March 30, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: One of the Lobos' oldest rivalries is renewed this weekend when they travel to Las Cruces to take on New Mexico State at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 3. Both New Mexico and the Aggies will use this meeting as final preparation for conference play which starts for both next weekend.
The two first met in 1934 and have played almost every year since. The results have been very lopsided, with New Mexico holding the 81-9 series lead over the Aggies. When the two met last year, UNM beat NMSU 4-3. The last time the Aggies got the best of the Lobos was in 2000.
New Mexico State did participate in the UNM Balloon Fiesta in October. They split four matches in singles against New Mexico but the Lobos' top three players in senior Divan Coetzee and juniors David Kowalski and Ryan Stotland were not present due to competition in a national tournament in Tennessee.
AGGIES REPORT: New Mexico State enters the weekend at 8-8 overall. The Aggies are currently unranked nationally but were ranked for 75th earlier in the season. They are coming off an extremely tough weekend, having played in the Holiday Inn Invitational hosted by Boise State. The Aggies went 2-2, losing to Boise State and Cornell.
Most likely competing in singles for New Mexico State will be Ben Archer-Clowes, Danilo Zivanovic, Luis Avila, Stjepan Beg, Christian Halligan and Spencer Peoples, respectively. The combos probably representing NMSU in doubles will be Archer-Clowes and Tyler Lyon, Avila and Zivanovic, and Beg and Halligan, respectively.
RECORD BREAKING YEAR: Senior Divan Coetzee has a career record of 88-29 that he has compiled in three short years. Coetzee needs seven 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.
As long as Coetzee can remain healthy, he will have six 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 10-5 at No. 2 singles. He came into the year with a 41-25 career record and now he is 61-36 overall. That record leaves him 20th all-time and he still has one more year of eligibility.
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos have claimed three Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors out of five. The award has not been announced for the week of March 29. The recepients so far 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.