Lobos Own First Seed In MWC Championships This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/26/2004

April 26, 2004

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: The 65th-ranked New Mexico men's tennis team (14-5, 5-0) won its second consecutive Mountain West Conference regular-season title with a 5-0 record in conference play to earn the top seed in the Mountain West Conference Championships this weekend at San Diego State. As the top seed, the Lobos earned a bye in the first round and will play the winner of No. 4 BYU and No. 5 Utah on Friday at 11 a.m. If the Lobos win that match, they will advance to the finals on Saturday at 12 p.m.

San Diego State University will host the 2004 Mountain West Conference Men's Tennis Championship April 29-May 1 at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. This will mark the first time in conference history that the event will be held at Barnes. Barnes Tennis Center was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The 4.5 million dollar facility was made possible with generous public and private donations.

The winner of the Mountain West Conference Tournament receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Last year the Lobos shared the regular-season crown with BYU and San Diego State. The Lobos fell to San Diego State in the MWC Championship game, 4-3. The last time UNM hosted the championships was 2002, resulting in a win for the Lobos.

RECORD BREAKING YEAR: Senior Divan Coetzee, ranked No. 25, is making history at UNM. Coetzee has taken control of the single season record for wins. He is currently 35-9 overall and 17-4 at No. 1 singles. The record was previously held by Matt Amgwerd, who won 34 singles matches in the 1999-00 season.

Coetzee now has a career record of 94-29 that he has compiled in three short years. Coetzee needs two 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.

As long as Coetzee can remain healthy, an undetermined number of matches at the Mountain West Conference Championships. The Lobos will definitely play in the semifinals (Friday, April 30th at 11 a.m.) and could compete in the championship match on Saturday, May 1. Coetzee may also get an invite to the NCAA singles tournament, which he has participated in the last two consecutive years.

NIPPING AT HIS HEALS: While senior Divan Coetzee is having a record breaking year and getting all the attention, you may not have noticed the play of junior David Kowalski.

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 13-8 at No. 2 singles. He came into the year with a 41-25 career record and now he is 64-39 overall. That record leaves him 17th all-time and he still has one more year of eligibility.