New Mexico Takes Apart Abilene Christian, 7-0
Lobos even their spring record at 3-3 with the sweep
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team wasted little time in dispatching of Abilene Christian Sunday afternoon at the Linda Estes Tennis Center, sweeping the visiting Wildcats, 7-0.
The Lobos are now 3-3 this spring while ACU drops to 1-3.
The Lobos’ focus on a quick start in doubles play paid immediate dividends. New Mexico relinquished only nine games while wrapping up doubles play in just under an hour. The Lobos’ Joe Wood and Ben Dunbar played in the No. 1 doubles position, beating ACU’s Luke Hawk and John Strahl 8-5.
That would prove to be as close as the Wildcats would get in doubles play. The Lobos dominated the next two matches, with Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips beating Eldad Campbell and Prett Proctor, 8-2. Carl Ho and Conor Berg beat Jared Hope and Karl Bein, 8-2, as well.
New Mexico carried it’s momentum from doubles play into singles play, winning all six matches. Dunbar beat Campbell, 6-4, 6-4, in what proved to be the only close match of the bunch. Dunbar, new to the No. 1 spot in singles for the Lobos, has now won three consecutive singles matches.
“Ben’s been doing a good job,” New Mexico head coach Alan Dils said. “It’s his first time at the No. 1 position and the kid he played is obviously a very good athlete and solid player. Ben had to play very well to beat him. I think Ben’s been playing better and better, and it showed today. He’s striking the ball very well and moving better than he ever has.”
“It was a good match,” Dunbar said. “I didn’t play quite as well as I wanted to, really, but I got the win. That’s what’s important.
“The emphasis today was coming out with lots of energy and getting off to a good start with the doubles. We really tried to make an issue of coming out and being consistent from the start.”
Ho played in the No. 2 spot for the first time this spring, making short work of Strahl, 6-0, 6-1.
“We had a pretty good week of practice after playing Denver last Sunday,” Ho said. “It felt good out there today. It was all about energy and focus for us today – especially in doubles play.”
“Carl did a good job,” Dils said. “It’s his first match away from No. 1 and he beats his guy 6-0, 6-1.”
Phillips gave up a couple of games early, but went on to cruise to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Hawk.
“We won all the doubles and all the singles, so today was a pretty good day,” Phillips said. “We came out with great energy today. We’re a team, so all of us have to be there at 100 percent. Today my returns were very good. I was mentally strong and my footwork, hustle and serve were working for me today as well.”
Jadon just keeps getting better every match,” Dils said. “I’m really pleased with where he’s at and the things he’s putting into play. The sky is the limit for him.”
As to his overall impressions of the day’s matches, Dils couldn’t have been much happier with his team’s performance.
“I was happy with the day,” Dils said. “We worked hard all week on a couple of items – namely doubles. I think the guys came out with good energy in doubles play and it carried over to singles as well.”
Despite some early struggles this spring against some of the top-ranked teams in the nation, Dils sees real improvement from the fall season.
“Starting in the fall, I would not have thought we’d have gotten this good yet, considering how young we are and how much we had to work on,” Dils said. “I think, in my mind, we’re ahead of where I would have put us at this point in the season.
“That being said, I still think we’ve got a lot of things to work on. But, that’s normal with a young team. They’ve got a great attitude about it and are working very hard. That’s a big part of why I think they’re ahead of where I thought we might be at this point.”
University of New Mexico 7, Abilene Christian 0
1. Ben Dunbar (NM) def. Eldad Campbell (ABC) 6-4, 6-4
2. Carl Ho (NM) def. John Strahl (ABC) 6-0, 6-1
3. Jadon Phillips (NM) def. Luke Hawk (ABC) 6-2, 6-0
4. Phil Anderson (NM) def. Brett Proctor (ABC) 6-2, 6-4
5. Joe Wood (NM) def. Jared Hope (ABC) 6-2, 6-1
6. Matt Neeld (NM) def. Karl Bein (ABC) 6-4, 6-1
1. Joe Wood/Ben Dunbar (NM) def. Luke Hawk/John Strahl (ABC) 8-5
2. Phil Anderson/Jadon Phillips (NM) def. Eldad Campbell/Brett Proctor (ABC) 8-2
3. Carl Ho/Conor Berg (NM) def. Jared Hope/Karl Bein (ABC) 8-2