June 19, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The 2007-08 University of New Mexico men's tennis team enjoyed one of its best seasons in history, finishing with a 20-8 record. That's the most wins by the Lobos in 13 years. UNM ended Mountain West Conference play with a 5-1 mark and a share of the regular season title. The Lobos held nine opponents scoreless and were swept only once, by Texas Tech on Feb. 23 in Las Cruces, N.M. The Lobos finished the season ranked No. 41 in the nation.
The Lobos' season came down to the third set of a match between Graeme Kassautzki and TCU's Krigler Brink in the finals of the MWC championship. New Mexico's season ended when Brink won 6-4, narrowly keeping the Lobos out of the NCAA Championships.
Head coach Alan Dils finished his 12th season with 20 victories, the most by the Lobos under his watch, surpassing the previous high of 17 (2000, 2001 & 2004). He also became the winningest UNM men's tennis coach (164-112) when the Lobos defeated Utah, 4-3, on April 4. Alan Dils and his twin brother, assistant coach Loren, added awards to their long coaching resumes. Alan Dils was named MWC coach of the year for the third time (2000, 2004 & 2008) in his career. He also notched his first ITA Mountain Regional Coach of the Year award this season. Loren Dils collected his fourth ITA Mountain Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honor (2000, 2004, 2005 & 2008).
The Lobos earned more than half of their wins during an 11-match winning streak that started on March 1. A winning string of that length had not been accomplished since 1995 when Tim Cass was the head coach and Alan Dils was his assistant. The streak ended when TCU defeated the Lobos in the final match of the regular season. The 5-1 conference mark was the second best winning percentage (.833) since UNM went undefeated in 2004.
Another season highlight came during the fall when the Lobos held six of the top 30 spots at the 2007 ITA Regional fall indoor playoffs on Oct. 17-21. It was only the second time New Mexico had six ranked student-athletes competing in the Fall Classic. Senior Max Jones topped the Lobos at No. 5 while junior Graeme Kassautzki came in ninth. Junior Johnny Parkes placed 13th right above his brother, senior Chris Parkes at No. 15. Junior Miles Bugby made the list at No. 19. Rounding out the list was senior Kamil Pajkowski, who was at 28th in the region. Doubles teams Jones and Pajkowski (No.2) and Chris Parkes and his brother Johnny (No. 8) were also among the Lobos in the rankings.
In the national rankings, Jones came in at No. 35 (Jan. 9) and finished the season and his collegiate career at No. 71. Johnny Parkes spent some time at No. 91 (Feb. 20-March 3). The duo of Jones and Pajkowski were ranked as high as No. 45 (Feb. 20) but a lack of ranked opponents kept them out of the rankings the rest of the season.
The MWC honored New Mexico players with All-MWC selections. Jones, Kassautzki and Johnny Parkes were all named to the all-conference singles squad. Jones and Parkes each collected doubles honors with their partners, Pajkowski and Chris Parkes, respectively. New Mexico also collected four 2008 Academic All-Conference awards for the spring with Pajkowski taking the lead at 3.42 GPA. Jones, Kassautzki and Johnny Parkes were also honored for their academic excellence.