Falcons Capture First-Ever Win Over New Mexico
April 1, 2010
The Air Force women’s tennis team captured its first win over New Mexico in program history Thursday with a 7-0 triumph over the Lobos in Fort Worth, Texas. With the victory, their first-ever shutout of a Mountain West Conference opponent, the Falcons improved to 14-5 overall and 1-0 in the MWC, while UNM fell to 2-12 and 0-1.
With three freshmen and two sophomores in the lineup, the Falcons jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the doubles competition. Freshmen Melissa Cecil and Christine Molina were the first off the court with an 8-4 victory over Manumea Durie and Kristen Eggleston at the No. 3 position. UNM’s No. 2 team of Michaela Oldani and Amy Shipperd then snuck past Falcon sophomores Allie Chermel and Tahlia Smoke, 9-8(1), setting up the No. 1 contest as the deciding match for the doubles point.
Junior Christen Monreal and freshman Hannah Dake gave the Falcons the early lead and Air Force’s first point against the Lobos since the 2005 season by pulling out a dramatic 9-7 win at the top spot over Ashley Bonner and Anya Villanueva. It was also AFA’s first doubles point against New Mexico since the 2002 MWC Championships and helped the Falcons improve to 1-14 overall against UNM.
Air Force, which had not defeated a conference opponent since a 4-3 win over Wyoming on March 4, 2006, carried that momentum into singles play. The Falcons won two matches in three sets and four in straight sets, including two by freshmen. Dake dominated the No. 3 match, downing Laura Richardson, 6-2, 6-2, while Cecil handled Oldani, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 6 position. Junior Sarah Cassman won at the No. 5 spot, 6-3, 6-2, over Shipperd and Smoke took the No. 2 match, 7-6, 7-6 over Bonner.
Monreal went the distance at the top spot, rallying to defeat Villanueva, 5-7, 6-3, (10-4), while Molina beat Eggleston, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 at the No. 4 position.
“Today’s win was a complete team effort,” said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. “The tone of the match was set when our freshmen won at No. 3 doubles and our No. 1 team came from behind to win. Everyone had great energy. It was a fun day and a well deserved win for our team.”
The Falcons play TCU on Friday, April 2 at 10 a.m.
Air Force 7, New Mexico 0
Apr 1, 2010 at Fort Worth, Texas
1. Christen Monreal (AF) def. Anya Villanueva, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-4)