Pacific men's tennis took on a battle-tested New Mexico team on Sunday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but fell short of a big win, 4-3.
The Tigers won two matches in doubles and junior Ross Watson rolled to a win over Ricky Hernandez Tong, the nation's No. 72 player and junior Akram El Sallaly cruised to a win at No. 4 singles. Freshman Josef Southcombe battled in a three-set match at No. 6 singles but came up just short of pulling off a huge road victory for the Tigers, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
"I'm really encouraged by the match," head coach Ryan Redondo said. "We've put ourselves in winning positions all season and just came short each time. We're pivoting toward winning these matches and I see some really good things moving forward. The dual season is full of little moments that aren't seen on a scoreboard and the way in which the team handled this week was special. We traveled for 14 hours on Saturday and dealt with a death in our team's family and Ross came down with an illness. But still, we came out and swept the doubles point and took down a player that was ranked in the top-25 in the nation."
Pacific is back in action next weekend when it hosts a big home tournament, the Mountain Pacific Invite, on Saturday and Sunday. Pacific will play a doubleheader on Saturday and one final match on Sunday.
"Days like today make us tougher as a team and show that we're building something special. I can't express how much I appreciate the team's effort," Redondo said. "Nonetheless, we need to finish the matches in our rackets and keep building for the season."
|1. Ross Watson (PAC) def. HERNANDEZ TONG Ricky (NM) 7-6, 6-3|
|2. WEST, Dominic (NM) def. Philip Hjorth (PAC) 7-5, 6-4|
|3. HOLIS, Stepan (NM) def. Tadiwa Chinamo (PAC) 7-6, 6-2|
|4. Akram El Sallaly (PAC) def. BUTTNER, Tim (NM) 6-1, 6-2|
|5. BERMEJO, Facundo (NM) def. Johnathan Lieu (PAC) 7-5, 7-6|
|6. RECCI, Casey (NM) def. Josef Southcombe (PAC) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3|
|1. Ross Watson/Philip Hjorth (PAC) vs. HERNANDEZ TONG Ricky/HOLIS, Stepan (NM) no result|
|2. Tadiwa Chinamo/Akram El Sallaly (PAC) def. WEST, Dominic/BERMEJO, Facundo (NM) 7-5|
|3. John Horoz Garner/Josef Southcombe (PAC) def. BUTTNER, Tim/RECCI, Casey (NM) 7-6|