, the Lobos will play their third match against Utah on Sunday in Salt Lake City. The Utes have won their last six matches, their only loss on the season coming in a sweep at the hands of No. 3 Ohio State.
“They’re well-coached and a regional rival as well. We beat them last year, but they’ve kept all of their guys, so they’ll be good as well,” Dunbar said. “We’re looking forward to three really great matches.”
The following weekend the Lobos will play at home to University of Texas at San Antonio and New Mexico State.
Matthieu Cartron is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women’s soccer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cartron_matt.