April 24, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The second-seeded University of New Mexico men's tennis team used two split-set singles wins from Graeme Kassautzki and Carl Ho to earn a 4-1 win over sixth-seeded UNLV Friday afternoon at the Jerry Cline Tennis Complex.
The 43rd-ranked Lobos (19-5, 4-2 MWC) will face one-seeded and 38th-ranked TCU (12-10, 5-1 MWC) on Saturday, April 25, at 2 p.m.. The two teams faced off in the finals in 2008 with TCU coming away with a 4-3 win.
UNM cruised to a 1-0 lead with two 8-3 victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles slots. Seniors Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby defeated 75th-ranked Elliot Wronski and Luca Barlocchi at the No. 1 slot. Senior Graeme Kassautzki and sophomore Joe Wood notched the win at No. 2 over Wesley Burrows and Mehdi Bouras, rolling to their sixth straight win.
In singles action, MWC Player of the Year Johnny Parkes put the Lobos up 2-0 with a quick 6-2, 6-2 win over Wronski at No. 1 doubles to improve to 22-2 on the spring season.
After Burrows defeated Bugby at No. 3 singles (6-3, 6-3), the following four matches went to third sets. Kassautzki, who battled to the end in the first two sets at the No. 2 spot with a 7-6 (9-7) loss in the first set and a 7-6 (7-3) win in the second set, put away the win with a 6-2 game in the third set. Seconds later freshman Carl Ho sealed the win for the Lobos at No. 6, defeating Nikolaj Wulff.
Ho, who fell in the first set, 6-3, came back to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Ho has won his last eight singles matches and is 8-0 at the No. 6 spot this spring.
"We get a chance at TCU again and this time it is on our court, so we are excited for the challenge," head coach Alan Dils said. "All the matches here are tight and tenative. Nothing is easy, that is part of the pressure. I thought Carl did a phenomenal job despite early struggles. Our team is playing tight, but well."
New Mexico's last MWC tournament championship came in 2004 over San Diego State.
#2 New Mexico 4, #6 University of Nevada Las Vegas 1
1. #79 Johnny Parkes (NM) def. Elliot Wronski (UNLV) 6-2, 6-2
2. Graeme Kassautzki (NM) def. Mehdi Bouras (UNLV) 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
3. Wesley Burrows (UNLV) def. Miles Bugby (NM) 6-3, 6-3
4. Ben Dunbar (NM) vs. Luca Barlocchi (UNLV) 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 2-1, unfinished
5. Phil Anderson (NM) vs. Attila Toth (UNLV) 7-6 (7-6), 4-6, 1-4, unfinished
6. Carl Ho (NM) def. Nikolaj Wulff (UNLV) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
1. Johnny Parkes/Miles Bugby (NM) def. #75 Elliot Wronski/Luca Barlocchi (UNLV) 8-3
2. Graeme Kassautzki/Joe Wood (NM) def. Wesley Burrows/Mehdi Bouras (UNLV) 8-3
3. Ben Dunbar/Carl Ho (NM) vs. Attila Toth/Nikolaj Wulff (UNLV) 7-5, unfinished