April 27, 2012
The Air Force men's tennis team wrapped up its 2011-12 season Friday with a 4-0 loss to the 66th-ranked New Mexico Lobos in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Mountain West Championships in San Diego, Calif. The sixth-seeded Falcons completed their season with an 11-13 record, while the third-seeded Lobos improved to 18-7 and will face No. 2 seed San Diego State on Saturday.
The Lobos raced out to a 1-0 lead with victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles spots. UNM's No. 3 team of Carl Ho and James Hignett got things started with an 8-1 triumph over sophomores Steven Young and Alex Lineberry. The Lobos clinched the point when Ben Dunbar and Conor Berg won the No. 2 match, 8-3, over sophomores Alex Grubbs and Andy Jackson. The No. 1 match was halted at that point.
UNM continued its solid play in singles, winning the first three matches off the court in straight sets to clinch the match. Phil Anderson was the first off after defeating freshman Landon Kinsey, 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot, followed by Berg, who won the No. 4 match, 6-0, 6-1 over Young. Dunbar gave UNM its fourth point with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Grubbs at the No. 2 spot.
The other three matches were then halted, including the No. 1 match, where AFA junior Lance Wilhelm split sets with Jadon Phillips, the Mountain Region's No. 2 ranked player. Phillips won the first set 6-1, then Wilhelm rallied from 4-1 down to win the second set 7-5.
"Today we matched up against a very strong team," said Air Force head coach Dan Oosterhous. "We had small windows of opportunities on each court but couldn't find a way to win the big points. The scores don't show the effort our team put into each match. It's been a great year with many exciting moments and we'll have the same group back next year plus a strong incoming freshman class. All our guys have made big improvements this year and they've grown a lot on this journey."
The Falcons' 11 wins this season were the most since the 2007 season and Grubbs led the team with 29 combined dual singles and doubles victories, the most by an Air Force player since Shannon Buck had 32 in 2006.
#66 New Mexico 4, Air Force 0
April 27, 2012
San Diego, Calif.
Quarterfinals - Mountain West Championships
1. #58 Anderson / Phillips (UNM) led Wilhelm / Grant Taylor, 4-3, DNF
2. Dunbar / Berg (UNM) def. Grubbs / Jackson, 8-3
3. Ho / James Hignett (UNM) def. Young / Lineberry, 8-1
Order of finish: 3, 2
1. Lance Wilhelm (AF) vs. Jadon Phillips, 1-6, 7-5, DNF
2. Ben Dunbar (UNM) def. Alex Grubbs, 6-3, 6-3
3. Phil Anderson (UNM) def. Landon Kinsey, 6-1, 6-0
4. Conor Berg (UNM) def. Steven Young, 6-0, 6-1
5. Samir Iftikhar (UNM) led Alex Lineberry, 6-1, 5-3, DNF
6. Carl Ho (UNM) led Andy Jackson, 6-1, 5-0, DNF
Order of finish: 3, 4, 2