Sylvain and Salum teamed up for one last time in their careers, anchoring the Aggie doubles lineup at the No. 1 spot. The co-captains won a thriller against Michaela Bezdickova and Maria Sablina of UNM 9-7 after trailing 6-7 in the pro set. It was their first win of the year at No. 1 doubles. Jodie Williams and Annemieke Witte were also victorious 8-4 at the No. 2 doubles position, helping NM State get off to a quick start in the match.
"We came out strong on all three doubles courts and had chances to win all three. The seniors played great at No. 1," head coach Ivan Fernandez said.
Salum followed up her doubles performance with a win at No. 4 singles to clinch the Aggie team victory over the Lobos. Salum defeated Kristin Eggleston of UNM 6-2, 6-3.
Denise Van Der Ben, Ginet Pinero, and Witte also won singles matches. Van Der Ben won 6-4, 6-2 over Maria Sablina at No. 2. Pinero beat Alyssa Caffey of UNM 7-5, 6-3 at the No. 3 spot. Finally Witte rolled Michaela Oldani 6-2, 6-2.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match, it always is against UNM, I'm pretty happy with the result today," Fernandez said. "I think we just wanted it a little more than they did today and we played like it."
Sylvain and Salum end their Aggie careers having won over 200 combined matches in singles and doubles.
"What else can you ask for out of a couple of players?" Fernandez said. "To have that kind of consistent play from both of them for all these years is more than any coach could ever ask."
The Aggie victory marks the third straight over the Lobos. Last year NM State defeated UNM 4-3, in their first win in Albuquerque since 2001. In 2010, the Aggies crushed UNM 6-1 in Las Cruces, snapping a seven-match losing streak against the Lobos.
"We're excited; this was a great win to finish out the season. We're getting ready to take care of business in the WAC (tournament)," Fernandez said.
NM State will host the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tennis Tournament next week beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 26. The tournament will run through Sunday, April 29. For tournament tickets contact the NM State Ticket Office at (575) 646-1420
For all of the latest Aggie women's tennis news, click NMStateSports.com.
New Mexico at New Mexico State
April 21, 2012 at Las Cruces, N.M.
(NM State Tennis Center)
New Mexico State 5, New Mexico 2
No. 1: Michaela Bezdickova (UNM) def. Manon Sylvain (NMSU), 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
No. 2: Denise Van Der Ben (NMSU) def. Maria Sablina (UNM), 6-4, 6-2
No. 3: Ginet Pinero (NMSU) def. Alyssa Caffey (UNM), 7-5, 6-3
No. 4: Natalia Salum (NMSU) def. Kristin Eggleston (UNM), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5: Annemieke Witte (NMSU) def. Michaela Oldani (UNM), 6-2, 6-2
No. 6: Nikolina Grbac (UNM) def. Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU), 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7)
Order of finish: 2, 5, 4, 3, 6, 1
No. 1: Salum/Sylvain (NMSU) def. Bezdickova/Sablina (UNM), 9-7
No. 2: Jodie Williams/Witte (NMSU) def. Oldani/Eggleston (UNM), 8-4
No. 3: Caffey/Grbac (UNM) def. Pinero/Nguyen (NMSU), 9-8
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3