Women's Tennis Downs New Mexico 4-1 To Advance To The MWC Championship
April 25, 2003
SAN DIEGO -
The No. 2 seed San Diego State women's tennis team (21-5) advanced to its third straight Mountain West Conference championship match with a 4-1 victory over New Mexico (15-9) Friday at the SDSU courts. The 23rd-ranked Aztecs, who will be looking for their first conference title, will face No. 4 seed BYU, upset winners over top-seeded UNLV, Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. (PDT).
"Our team showed a lot of heart and character after a very hard fought doubles point," said SDSU head coach Peter Mattera. "You can lose a lot of momentum by not getting that doubles point, but everyone came out and played very well in the singles. A lot of lesser teams might have let that seal their fate, but I'm glad my team did not."
Against the Lobos, the Aztecs dropped the doubles point, winning the No. 1 doubles match easily (8-1), but then losing at both the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The Lobo team of Rachel Hatley and Maria Ruiz-Fabrega overcome a 0-4 deficit against Aztecs Patricia Graf (Munich, Germany) and Katalina Romero (Tijuana, Mexico) in the No. 3 doubles match, winning 8-6. With SDSU's Indra Erichsen (Husum, Germany) and Silvia Tornier (Hamburg, Germany) coasting to a 8-1 victory at No. 1 doubles, New Mexico's Michelle Hiedbrink and Tiffany Robertson won the deciding match, 8-6, to claim the doubles point for the Lobos.
San Diego State came back with strong performances in the singles, claiming all four of the matches that were competed in straight sets. Senior Lindsey Hedberg (Austin, Texas), ranked 95th in the country, evened the match with a 6-2, 6-0 victory against Lobo Sandy Lukowski. The Aztecs then claimed two more straight-set victories at No. 1 and No. 3, before Erichsen clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win over New Mexico's Rachel Hatley at No. 6 singles.
SDSU advances to its third straight MWC championship and will face BYU for the second time in the last three seasons. The Cougars defeated the Aztecs, 4-3, at the 2001 conference championship in Fort Collins, Colo. San Diego State, however, defeated BYU by the same score (4-3) earlier this year in Provo, Utah.
"My personal feeling was that we were going to play BYU in the championship if we were lucky enough to get there," Mattera said. "We've beaten them earlier this season, but we know that they're very good and they need to beat us to get to the NCAAs."
In other MWC tournament action Friday, Colorado State defeated Wyoming (4-0) and Utah edged Air Force (4-3) at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. The Rams and the Utes will meet for fifth place Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the SDSU courts. The championship match with the Aztecs and Cougars will then follow at 2 p.m.
(2) SDSU 4 def. (3) New Mexico 1
DOUBLES - (New Mexico won point)
Mountain West Conference Women's Tennis Championship
Barnes Tennis Center - San Diego, Calif. (April 25, 2003)
Saturday's Schedule (SDSU Courts - April 26, 2003)
MWC Women's Tennis Championship - Standings (As of April 25)