April 13, 2004
FINISHING STRONG: To complete its regular season schedule, New Mexico will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend for two matches. The Lobos will play Utah on Friday, April 16 at 2 p.m. followed by BYU on Saturday at 10 a.m.
If the Lobos can finish strong, they will go a perfect 5-0 and win their second consecutive Mountain West Conference Championship. Last year they shared the regular season trophy with BYU and San Diego State but this year, as long as they stay undefeated, they will have sole posession of the title.
New Mexico has been a tough competitor for its competition of late, winning eight of its last nine after starting the season 4-4. The Lobos are currently riding a five-match win streak.
The all-time series between the Utes and Lobos is deadlocked at 21 apiece even though New Mexico has one the last 12 consecutive matches. Last year, New Mexico cruised to a 6-1 win over Utah in its only meeting of the year which took place in Colorado Springs, Colo. The last time Utah won was in 1993, slipping past New Mexico, 4-3.
BYU holds the all-time series lead over UNM, 24-19-1. Last year the Cougars got the best of the Lobos in the regular season, winning 4-3 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Lobos got revenge in the MWC Championships, eliminating BYU with their 4-0 win in the semifinals.
RECORD BREAKING YEAR: Senior Divan Coetzee, ranked No. 27, is making history at UNM. Coetzee now has a career record of 92-29 that he has compiled in three short years. Coetzee needs four more wins to tie Pepe Caballero for the most wins in UNM men's tennis history. Caballero, playing from 1995-99, went 96-56 overall.
Coetzee is also on track to break the single season record for wins. He is currently 33-9 overall and 15-4 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 two 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.
Kowalski had an impressive showing at regionals in the fall. He entered as the seventh seed and quickly advanced to the semifinal round with four straight wins. His most impressive win was over the fourth seeded, No. 85 Guillaume Bouvier of Boise State. Kowalski sliced up Bouvier, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals.
In the spring, he has gone 11-8 at No. 2 singles. He came into the year with a 41-25 career record and now he is 62-39 overall. That record leaves him 20th all-time and he still has one more year of eligibility.
UTES REPORT: The extremely young Utah team is currently 9-9 overall and 0-1 in the conference. The Utes have played six of the teams New Mexico has faced this year in Boise State, Northern Arizona, Denver, San Francisco, Montana State and UNLV. Against these teams, Utah went 2-4 while New Mexico was 5-1.
Leading the team is the lone senior, Roeland Brateanu. The rest of the team are all sophomores and freshmen. The recent singles lineup has consisted of Brateanu at No. 1 followed by Tomasz Grzyb, Miron Mann, Nick Coutts, Jason Yap and Ryan Scott.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS: BYU is having a tough year at 5-13 overall and 0-1 in the MWC but is still in the national rankings at 73. The Cougars and Lobos have played four of the same opponents this year in Denver, Louisiana-Lafayette, Boise State and San Diego State. Against these teams, BYU went 0-4 while New Mexico was 3-1.
The undisputed leader of the Cougars is senior Erik Nyman, ranked 50th in singles nationally. Nyman, however, did not play in the team's last match due to minor back problems. If Nyman plays, the seeding will likely be Nyman at No. 1 followed by Richard Dasek, Chip Hand, Nima Roshan, Ivan Kokurin, and Alonzo Medina. Dominik Kaufhold and Ian Fillmore could aslo see playing time.
The usual doubles pairings for BYU are Nyman and Roshan at No. 1, Dasek and Kaufold at No. 2, and Hand and Medina at No. 3.