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Suvak saves weekend sweep

Three-set thriller highlights Lobos’ victory over Buffaloes

The UNM women’s tennis team won a 4-3 thriller over the University of Colorado Saturday night at the Lobo Tennis Club to continue its good play and finish the weekend 2-0.

UNM continued its dominance at home, improving its record to 38-1 during the past five years. The Lobos are now 5-4 on the season

With UNM and Colorado battling furiously for the win, the Lobos’ hopes hinged on freshman Tjasa Suvak.

With the teams tied at three matches apiece, Suvak came through in a rigorous three-set match.

UNM’s chances did not look too good when Suvak, the Lobos’ number two player, lost the first set 7-5 to Colorado’s Karoline Graeubig. Suvak fired back to win the second set 6-3 and finally put the Buffaloes out of contention with a 6-2 win in the decisive third set.

In doubles play, UNM sophomore Caroline Pollack and freshman Lindsey Marvel were defeated 8-6 by Colorado’s Lauren Carey and Dominique Lemperie at the number three doubles position.

However, the Lobos pulled out the victory in the number two spot, with senior Natalia Alekhova teaming up with Suvak to beat Suzanne Bjorkman and Lia Dimingo 8-6. Playing in the number one position, freshman Sandy Lukowski and sophomore Courtney Choate dominated Graeubig and Morgan Sall 8-3.

With the Lobos getting a point for their doubles triumphs, they needed to at least split the six singles games.

Choate, playing at the number six spot, easily won 6-2, 6-2 over Sarah Austin. Alekhova recovered nicely from sitting out Friday night with an illness by dispatching Lemperie 6-4, 6-3 in the number one match.

The other singles matches were not as easy for the Lobos.

Dimingo ambushed junior Neza Kurnik 6-2, 6-1 in the three spot and UNM’s Lukowski had to battle Sall at the number four position.

Lukowski won the first set 6-4, then lost the second set 7-5 in a tight match. She ran out of gas in the third set, losing 6-1.

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At number five, senior Nicoleta Spilca ousted Bjorkman 6-4, 6-3 for her 11th victory of the season. That set the stage for the battle between Suvak and Graeubig.

The Lobos did not have to work as hard to gain the victory Friday night, easily dispatching Montana State University 7-0.

Suvak, playing in the number one position for the first time, dominated the first set of her match against Montana State’s Alexandria Jensen, winning 6-2. In the second set, Suvak and Jensen were tied at five games apiece before Suvak took control, winning the final two games and the set 7-5 with hustle and strong net play.

Kurnik played in the number two spot against Stacy Voelker and took the first set 6-4, despite strong serving by Voelker. Kurnik easily won the second set 6-1. The highlight was the final game, because it took more than 20 minutes for Kurnik to finally win.

“She came up with some good shots,” Kurnik said. “I should have been more aggressive.”

Spilca, playing the number three position against Susan Risteen, won convincingly 6-2, 6-3.

Junior Courtney Choate, playing number four, defeated Colleen Cohee 6-2, 6-3, and freshman Maria Ruiz-Fabrega defeated Rachel Drummond 6-3, 6-1 at the number five position.

Pollock ended her number six match very quickly over Liz Lowrance, winning 6-0, 6-2.

Pollock and Marvel, playing in the doubles number one spot, battled with Montana State’s Jensen and Risteen. UNM dominated the match and came back from 40-love in the 11th game to close the match at 8-3.

The number two match was a battle the entire way between UNM’s Choate and Spilca and the Bobcats’ Voelker and Drummond. The match was tied at six, when the Lobos took three of the next four games to win 9-7.

The number three doubles match was easily won by Suvak and Ruiz-Fabrega who defeated Cohee and Lowrance 8-2.

UNM’s next home match will be March 9 against in-sxtate rival New Mexico State.

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