Falcons Sneak Past New Mexico, 4-3
April 12, 2013
The Air Force women’s tennis team snapped a three-match losing streak with a 4-3 victory over New Mexico Friday afternoon at the Academy. With the victory, Air Force improved to 13-7 and 2-3 in the Mountain West, while the Lobos fell to 6-11 overall and 0-4 in league play.
“This was an amazing team effort and everything a college tennis match should be,” said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. “I have to hand it to New Mexico, from the first point to the last point – they made us earn the win.”
The Falcons earned the all-important doubles point by winning the Nos. 2 and 3 matches. Sophomores Tiffany Tran and Marcelli Magday started it off with an 8-3 victory over Kristine Eggleston and Katie Wookey at the No. 3 spot. Senior Christine Molina and sophomore Natasha Rizvi clinched the point with an 8-2 win over Michaela Oldani and Sarah Mahboob Khan at No. 2. Seniors Melissa Cecil and Hannah Dake dropped an exciting 8-7 match at the top spot, losing the tiebreaker, 8-6.
The Falcons had to fight through numerous injuries before and during the singles matches to split the six contests and earn the victory. Cecil, the team’s usual No. 5 player, was held out of the lineup and Rizvi had to retire late in the first set at the No. 4 spot to even the match at 1-all.
Tran and Dake put the Falcons up 3-1 with wins at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Tran downed Nikolina Grbac, 6-2, 6-2, and Dake defeated Eggleston, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, but the Lobos fought back. Bezdickova rallied to beat Molina at the top spot, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Oldani bet junior Anastasia Hueffner, 7-6, 6-3 at No. 6 to even the match at 3-all. The match came down to the No. 5 contest, where freshman Mary Meyers clinched the match and a winning season for Air Force with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Richardson.
“Mary was down in the third set and just kept fighting,” said Gidley. “It was a great effort by the entire team. This is the first time we have had a group of seniors have a winning season four years in a row. “
The Falcons host Boise State on Sunday, April 14 at noon in the final home match of the regular season.
Air Force 4, New Mexico 3