June 17, 2009
The University of New Mexico men's tennis team notched 20 wins for the second consecutive season, clinched the Mountain West Conference championship and made their first NCAA appearance since 2004. At 20-6 overall, the Lobos posted their best winning percentage since the 1984 season and, with a 15-2 start, their best record through 17 matches since 1968, finishing their campaign ranked 45th nationally. UNM faced 17 ranked opponents, winning 11 of those matches. The Lobos ranked in the top 45 all season, checking in at No. 32 on March 17 for their highest ranking of the season.
UNM collected its third conference championship title with a 4-3 thriller over then 38th-ranked TCU in the MWC tournament. The win gave UNM an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament for their 11th appearance overall and first since 2004. The Lobos were quickly ousted, however, falling to 33rd-ranked Minnesota 4-0 in Los Angeles, Calif.
No.1 FOR A REASON: Senior Johnny Parkes became the all-time winningest Lobo, finishing his career with a 97-42 mark. Parkes notched the record-capturing win at the NCAA Singles Championships defeating 89th-ranked Robert McKenzie of Middle Tennessee State in the Round of 64. In the Round of 32 Parkes kept pace with sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Bruno Agnostinelli of Kentucky, but fell just short with a 7-5, 6-4 loss. He finished the season at 30-5 with a sparkling 24-3 record at the No.1 singles spot in the spring, losing a combined eight sets in all 27 matches. In his four years at UNM, Parkes has notched 20 or more wins each season in addition to collecting All-Mountain West Conference singles teams honors. Parkes wrapped up his season and career ranked 75th in the nation in singles.
CONFERENCE/REGION AWARD COLLECTIONS: Senior Johnny Parkes picked up the Mountain West Conference men's tennis Player of the Year honor as well as the ITA Mountain Region Senior of the Year. He is the third Lobo and first since 2004. Parkes and fellow senior Graeme Kassautzki were named to the All-MWC singles team while Parkes and partner Miles Bugby grace the All-MWC doubles list.
Head coach Alan Dils was also voted MWC Coach of the Year, his fourth overall and second straight. Dils, who just wrapped up his 13th season, holds the record for most wins in program history at 184-117 and has posted back-to-back seasons with 20 wins. Graeme Kassautzki also picked up the ITA Mountain region Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
SUPERB SENIORS: A big reason for New Mexico's success was the performance of its three seniors - Johnny Parkes, Miles Bugby and Graeme Kassautzki. The trio combined for a 77 percent singles win percentage, anchoring the Lobos at the No. 1 through No. 3 positions. The three were also pivotal in clinching the MWC championship as each was victorious in their singles matches over TCU opponents. Parkes pushed the match to the very end by tying the score at 3-3 before Bugby notched a three-set, tiebreaker victory over No. 41 Kriegler Brink.
ACADEMICS: The 2009 squad picked up the UNM Athletic Council's Most Improved Award for having the best improvement in team grade point average at the Lobo Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 21.
DYNAMIC DOUBLES: The Lobos were 19-7 in doubles as a team and swept all three doubles point matches six times this season. Seniors Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby and senior Graeme Kassautzki and sophomore Joe Wood finished with a 21-7 spring record at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Kassautzki and Wood went 6-0 in conference doubles.
WOODN'T YA KNOW: Sophomore Joe Wood showed tremendous improvement on the doubles scene for the Lobos. Wood, who compiled just a 4-3 doubles record as a freshman in 2008, went 21-9 in his first full season of doubles dual action. Wood teamed with Graeme Kassautzki to anchor down the No. 2 position with a 17-6 spring mark. The pair was perfect in conference action, going 6-0, and started the season 7-1.
FANATASTIC FRESHMAN: Freshman Carl Ho has finsihed the season with nine straight singles wins. Ho is 9-0 at the No. 6 slot, 10-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in conference. He went 8-0 over his final 10 matches, with two in that span going unfinished.