Junior Ben Tasevac captured the match clincher to snap New Mexico's winning streak.
Jan. 26, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of Utah men's tennis team (3-0) handed 67th-ranked New Mexico (7-1) its first loss of the season Sunday at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex.
Despite dropping the doubles point, the Utes battled the Lobos point-for-point in singles play until senior Ben Tasevac netted the match clincher in the final contest. The upset marks Utah's first victory over New Mexico since 2006.
New Mexico went up 2-0 early on in singles play as senior Alejandro Medinilla dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision to Hayden Sabatka at the No. 3 slot. Freshman Patrick Mayer then posted Utah's first point of the match with a 6-3, 6-5(2) victory at the sixth spot over Andrew Van der Vyver.
Senior Devin Lane then tied the match at two all when he defeated James Hignett by a score of 6-5(6), 6-2 at the No. 5 position. But the Lobos took the lead back at 3-2 as junior Cedric Willems fell to Rodolfo Jauregui, 6-4, 6-3 at the fourth slot.
Junior Slim Hamza then netted his first ranked victory of the season and tied the match at three all when he defeated No. 45 Samir Ifthakar at the top position, 6-5(5), 6-2.
Tasevac then pulled through a three-set nail bitter to clinch the match deciding point for Utah. He battled Mitch McDaniels at the No. 2 spot to a 5-6(4), 6-4, 6-2 win, finishing the match in favor of the Utes, 4-3.
Utah returns to Salt Lake City to host Montana and Montana State in a double header, Saturday at 12 p.m. And 5 p.m. MT at the Eccles Tennis Center.
Utah 4, No. 67 New Mexico 3 Doubles: 1. Sabatka/Jauregui def. Willems/Hamza 6-5(4) 2. Hignett/ifthakar def. Medinilla/Cowley 6-5(8) 3. Lane/Tasevac def. Hegelund/Van der Vyver 6-5(3) Order of finish: 1,3,2 Singles: 1. Slim Hamza def. #45 Samir Ifthakar 6-5(6), 6-2 2. Ben Tasevac def. Mitch McDaniels 5-6(4), 6-4, 6-2 3. Hayden Sabatka def. Alejandro Medinilla 6-0, 6-2 4. Rodolfo Jauregui def. Cedric Willems 6-4, 6-3 5. Devin Lane def. James Hignett 6-5(6), 6-2 6. Patrick Mayer def. Andrew Van der Vyver 6-3, 6-5(2) Order of finish: 3,6,5,4,1,2