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.
After a mixed start to their 2017 Conference campaign, the Lobos will be hoping to reassert themselves as Conference contenders in the upcoming fixtures. The Lobos lost a close match at home to Fresno State last Friday, but bounced back two days later, beating Nevada 4-1 in a dominant display. UNM (8-10, 1-1 MW) will face Boise State (4-18, 1-2 MW) and Utah State (14-7, 2-0 MW) in their next pair of Conference fixtures; the Lobos beat the Broncos earlier in the season 4-0, but have yet to face Utah State. All three teams have Conference ambitions, and they know well that each match from now until the end of the season is crucial—and could potentially define the remainder of their season. Although not traditional rivals, Boise State and UNM have developed a rivalry over the last decade. They have encountered one another in the Conference tournament several times, and their matches are typically close with little to separate the two sides.
After three consecutive victories away from home against top teams in the region, the Lobos faced yet another test of their strength and character. But this time, the setting was a bit more familiar. The Lobos (6-5) faced both Texas-San Antonio and New Mexico State on Saturday in their first of three weekend home matches this season, and picked up wins against both. The squad seemed eager to battle in front of their home fans, and perhaps felt some additional pressure hosting arch-rival NMSU — a team it had not lost to in three years.
In a whirlwind of a weekend for the UNM men’s tennis team, the Lobos faced three of their most difficult regional opponents on the road in Utah — and came out on top. New Mexico (4-5) surged to the three-match win streak by topping BYU on Friday, Nebraska on Saturday and finally Utah on Sunday. The Lobos were 1-5 coming into the weekend, a record that the team hoped to improve.
UNM recorded its first win of the season against Boise State in convincing fashion, winning three singles matches and two doubles matches. It was a much needed victory for the squad after opening the season with four straight losses. The beginning of the 2017 campaign was always going to be tough for the Lobos, as they faced ranked opponents UCLA, the No. 6 team in the nation, and other high profile teams such as Texas Tech and UCF. UCLA finished last season ranked as the number two team in the country, while Texas Tech ended up just outside the top 10 at No. 11.
The New Mexico women’s tennis team will start a tough spring schedule in Athens, Georgia against one of the best teams in the nation. The Lobos saw a lot of action on the road during the fall, as first-year UNM coach Stephanie Wooten-Quijada prepared the team for the elite competition they will see on Saturday. The Lobos will have their hands full as Georgia was ranked No. 6 in the country in the ITA rankings according to ncaa.com. The Bulldogs are the host school in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event.
The New Mexico men’s tennis season has apparently come to an end, failing to receive a bid to the ITA National Indoors despite some solid play at the regional tournament. Head coach Ben Dunbar said players had to advance into the semifinal round to be eligible to receive an at-large bid, but the team’s nationally ranked duo (No. 15) of Bart Van Leijsen and Hayden Sabatka bowed out in the quarterfinal round. Doubles partners Ricky Hernandez-Tong and senior Rodolfo “Fito” Jauregui did advance to the semifinal round and lost in a tiebreaker to the eventual champion, but the performance wasn’t quite enough to earn a berth to nationals. The head coach said the absence of a national ranking for Hernandez-Tong and Jauregui probably hurt their chances when the selections were made.
Change doesn’t necessarily mean some things can’t stay the same. New Mexico completed the search for a pair of new tennis head coaches. Although there will be some new faces at the helm, a pedigree of success is something the new hires can continue to build on.
New Mexico decided to “keep it in the family” and announced former player and assistant coach Ben Dunbar as its new men’s tennis head coach. Dunbar played tennis for the Lobos from 2008-2012 and served as the assistant coach for the past two seasons, joining the staff when his predecessor, Bart Scott, took over the program.
The New Mexico tennis program has been dealt another hard blow, leaving both tennis teams leaderless. Head coach Bart Scott of the men's squad recently announced his resignation to pursue a career in the private sector. Now multiple reports have confirmed former UNM women's tennis head coach Kelcy McKenna has accepted a coaching position at the University of Wisconsin.
Big things come in small packages — unless perhaps you are talking about someone with seemingly endless energy, fierce competitiveness and a larger than life personality, so much so that everything just won’t fit. Emily Olivier is anything but a small package.
The New Mexico women’s tennis team has an international flair, featuring players from four countries outside of the United States. One player from France took an interesting journey on her way to New Mexico. Ludivine Burguiere might stand out to some, when compared to the average tennis player. She frequently wears a headband to pull her hair back when she plays, but always has on a pair of compression calf sleeves to complement a bright pair of tennis shoes.
Shortly after the New Mexico men’s tennis season officially concluded, the team’s head coach announced it will also be the end of his coaching tenure. New Mexico’s Bart Van Leijsen and Hayden Sabatka started their quest for a national championship at the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Within 24 hours two New Mexico head coaches stepped down from their respected positions. On Thursday, UNM announced that Bart Scott will no longer be the head coach of the men’s tennis program after just two seasons at the helm of the program. On Friday, Kunio Kono announced his resignation from the swimming and diving team after four years.
New Mexico announced on Tuesday morning its newest member of the men’s tennis team. Hailing from Great Britain, Lawrence Perrin has signed his National Letter of Intent and will cross the Atlantic Sea in order to join the Lobo roster. Perrin will be joining a roster returning all nine of its members from the 2015-2016 campaign, a team that garnered an at-large bid to the NCAAs.
Athletes are likely to experience several highs and lows during their careers, never knowing when an injury might derail them or be a temporary setback. For one young New Mexico tennis player, the journey has already included all of those experiences and she said she is happy for it.
Early struggles, including flat play and lack of energy, were major factors in the New Mexico men's tennis team loss Sunday. The team ended up digging itself into an early hole that proved too great to overcome, despite a valiant comeback effort. The team got off to a rocky start, losing the first two doubles matches to spot Denver a 1-0 lead.
Women’s tennis won again Saturday to finish the regular season with a perfect record at home and in conference play, but the team still has a lot of unfinished business. New Mexico continued asserting itself early in matches. Andrea Leblanc and Rachana Bhat paired up to take the first doubles match over Elisa Nelson and Mary Meyers, 6-1. Teammates Emily Oliver and Dominique Dulski won 6-2 to snag the doubles point and take an early 1-0 lead over Air Force in the team score.
The men’s and women’s tennis team will both finish the season on its home court, in a position that garners special recognition among University of New Mexico athletics. UNM saw all 21 sports programs exceed a passing mark in the NCAA Academic Progress Rate Institutional Report, according to a University release. Both tennis squads were led the way with perfect four-year scores of 1000.
The New Mexico women’s tennis team picked a perfect time to peak, picking up a pair of victories on the road to remain unbeaten in conference play. UNM started its road trip at the Appleton Tennis Center against Boise State on Friday. The schools traded wins in the first two doubles matches, but the Lobos netted the first point when Dominique Dulski and Emily Olivier closed out their match, 6-3 to go up 1-0 in the team score.