No. 68 Lobos Host Montana Before Heading To Lubbock, Texas
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/17/2004

March 17, 2004

WHAT'S ON TAP: The New Mexico men's tennis team (5-4) hosts Montana State Thursday, March 18, at 1 p.m. before hitting the road for a two-match series in Lubbock, Texas. The Lobos will play No. 59 Louisiana-Lafayette on March 20 at 11 a.m. and No. 65 Texas Tech on March 21 at 12 p.m.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the Lobos and the Bobcats of Montana State. Montana State is a member of the Big Sky Conference and the Mountain Region, the same region as New Mexico. The Lobos are 27-1 against Big Sky teams.

The Lobos hold the edge in the young series, 2-1 against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Rajin' Cajuns beat the Lobos' 4-3 in 2002 for their first win. New Mexico, when playing Sun Belt Conference participants like Louisiana-Lafayette, are 14-8.

Texas Tech used to be dominated by New Mexico, with UNM having the 37-9 edge. The Red Raiders, ranked No. 58 going into the match, squeaked past the No. 63 Lobos last year with a 4-3 win. It was the first time Texas Tech had beaten New Mexico since 1990.

MONTANA RECAP: The No. 66 New Mexico men's tennis team (5-4) swept the University of Montana 7-0 Friday night at the Lobo Tennis Club. It was the first meeting between the two in dual match competition.

The Lobos started out winning the doubles point. At No. 1, juniors David Kowalski and Ryan Stotland netted the 9-7 win over Jan Steenekamp and Stan Nevolovich. At No. 2, senior Divan Coetzee and freshman Hiroud Akhavan beat Gus Treyz and Sean Stewart 8-4 while senior Jasmin Hodzic and sophomore Henry Gers won 8-4 against Ryan O'Neill and Stuart Wing.

Sophomore Henry Gers stepped up to play No. 4 singles against Montana.

No. 22 ranked Coetzee moved one win closed to the all-time career wins record after his 6-2, 6-3 win over Steenekamp at No. 1 singles. Coetzee, 85-28, needs 11 more wins to break Pepe Caballero's record of 95-58.

Kowalski won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles over Nevolovich while Stotland stepped up to play in the third spot, dropping O'Neill 6-0, 6-2. Gers moved up to No. 4 singles against Stuart Wing and claimed the 6-2, 6-1 win. Sophomore Nick Ames jumped into the fifth spot as head coach Alan Dils gave senior Jasmin Hodzic the night off. Ames fought for the 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Treyz. Getting his first dual match start of his career, freshman Robert Grzeskowiak cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 6 over Nick Tyree.

BOBCAT BRIEFING: Montana State comes into this weekend 7-3 with matches to Idaho State and Weber State unreported. Most recently, the Bobcats played at Northern Arizona, winning 6-1. They played Air Force in the beginning of March, winning 5-2.

Records excluding Montana State's last three matches have sophomore Federico Ueltschi, ranked No. 71, a perfect 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Marek Gebicki is 6-0 at No. 2, Tejeshwara Chigateri is 6-0 at No. 3 and Braden Olson is 5-1 at No. 4.

Seening a majority of the action in doubles, Gebicki and Olson are 5-0 at No. 1, Ueltschi and Chigateri are 5-1 at No. 2, and Adam Stutts and Jake Berriochoa are 3-2 at No. 3.

REVIEWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Louisiana-Lafayette heads into Lubbock this weekend 5-6 overall and on a two-game losing streak. They will play Texas Tech on Friday before facing the Lobos on Sunday.

Sophomore Evghenii Corduneanu leads the Ragin' Cajuns, ranked No. 62 in singles. Corduneanu is 23-11 in singles and 5-5 in dual matches. He has faced two Lobos this year, playing senior Divan Coetzee and sophomore Henry Gers. Corduneanu lost to Coetzee, 6-3, 7-5 but beat Gers 6-0, 6-2. The only other time a Lobo has faced a Ragin' Cajun this year was also at the HEB Baylor Ivite where sophomores Nick Ames and Eric Conklin beat Shaun Ellison and Ivan Kovalev 8-3 in doubles.

RAIDER REPORT: Texas Tech continues its quest to play the best this weekend hosting Louisiana-Lafayette and New Mexico at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock, Texas. Last weekend, the Red Raiders defeated No. 75 Memphis but lost to No. 59 Virginian Tech and No. 6 Rice at the Rice Invitational in Houston.

Junior Jakob Paulsen and freshman Bojan Szumanski are the two Raiders who have played at No. 1 singles. Paulsen over all is 10-7 while Szumanski is 13-5. Other double-digit winners for Tech are Dimitrio Martinez (14-8) and Michael Innerebner (10-9).

The three doubles tandems at dual matches usually are Esat Tanik and Szumanski at No. 1, Dinko Halachev a d Paulsen at No. 2, and Teddy DiBlasi and Innerebner at No. 3. Overall, DiBlasi is 6-6 in doubles this year, Halachev is 3-4, Innerebner is 6-3, Paulsen is 4-5, Szumanski is 5-4, and Tanik is 6-4.

Senior Jasmin Hodzic should return to the singles lineup after taking the day off against Montana.

RECORD BREAKING YEAR: Senior Divan Coetzee has a career record of 85-28 that he has compiled in three short years. Coetzee needs 10 more wins to tie Pepe Caballero for the most wins in UNM men's tennis history. Caballero, playing from 1995-99, went 95-58 overall.

Coetzee is also on track to break the single season record for wins. He is currently 26-8 overall and 8-3 at No. 1 singles. The current record is held by Matt Amgwerd, who won 34 singles matches in the 1999-00 season.

As long as Coetzee can remain healthy, he will have 10 regular season matches left and an undetermined number of matches at the Mountain West Conference Championships. Coetzee may also get an invite to the NCAA singles tournament, which he has participated in the last two consecutive years.

ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos have claimed three Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors out of four. The recepients were none other than senior Divan Coetzee and juniors David Kowalski and Ryan Stotland.

Kowalski was honored Jan. 29 for his efforts against Northern Arizona. Kowalski started the match teaming with Ryan Stotland (then the No. 37 tandem in the nation) to defeat Thibault Schram and Lew DeLeon at No. 1 doubles, 9-8 (3). At No. 2 singles, the (previously 72nd-ranked) Kowalski easily defeated Jeremy Coll (6-2, 6-0) to complete the sweep.

Coetzee picked up the conference's honor on Feb. 4 for his achievements against Santa Clara and San Francisco. He went 2-0 in singles and 1-0 in doubles that weekend.

Stotland was honored March 3, when he went undefeated in two singles and two doubles matches Competing at the No. 4 spot, Stotland opened the weekend with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory over Nils Kleimann of No. 34 Boise State, followed with a straight set win (6-3, 6-3) over Colorado's Marek Dvorak two days later. In No. 1 doubles play, he teamed with David Kowalski (then-ranked No. 46 in the country) to beat the Bronco tandem of Guillaume Bouvier and Thomas Schoeck, 8-3, and the Buffaloes' Marcos Digliodo and Chad Tsuda, 8-4.