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Sophomore Ricky Hernandez-Tong raises his fist after scoring against Fresno State Friday, March 31, 2017. The Lobos will go into this weekends home matches with a three game winning streak. 

Sophomore Ricky Hernandez-Tong raises his fist after scoring against Fresno State Friday, March 31, 2017. The Lobos will go into this weekends home matches with a three game winning streak. 

Lobos continue Mountain West Momentum

After beating Nevada last Sunday, the Lobos were eager to play away from home and challenge rivals Boise State and Mountain West powerhouse Utah State.

The Lobos (10-10, 3-1 MW) played Boise State (5-20, 1-3 MW) on Friday in Boise, Idaho. The Lobos had beaten the Broncos earlier in the season 4-0, an emphatic result given that the two sides traditionally have close matches. With this fixture, the Broncos had an opportunity to exact their revenge and climb the Mountain West Standings. But UNM proved once again to be too much for Boise.

The Lobos started off the match strong. The doubles pair of sophomore Ricky Hernandez-Tong and freshman Lawrence Perrin won their match 6-1 at the No. 1 position, and the doubles team of freshman Dominic West and junior Bart van Leijsen quickly followed up with a 6-4 win, gifting UNM the doubles point.

The Lobos continued to dominate in singles play, hardly allowing their opponents any opportunity for a comeback. Senior Rudolfo Jauregui won the first singles match for the Lobos 6-0, 6-3 against sophomore Morgan Stone at the No. 5 position, and UNM junior Jorge Escutia, at the No. 6 spot, put the Lobos up 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over sophomore Greg Wischer. Van Leijsen lost his match at the No. 1 spot to Boise’s sophomore Kyle Butters, but Perrin secured the 4-1 overall win for the Lobos soon after with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over sophomore Pedro Platzeck.

With another win behind their backs, pressure was off the Lobos, but the fixture against Utah State loomed ahead of them. The Aggies were undefeated at home and had won their previous nine matches. The odds were against the Lobos, but it also set the stage for an upset.

The Lobos had won their previous four doubles points, and against Utah State (17-8, 3-1 MW), they made it five.

The doubles duo of junior Sean Baklini and Jauregui won their match 6-2 at the No. 3 spot, and soon after, West and Van Leijsen won their doubles match 6-4 at the No. 2 spot, giving the Lobos the early 1-0 advantage.

The Aggies leveled the score early into singles play, as sophomore Samuel Serrano beat Perrin 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 4 position. The Lobos then made it 3-1, with Van Leijsen ousting junior Jaime Barajas at the No. 1 position 6-4, 6-3 and Hernandez-Tong narrowly beating junior Kai Wehnelt 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 2 spot. UNM then conceded two more points to the Aggies; Escutia fell to Utah State’s sophomore Jonas Maier 7-5, 6-1 at the No. 6 spot, and Jauregui was defeated by freshman Sergiu Bucur 6-3, 6-4.

The match came down to UNM’s West and Utah State’s senior Jack Swindells. After an intense battle, West sealed the 4-3 victory for the Lobos, beating his opponent 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 3 spot.

“Our whole lineup contributed this weekend, and I was excited about that,” Dunbar said. “We are coming home with plenty of confidence and we are excited to come back to Albuquerque with two wins.”

The Lobos will have their final two home matches of the year this upcoming weekend. UNM will host UNLV on Friday, April 14th at 5 p.m. MDT and San Diego State on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. MDT. Both matches will take place at the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium.

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Matthieu Cartron is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women’s soccer. He can be reached at or on Twitter @cartron_matt.

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