Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

Lobos clip Falcons' wings early

Comeback by double's team fuels UNM's quick disposal of Air Force

The UNM women's tennis team looked impressive in defeating the Air Force Academy 7-0 Sunday afternoon at the Lobo Tennis Club in Mountain West Conference play.

A dramatic comeback in doubles play gave the Lobos momentum in singles play to quickly dispatch of the Falcons. The win improved the Lobos' record to 9-6 overall, 2-1 in the Mountain West.

Tied at one match apiece in doubles play, the number three position paired up senior Natalia Alekhova and freshman Maria Ruiz-Fabrega against the Falcons' Michelle Mogue and Heather Shelby. The UNM duo had an uphill climb for much of the match, trailing 2-0 and 6-4. Down 6-4 and threatening to fall behind even further, the Lobos changed strategy and began to attack. Losing 40-love in the 11th set, Alekhova and Ruiz-Fabrega went on the offensive.

"We needed to be the aggressors, so we started to attack the net," Ruiz-Fabrega said. "We started to get to the ball first and that helped in getting the positive outcome."

The gameplan change flustered the Falcons and changed the complexion of the match. With the more aggressive approach, the Falcons could not hit a ball past the UNM

pair. Alekhova and Ruiz-Fabrega started to get to every ball and hit several winners.

"They had a great comeback," head coach Kathy Kolankiewicz said. "They stayed positive and confident, and that win gave us the point and gave the team a boost."

The win gave the Lobos the doubles point, since the number one doubles pair of junior Courtney Choate and freshman Sandy Lukowski also won 8-3. The number two position of sophomore Caroline Pollock and freshman Lindsey Marvel lost a tight match 8-6.

With the excitement of the doubles victory, the Lobos cruised in several of its singles matches.

Alekhova started off singles play with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 victory in the number one position. She confused the Falcons' Brooke Parson with a number of different shots and different movements. She would stay out on the baseline, trading groundstrokes with Parsons. Then Alekhova would either charge the net or hit a soft shot that surprised her opponent.

"I wanted to be unpredicatable and not let her think she knew what my next shot was going to be," Alekhova said. "I came into the net, used some volleys and some lobs. She was not very dominating, so I just found ways to win the point."

Though the Lobos dropped one doubles point, assistant coach Roy Canada said he was pleased with the shutout.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

"The main thing was that each player used their own game style and stood by it," Canada said. "We were in a rhythm and that was big because it was tough to play this team."

The Lobos started conference play Friday, losing to Brigham Young University Friday 5-2, and then recovered by drubbing the University of Utah 7-0 Saturday.

The team returns to action March 31 in Colorado Springs, Colo., against Colorado State University.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo