The University of New Mexico women’s tennis team lost to the United States Air Force Academy Falcons on Friday, March 25 in their first interconference match of the season. The Lobos are now on a three-match losing streak but still have a winning record of 9-4 on the season.
The Falcons got the upper hand early with their doubles matches. Lobos Maria Sodre and Yue Lin Chen lost 6-2 to Glozman and Karina Chao. Lobos Myu Kageyama and Hsuan Huang were leading their match 4-3, but they had to leave the match unfinished due to Falcons Hailey Stelse and Alex Kuo winning their match 6-1. The Lobos were down 1-0 going into the singles matches.
Chen rematched against Glozman for their singles match, with Glozman running away with the lead and winning two sets 6-2 and 6-1. Kageyama played Chao for her singles match and kept it close for the first set, only losing 7-5. Kageyama lost momentum going into her second set, though, and lost 6-3.
Lobo Sataho Toriumi won her first set 6-4 against Kuo but lost her second set 6-3. Kuo had the lead against Toriumi 2-0 in their third set before it was canceled. Lobo Sara O’ Connor won her opening set 7-5 and was battling with her opponent in the second set; the score was 5-5 before it was left unfinished. Hsuan Huang lost her first set 7-5 but had a lead 4-3 in her second set. These matches were unfinished as Air Force had won three singles matches and the doubles, giving them the win for the entire match.
Going into the match between Lobo Hsian-Wen Huang and Falcon Hailey Stelse, Air Force only needed to win one more match to be victorious. In their first set, Stelse won 6-1. Huang battled back to try to keep her team alive but ultimately lost 7-5 in the next set, cementing the Lobos’ defeat.
The Lobos lost 4-0, making their record 9-4 and 0-1 in conference play.
After the match, UNM head coach Vicky Maes gave credit to the Falcons for their wins in the doubles matches and said she was happy with how the Lobos were able to battle in some of their matches. She also called it a disappointing match because UNM was unable to capitalize on the opportunities they created for themselves.
She said that, in the team huddle, she told her team that they need more mental toughness, but she said she is very optimistic going forward with the season and that this loss would help their growth as a team.
The Lobos also played on Sunday, March 27 at home against the Nevada Wolf Pack, who beat the Lobos 4-2. The Lobos play next on Saturday, April 2 in an away game against the University of Wyoming.
Thomas Bulger is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @thomasbulger10