Lobos Host NAU In First State Bank/Comcast Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/21/2004

Jan. 21, 2004

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CHOPPING DOWN THE LUMBERJACKS: The Lobos will look to continue their domination over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks this weekend when they host them in the First State Bank/Comcast Invitational. New Mexico is 16-0 all-time versus NAU. The last two meetings have resulted in 7-0 blankings over the Lumberjacks.

SCOUTING NORTHERN ARIZONA: The Lumberjacks are now led by head coach Albin Polonyi. Polonyi comes from Michigan State after having spent the last year and a half as the Spartans men's assistant tennis coach. In the 2003 season Polonyi helped lead the Spartans to a 15-12 overall record, with a 6-6 mark in the Big Ten. Northern Arizona comes to the Duke City after suffering a 7-0 loss to Arizona last weekend. They are led by junior Thibault Schram and freshman Lew DeLeon.

TOP DOGS: Senior Divan Coetzee claimed the top spot in the ITA Mountain Regional singles rankings while junior David Kowalski tied for second with Boise State's Matias Silva. The rankings are based on the voting of the ITA National Ranking Committee, consisting of eight region chairs.

Also placing on the singles chart were junior Ryan Stotland (16th) and freshman Hiroud Akhavan (22nd).

In the doubles rankings, Stotland and Kowalski are the top-ranked UNM team coming in at fourth, despite victories over both the No. 1 and 2 teams in the region this fall. Coetzee and Akhavan were ranked 11th while sophomore Henry Gers and senior Jasmin Hodzic tied for 13th with Lew DeLeon and Thibault Schraum of Northern Arizona.

National rankings will be released Jan. 13th. Coetzee, previously ranked 92nd in singles, should move up after his successful fall that included his upset of second-ranked Bo Hodge of Georgia. Kowalski and Stotland, ranked 33rd in the preseason polls, should also make the upcoming list.

REGIONAL ROUND-UP: The Lobos wrapped up fall competition with their participation in the Mountain Region Indoor Championship at the Boas Indoor Tennis Center, Nov. 15.

In the semi-final match, New Mexico netted a 4-3 win over BYU after four hours and 45 minutes of play. Senior Divan Coetzee got revenge for his ITA All-American Tournament loss to Erik Nyman with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 win at No. 1 singles. Junior David Kowalski netted a 7-6, 6-4 win at No. 2 over Richard Dasok, 7-6, 6-4. Senior Jasmin Hodzic earned the third singles point with his 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win against Alonso Medina in the sixth spot.

Freshman Hiroud Akhavan, junoir Ryan Stotland and sophomore Henry Gers all fell in three-set matches at the 3, 4, and 5 spots, respectively. Nima Roshan held off Akhavan for a 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 win. Jose Lechuga came back from a first-set defeat by Stotland for the 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory. Christian Hand also triumphed over Gers after a first-set loss, with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win.

The Lobos notched the doubles point with Kowalski and Stotland's win at No. 1 over Nima Roshan and Jose Lechuga, 9-7, and Gers and Hodzic's 8-6 defeat over Medina and Hand. Coetzee and Akhavan did not finish their match against Dasok and Nyman.

Following the semifinal win, the Lobos needed to wait over two hours to take on Boise State in the championship match. Boise State, with the home court advantage, clinched the regional team title behind a 4-2 win.

The Broncos had to come from behind for the victory after New Mexico took the doubles point. Kowalski and Stotland defeated Guillaume Bouvier and Thomas Schoeck at the first doubles position, 8-5. The Lobos clinched the doubles point behind Coetzee and Akhavan's 8-6 win at at No. 2 over Mahmoud Rezk and Matias Silva. The Broncos' Nils Klemann and James Ludlow won at the third spot, 8-4, over Gers and Hodzic.

In singles, it was a tug-of-war with two of the four matches going into three sets. In the first spot, Bouvier handed Coetzee a rare loss, taking the match 6-2, 6-2. Kowalski won the Lobos' only singles match with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Silva in the second position. At No. 3, Scheock came back after losing the first set to Akhavan with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory. Klemann followed Scheock's lead also coming back from a first set loss. Klemann took the No. 4 matchup 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 over Gers. Hodzic and Ludlow's match was not finished.