Lobos Hit the Road for Three Conference Matches
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/08/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 8, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -The 41st-ranked University of New Mexico men's tennis team travels to San Diego, Calif., to Dmeet up with three conference foes from Thursday, April 9, through Saturday, April 10. The Lobos take on No. 45 TCU on Thursday, No. 46 Utah on Friday and No. 64 BYU on Saturday. UNM is 4-12 all-time against TCU, 28-22 all-time against Utah and 25-28-1 all-time against BYU. All match times are set for 10 a.m. MDT.

The Horned Frogs are 2-0 in conference play this season and defeated New Mexico twice in 2008, handing them their only regular season conference loss as well as a 4-3 loss in the Mountain West Conference championship match. The last win for the Lobos over the Horned Frogs was in 1993, a 4-3 victory. Since then, the Lobos have lost nine straight. TCU has three singles players in the ITA rankings and two doubles combinations. In singles, Slah Mbarek at No. 62, Kriegler Brink at No. 76 and Emanu Brighui at No. 110. Brighui and Adrian Simon are 20th in doubles and Brink and Mbarek are 31st.

Utah, who sits atop the MWC standings at 3-0, has a three-match losing steak to UNM.

At 15-3 overall and 2-0 in conference, the Lobos holds their best record since the 1968 season. The 1968 Lobos finished 20-1, including 16-1 through their first 17 matches. The only losses of the 2009 season have come against then-ranked No. 23 Boise State, No. 25 Virginia Tech at the ITA Team Indoor Tournament and No. 52 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the HEB Tournament.

RECENT RANKINGS:UNM fell to No. 41 as of the ITA poll released on Tuesday, April 7. The Lobos have not been ranked lower than 44 this season with their highest ranking coming at the No. 32 spot.

LAST TIME OUT:The Lobos lost a narrow 4-3 decision on Sunday, April 5, to its highest ranked opponent of the season in then-No.23 Boise State. After losing all three doubles matches and their first singles match, UNM rallied to win three straight singles matches --Johnny Parkes (No.1), Miles Bugby (No. 3) and Ben Dunbar (No. 5) -- to take an advantage in the match. Graeme Kassautzki narrowly lost to No. 26 Clancy Shields at the No. 2 position. Kassautzki took the first set 6-2, but couldn't hold on in the second set, falling 7-6 and then 6-2 in the final set. Anderson's match was also close, a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 loss to Blane Shields.

CHASING HISTORY:Seniors Johnny Parkes and Graeme Kassautzki are climbing the UNM all-time singles and doubles lists. Parkes is tied for the No. 4 singles spot with an all-time record of 90-40. Kassautzki is close behind at the No. 6 slot with a singles record of 89-43. The all-time singles leader is Divan Coetzee, who played for the Lobos from 2001-04, with a record of 96-30.

In doubles, Parkes currently is tied for 10th with a 72-44 record while Kassautzki is 17th with a record of 63-46. Miles Bugby has also cracked the list, tied for 25th with a record of 51-34. The all-time doubles leader is David Kowlaski who played from 2001-05 finishing his career with a 100-40 record.

No.1 FOR A REASON:Senior Johnny Parkes has lost only one singles match at the No. 1 position. Parkes is 17-1, including winning 11 straight matches. Parkes has only lost a combined four sets in all 18 matches. His overall singles record on the year is 23-3, which is seven wins away from holding the most wins in a single season list.

CONFERENCE COMPETITION: Four other Mountain West Conference teams are ranked in the top 70 - No. 38 San Diego State, No. 45 TCU, No. 46 Utah, and No. 64 BYU.

IN CONFERENCE:The Lobos opened Mountain West Conference play with a bang, extending their win streak to seven matches with a 6-1 win over Air Force on Friday, March 27, and a 5-2 win over No. 65 UNLV on Sunday, March 29. Seniors Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby both won two singles matches. At the No. 1 spot, Parkes continued dominating with a 6-0, 7-6 win over Air Force's Austin Francis and a 6-3, 7-6 win over UNLV's Elliot Wronski to improve to 16-1 this spring. Bugby jumped to 11-2 at the No. 3 singles spot for the spring with two three-set wins. The two also teamed up for two doubles victories in the No. 1 slot, including an 8-5 win over No. 65 Wronski and Luca Barlocchi from UNLV.

The Lobos swept the doubles matches on both days and are 15-2 in doubles as a team.

Freshmen Ben Dunbar stepped up in singles action for two wins at the No. 4 spot. Dunbar is now 7-6 in spring singles, winning his past four matches. Carl Ho appeared in the lineup at the No. 6 position and also secured two wins.

The Lobos were scheduled to play No. 37 San Diego State this past Saturday but the match was postponed due to travel difficulties caused by weather for the Aztecs to Colorado.

DYNAMIC DOUBLES:The Lobos are 15-3 in doubles as a team and have swept all three doubles point matches six times this season. Seniors Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby are 13-3 at the No. 1 position while senior Graeme Kassautzki and sophomore Joe Wood are 11-5 at the No. 2 slot this spring. The Lobos are 35-14 in spring doubles, good for a 0.714 winning percentage.

MWC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Miles Bugby picked up the most recent Mountain West Conference men's tennis player of the week honor on April 1. The Lobos have garnered five this season and three straight, through April 1. Senior Johnny Parkes has earned four Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors this season, Feb. 11, Jan. 28, March 18 and on March 25. Parkes began the season 12-0, going undefeated in singles and doubles.

FANTASTIC FRESHMAN:Freshman Phil Anderson and Elliot Chang are a combined 18-7 in singles. Anderson is 11-4 while Chang is 7-3. In doubles, the freshman duo of Chang and Ben Dunbar are 9-4 in the No.3 position.