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Your 2016 Mountain-Pacific Invitational Champions.

Lobo Fans,

Thanks so much to those of you that came out to support our team throughout the weekend, it means a lot to have your support.  To those that couldn’t make it, no worries, we felt your positive presence.

We had a solid weekend beating three very tough, gritty teams.  In the quarter-finals, in a rematch of last years finals match, we played a talented University of San Fransisco team by the score of 4-0.  The score doesn’t tell the whole story though.  There were tense moments of adversity particularly in the doubles point.

At #1 doubles, the #17 ranked team in the country for the Lobos, Bart Van Leijsen and Hayden Sabatka were down a break 6-5 and stormed back to break serve and race to a comfortable win in the tiebreak to secure the doubles point.

The boys were able to stifle the comeback attempt by USF and clinched the match propelling the Lobos into the semi-finals against upstart Grand Canyon who upset Santa Clara 4-3 in a morning thriller.

The match with Grand Canyon started with singles first and we were able to get early breaks and stretch those leads in winning five out the the first six first sets.

Grand Canyon impressed our fans and coaching staff with their resolve and determination.  In the end though, we were able to hold strong and see off their last ditch attempt to turn the match around beating them 4-0 to set up a blockbuster finals match with upstart conference foe Utah State.

With winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour we were forced to move the finals inside.  We knew the danger that USU posed before the match.  I only needed to remind them that they handed us our only regular season conference loss last season to get the boys fired up for this match.

Both teams came in very confident.  The Lobos were riding a seven match win streak and Utah State had won eight in a row.  Something had to give.

Doubles was highly competitive and it came down to the wire.  Jorge Escutia and Ricky Hernandez-Tong were able to draw first blood winning handily 6-2 and #3 doubles.  This set the stage for our #2 team of Rodolfo Jauregui and Augustus Ge to close out the match and doubles point winning 7-5.

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In singles we rode the wave of winning the doubles point to winning five out of the first six singles sets which set the tone for rest of the match.  Hernandez-Tong and Ge won their first sets 6-1 very quickly to spark the Lobos.  At about the same time first sets were won at #1 and #2 singles by Sabatka and Van Leijsen.

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True to fashion, USU tried to sink their teeth in the match.  We knew they would fight to the end and we were ready for it.  Sabatka and Van Leijsen closed out their matches stretching our team lead to 3-0.  This put the team match and the championship on the shoulders of Ge who came through in the clutch breaking serve at 6-1 6-5 up to close it out with a 6-1, 7-5 victory.

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It always feels nice to win a tournament, but we are especially humbled and honored to win our own tournament, a tournament we co-host with the University of the Pacific.

We feel like winning a tournament late in the season will provide us with much needed confidence heading into our conference slate.

Thanks for your continued support of our program and taking an interest in our talented student athletes.

We have a match tonight against NAU.  The match is scheduled for 5pm at McKinnon but high winds are once again going to force us to go inside.  Join us tonight as we try take on a talented and hungry NAU team.

Thanks again, and as always,

Go Lobos

Bart Scott-Head Coach

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After big wins last weekend agains #44 BYU and Air Force (twice), your Lobos returned to action yesterday for the start of the Mountain-Pacific Invitational, which we are co-hosting with Pacific.

We started the day off right avenging last years defeat in the finals at the hands of the University of San Fransisco by beating them 4-0.

In the semi-finals we played Grand Canyon University, who in the quarts upset the #4 seed Santa Clara in a thrilling 4-3 match.  We started fast and were able to subdue the ‘Lopes beating them 4-0.

Today we turn our attention to Mountain West foe Utah State in the finals.  We are looking forward to once again competing on finals day in this prestigious event, and are hoping to go one better than last year, but we fully understand the challenge that Utah State presents.  They are feisty and compete very well, which is a credit to their coaching staff and willingness of the players to do what they are coached to do.

The match will be a preview of what’s to come in the MW regular season, as this seasons the titles are up for grabs with no clear favorites as this point in the season.

The match is scheduled for 12pm outdoors, but with heavy winds in the forecast we may be forced indoor.  If that is the case, our start time could be pushed back to 3pm.

Please follow us on FaceBook and Twitter, as well as look for updates via http://www.golobos.com for match updates and results.

We would love to see many of you out there today.

As always, Go Lobos!!!!

Bart Scott-UNM Head Coach

 

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Lobo Fans!

It was a great weekend for tennis at the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium and your Lobos showed some true grit in earning a sweep of their Friday doubleheader.

The Lobos started slowly against DePaul, losing the doubles point, but rolled to a 6-1 win on the heels of some strong singles play.

The night match with Utah was shaping up to be a tricky match, but the guys came out firing from the start, earning the doubles point thanks to wins at #2 by Augustus Ge (pictured above) and Rodolfo Jauregui, and #3 by Jorge Escutia and Ricky Hernandez-Tong (pictured below).  About 35 minutes later in the span of about 5 minutes the Lobos raced out to five first set wins stifling any thought of a comeback by the talented Utes, who up until that point were 11-1 on the season.

Hayden Sabatka picked up MW player of the week award for going 3-0 on the day at #1 singles and #1 doubles.  At #2 singles Bart Van Leijsen (bottom picture) had a great win over the regional runner up from Utah, Dan Little 63, 6-4.  Augustus Ge at #5 busted out of a mini slump in a big way beating his opponent in straight sets clinching the win for the Lobos almost simultaneously with Escutia at #3.
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Needless to say it was a great weekend, and it provided some much needed breathing room.  Your Lobos are now 5-10 on the season but shot back into the national rankings to #70.  Although our record is not where we want it to be, we have played an incredible schedule that has not penalized or hindered us in any way.  In fact we are probably the only sub .500 team in the country to be ranked top 75 BECAUSE of our schedule.

We have 3 big matches coming up this weekend, and we ask for your support once again!  It was great seeing so many of you out this past weekend and we are looking forward to seeing you all again as we face #44 BYU on Friday at 4:30pm at McKinnon and again on Saturday as we face Air Force twice, at 11:00am and 5:00pm.

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Thanks again everyone.  We absolutely love playing in front of Lobo Nation!

See you at McKinnon on Friday and Saturday….

As Always, Go Lobos!

Bart Scott-Head Men’s Tennis Coach

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Dear Lobo Nation,

It’s been too long and a lot has happened since we last connected.  We have been so busy, the guys are learning a lot and improving every day.  We are so excited to invite you all to come out and watch us play at the beautiful McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium Friday as we host a doubleheader.

Match Schedule:

Friday February 26th, 10am New Mexico vs DePaul

Friday February 26th, 5pm New Mexico vs Utah

These are our only matches this weekend and they are our first matches of the season at home for us.  We started the season off with 13 home or neutral matches in what is shaping up to being one of, if not the toughest schedule we’ve ever played.  We have several NCAA tournament teams from last year including Top 10 Texas Tech twice, top 15 Columbia, top 40 Pepperdine, top 50 Georgia Tech and SMU, top 60 Arizona and Pacific twice each, as well as UC Irvine.

We schedule tough, because we want the Lobos to play the best of the best to test theirselves week in and week out.

We are a young group of Lobos this season with three outstanding seniors graduating.  We have two junior captains, and a sophomore captain as well who are all learning valuable lessons during this challenging road stretch.  All the players, not just the captains are gaining so much toughness at the moment.  The only trouble is when you play great teams with a young bunch you are going to take a few lumps.  When you take a few lumps, you can lose some confidence.  So were we are now in our season, and what we need most is to find our confidence once again, to find our swagger.  We need to get back our killer instinct and trust in the big moments of the match we have what it takes.

There is no better place, and no better time than now, back at home, in front of our faithful fans to gain our confidence.  We need you all the way Roger Federer needs his headband or Novak Djokovic needs his gluten free blueberry muffins!

I’m looking forward to seeing you all on Friday as we continue our march down the road to the 2016 Mountain West Championship, this year in Las Vegas, NV hosted by UNLV.

I appreciate all of your continued support and I promise to keep you all updated weekly via this blog.

As Always, Go Lobos!

Bart Scott-UNM ’03

Head Men’s Tennis Coach

 

Dear Lobo Nation,

What a ride it’s been since we last caught up!  Since the last post your Lobos went 6-1 in the difficult Mountain West Conference and earned the outright regular season championship!  We netted home wins over #38 SDSU, #75 UNLV, #69 Fresno State, and road wins over #64 Boise State, Nevada, and Air Force.  Our only loss was on the road to #67 Utah State.
Before closing out our MWC season at AFA with the regular season championship on the line, we first went to Denver to renew our rivalry with #41 DU.  We were hungry and we took it to them early, winning the doubles point  and racing out to 4 of the first 6 first sets.  We hung on to win 4-2 and it was a huge win for us as we are still in the hunt for an NCAA at large bid!

The next day we took care of business and earned our first conference title since winning the tournament in 2009!  It felt good to climb back to the top of the mountain 🏆 the young men had a great season and deserved it.


Leading up to the conference championship Sam Iftikhar took home all conference singles honors as well as Hayden Sabatka.  Sabatka with partner Bart Van Leijsen, who took home freshman of the year honors (making him the second Lobo in a row to win-Sabatka last year), also took home all conference doubles honors to go along with the regular season championship!

We were hungry to win the tournament and took care of Afa again in the quarters but were unable to stop a red hot Boise a State team who went on to win their 4th straight MWC tournament title.  It was not the result we hoped for but our guys laid it on the line all season long and have nothing to be ashamed of.

We now await the NCAA tournament selection committees decision on who will be in and who will be out.  We went into the tournament ranked #39 and the bubble is basically #42.  I’ve done some math and see us falling between #38-42, so I feel good about our teams chances…however, nothing is certain when it is left out of your own hands.


On that note, what an effort by the women’s tennis team capturing the tournament title and automatic NCAA tournament bid!!  It was spectacular!  They overcame illness, injury, and inspired teams to lift the trophy!!!  As an alumn I was extremely proud, and that win by the women went a long way to take away some of my personal disappointment of our tournament early exit!  Erica, Kelcy, and the ladies deserve a lot of credit and we are excited to see where they will play their opening rounds at the dance!  I feel they have a lot more tennis left in them.  Don’t be surprised to see them make a run🙂

Thanks Lobo Nation for another amazing season of support!  We are nothing without you and your support!

If we get a spot in the tournament I’ll update you all.  If not, I’ll sign off with one last blog for the spring season!

As always,

Go Lobos!!


Bart Scott



Lobo Nation,

It’s been an exciting last few weeks and I want to don’t best to share a few of the highlights.  

To begin, we had the privilege and honor to host the first ever duel match at the McKinnon Family Stadium!  It was really fun and exciting for the players and all those in attendance.  We made an effort to put on a bit of a show as we try and enhance the total experience for both fans, and student athletes.  A huge thanks to all those who turned out to support these guys, as well as a huge thanks to Scott Dotson, director of UNM facilities and his team for helping make sure the facility was in championship form for this special occasion.  

The match started a little slow for us as I’m sure the nerves got the best of at least a few of the guys🙂  we regrouped nicely though to take the doubles point and secure three singles matches quickly to win the match 6-1 over the best NAU team I’ve seen since 1999 when I was a freshman on the team playing for the legendary Alan and Loren Dils.



This past weekend the Lobos, lead by my assistant Ben Dunbar and former head man Alan Dils marched the guys into battle at the inaugural Mountain-Pacific Invitational.  I couldn’t make the trip as my wife was 39 weeks pregnant with our second child.  There is no place I’d rather be than with family but it was a little bitter sweet as I co-created the event with my friend Ryan Redondo, the head coach at Pacific.  

I knew the guys were in great hands though with Ben and Alan, so I was able to relax and enjoy the updates from our exceptional trainer, Kelsey Hubbard.  

In the first round we took care of co host Pacific 5-1.  It was difficult first round match but the guys came to play and had a great day.  A few hours later we met up with Cal Poly who only two weeks before handed us a tough 4-3 loss in SLO.  The guys were excited and motivated for the challenge.  We took the doubles point then ran away with it winning 4-0.  

In the finals, we played the University of San Francisco who ironically we beat in SLO a couple weeks ago.  This time USF was up to the challenge and set us back with a 4-3 loss as they claimed the championship.  It’s a tough pill to swallow but it will be another learning lesson on the road to hosting our conference championship in April.

Your Lobos are now 8-7 on the year and ranked #45 in the country by the ITA.  13 of the 15 matches have been played without our senior co-captain Sam Iftikhar.  This weekend we are excited to announce barring any setback this week in practice that Sam will return to action as we host Georgia State in a Saturday Doubleheader at 11am and 5pm.

Of our seven losses, 4 of them have been avenged.  We lost to and beat USF, #71 Cal Poly, Arizona, and #32 Texas Tech.  The other three losses have come at the hands of the ITA National Indoor Champions and #1 team in the country Oklahoma, #15 TCU (both on their home courts), and #56 Arkansas.  

This weekend we take on Georgia State twice on Saturday and then on March 10 we play #44 Penn, coached by former Lobo coach David Geatz.



Thanks for all the support this season Lobo Nation!  We look forward to seeing you guys March 7th and 10th!

As always, Go Lobos!

P.S.  I’ll make sure to update you all when the newest member of Lobo Nation is born🙂

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Lobo Nation,

I wanted to take the time to update you all on the start of our season.  Let me start by saying congratulations to the UNM Women’s Tennis Team on a successful start to their spring campaign!  With a home win over ITA #51 Houston the Lady Lobos are off to a fantastic start.  Keep it up Erica, Kelcy, and Team🙂

As for us, our season kicked off with bang!

We started in Tucson, AZ Friday January 16th with Big XII power and ITA #41 Texas Tech.  Not exactly an easy first match to say the least.  In fact, they have a history of putting together top 25 NCAA teams and after facing them, I can say once again they are loaded and will be right around the top 25 once again.  They have a great coaching staff, and very talented players.

Your Lobos prepared all fall and were more than ready for the challenge both mentally and physically (our strength coach Ryan Dupree deserves a lot of credit for the shape our fellas are in!).  We came out of the gates hot and never looked back, upsetting Texas Tech 4-1 to go 1-0 on the season.  The team did a great job, and so did my assistant Ben Dunbar.  I’m so glad to have former player Dunbar on board.  He’s going to make a great head coach in the near future.  On a personal note to get my first victory as a head coach means a lot, but to get it against such a class team like Texas Tech is icing on the cake!  It was a total team effort.

The format for the weekend in Tucson was a challenging one.  We played a double header each day against Texas Tech, UC Irvine, and host Arizona, coached by former Lobo Tad Berkowitz (If you know Tad, congratulate him on the birth of his beautiful brand new baby girl Carly, born just a few days ago).  So, after beating Tech, we had an hour and a half off to get ready for a much improved Arizona squad.  They are talented at the top, and are also well coached.  It was a slugfest and we were able to avoid the potential letdown after the emotional victory over Texas Tech beating Arizona 4-2.  Like the morning match no doubles was played as we started singles first.

Going 2-0 on the day with wins over Power Five conference schools from the Big XII and Pac 12 was the good news.  The bad news was senior co-captian Sam Iftikhar, ranked #41 in the country by the ITA, fell late in the second set in his match against Arizona and broke his wrist on the fall.  It’s a shame because Sam was playing some serious ball.  Against Tech in the morning he beat the #28 player in country 63 62!

We played some inspired tennis the rest of the way but fell short in a rematch with both Texas Tech and Arizona but was able to beat UC Irvine both times to register a 4-2 record for the weekend.   For a full recap of those matches, thanks to our supremely talented SID Laura Schuessler, please click HERE.

After our weekend in Tucson we hit the road again for the ITA National Indoor Kickoff.  We drew the defending NCAA Runner-Up Oklahoma in the first round.  They are ranked #2 in the latest ITA polls and are more than deserving of that ranking.  They boast 4 players ranked in the top 50 in the country and their number one singles player, Andrew Harris reached the second round of qualifying at this years Australian Open!  Without our best player it was an uphill battle, but I have to take a moment and give our Lobos a ton of credit for their effort and their fight.  Rodolfo Jauregui was up a set and break when the match was called.  Hayden Sabatka, last years Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year was up 5-3 in the second set against a top 10 player.  We put up a fight but lost 4-0 (full recap HERE).  Of course we are proud they put up a strong fight, but we’re not satisfied with just testing the top teams.  We want to beat them, and with your continued support and interest in our program, we WILL.

The next day we had to bounce back quickly against another Power Five team in the SEC’s Arkansas.  Before the match, and already without Iftikhar, we lost Jauregui (who the day before remember, was up a set and a break vs OU) to an arm issue.  We started slow, but fought tooth and nail to put our selves in position to steal a win without two starters but ultimately came up a bit short losing 4-2.  For a full recap of this match, click HERE.

We have had a good week of practice and we have the weekend off as we prepare for our February 6 showdown with yet another Power Five school, the BigXII’s TCU.  Currently TCU sit at #18 in the country coming off the heels of a win over #10 Texas A&M in College Station.  They qualified last weekend for the ITA National Team Indoors beating A&M and LSU.  They are very talented and are led by two great coaches.  Head coach David Roditi and assistant coach Devin Bowen (both former Frogs standouts) have those guys firing on all cylinders at the moment.  It will be a huge challenge to slow them down, but we are rested and ready for the challenge.  If any of you out there know Lobos in Fort Worth, please spread the word.  Friday Feb. 6 at 5:30pm.

We’re having a great time guys, and we’re so glad to have your support.  Please spread the word about the hard work these guys are putting in day in and day out.  Follow us on Facebook (we’re almost to 1000 likes!!!) and Twitter by clicking these links and don’t forget to “Follow” this blog.  Click “Follow” at the bottom of the home page to get an email alert every time I update the blog with in-season updates and features like “Where Are They Now.”  The next “Where Are They Now” will feature former Lobo Paul Butt.  Be on the lookout for that interview in the very near future!

Stay with us as we continue down the road to the 2015 Mountain West Conference Championship which we will be hosting in your backyard at the beautiful McKinnon Family Tennis Center.

Thanks so much for your support and as always, Go Lobos!!!!

-Bart