Lobos Set to Clinch a Share of the MWC
April 17, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--The 40th-ranked University of New Mexico men's tennis team will duel No. 42 San Diego State on Tuesday, April 21, going for a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. The Lobos sit at 4-1 in conference play, 17-4 overall, and would tie TCU with a win. San Diego State holds a 13-10 record with a 1-2 conference mark. UNM is 25-18 all-time against the Aztecs and snapped a three-match losing streak with two wins in 2008.
Lobo senior Johnny Parkes jumped into the ITA singles rankings, grabbing the No. 85 spot as of Tuesday, April 14. San Diego State counters with two ranked singles players, No. 108 Achim Ceban and No. 123 Bartosz Golas.
At 17-4 overall and 4-1 in conference, the Lobos hold their best record since the 1968 season. The 1968 Lobos finished 20-1. 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, No. 52 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and No. 45 TCU at the HEB Tournament.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lobos traveled to San Diego, Calif., for three conference matches last week, coming away with a 2-1 record. After dropping their first match to No. 45 TCU, New Mexico rebounded for wins over No. 46 Utah, 5-2, and No. 64 BYU, 4-3. Senior Johnny Parkes continued his success on the singles scene, winning three straight matches at the No. 1 spot, including a 6-2, 6-1, win over No. 62 Slah Mbarek of TCU and a three-set win over Utah's Wes Hancock. Fellow senior Graeme Kassautzki went a combined 5-1 in singles and doubles action. Kassautzki teamed with sophomore Joe Wood at No. 2 doubles for three wins. The duo topped TCU's Emanuel Brighiu and Adrian Simon, who were ranked 20th. In singles, Kassautzki dropped the first match of the weekend, but came back to win the next two, ending a four-match losing streak. Freshman Carl Ho was inserted into the No. 6 singles and went 3-0 to improve to 6-0 from the No. 6 spot this season.
RECENT RANKINGS: UNM is now No. 40 as of the ITA poll released on Tuesday, April 14. The Lobos have not been ranked lower than 44 this season with their highest ranking coming at the No. 32 spot. Johnny Parkes entered the singles rankings this week at No. 85.
CHASING HISTORY: Seniors Johnny Parkes and Graeme Kassautzki are climbing the UNM all-time singles and doubles lists. Parkes owns the No. 4 singles spot with an all-time record of 93-40. Kassautzki is close behind at the No. 5 slot with a singles record of 91-43. 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 9th with a 73-44 record while Kassautzki is tied for 15th with a record of 66-46. Miles Bugby has also cracked the list, tied for 25th with a record of 52-34. 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 20-1, including winning 14 straight matches. Parkes has only lost a combined five sets in all 21 matches. His overall singles record on the year is 26-3, which is six wins away from landing on top of the most wins in a single season list.
CONFERENCE COMPETITION: Four other Mountain West Conference teams are ranked in the top 70 - No. 36 TCU, No. 42 San Diego State, No. 49 Utah, and No. 58 BYU.
IN CONFERENCE: UNM is 4-1 in conference this season with their only loss coming from No. 45 TCU.
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.
DYNAMIC DOUBLES: The Lobos are 17-4 in doubles as a team and have swept all three doubles point matches six times this season. Seniors Johnny Parkes and Miles Bugby are 14-5 at the No. 1 position while senior Graeme Kassautzki and sophomore Joe Wood are 14-5 at the No. 2 slot this spring. The Lobos are 40-18 in spring doubles, good for a 0.690 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.