ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sophomore Dominic Bermudez won his fifth consecutive singles match and sixth in his last seven, but it was the only point the Northern Arizona men's tennis team collected in their 6-1 loss to No. 50 New Mexico on Friday at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex. The Lobos handed the Lumberjacks their fourth consecutive defeat as NAU fell to 4-12 this season.
"Dom was absolutely outstanding," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "He fought tooth and nail until the last point. As a whole, I think we competed pretty well and I'm hopeful for tomorrow. We're taking little steps, we're starting to buy in and we're going to see some change in the next couple of weeks."
The Lumberjacks dropped the doubles point to begin the day. Senior Robin Pezzutto and junior Robert Martin saw their personal three-match doubles winning streak come to end when they fell at No. 2 to Ben Dunbar and Carl Ho in the first completed doubles match. Bermudez and junior Shaun Waters were then defeated at No. 1 doubles by Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips, the No. 37 ranked pair in the nation, as the Lobos clinched the doubles point. They then won at No. 3 to sweep doubles play.
New Mexico was looking for the clean sweep after winning the first five singles matches, but Bermudez denied the Lobos with his three-set win at No. 3. After dropping the first set, Bermudez responded with a 7-5 victory in the second set and then went on to win the third set super tiebreaker by a 13-11 score over Samir Iftikhar. He now leads the team with nine singles wins and his 7-3 record in his last 10 matches equals Waters' 7-3 mark earlier this season for the best 10-match stretch for the Lumberjacks this spring.
The Lumberjacks are right back at it on Saturday when they face New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. at 1 p.m.
1. Phil Anderson/Jadon Phillips (UNM) def. Dominic Bermudez/Shaun Waters (NAU), 8-2*
2. Ben Dunbar/Carl Ho (UNM) def. Robert Martin/Robin Pezzutto (NAU), 8-2
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. Phillips (UNM) def. Pezzutto (NAU), 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
2. Dunbar (UNM) def. Waters (NAU), 6-1, 6-2
3. Bermudez (NAU) def. Samir Iftikhar (UNM), 3-6, 7-5, 13-11
4. Anderson (UNM) def. Martin (NAU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Ho (UNM) def. Unger (NAU), 6-2, 6-1**
6. Mads Hegelund (UNM) def. Josh Levinson (NAU), 6-0, 6-2
Order of Finish: (2, 6, 5, 4, 1, 3)