Women's Tennis: Lobos Make Noise In The Central Region
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - After a strong season that merited a final national ranking of 54th, the Lobo womens tennis team has made a jump in the central region rankings from seventh in 2002 to sixth in 2003. The finish puts the squad two spots ahead of rival MWC opponent BYU, whose eighth place finish this year was considerably lower than the second-place spot it secured in 2002. New Mexico was 7-2 this season against central region opponents, losing only to No. 44 Oklahoma and No. 57 Boise State.
Maja Kovacek made her presence known in the region with a stunning sixth place finish. Three of the five players ahead of Kovacek are seniors, which leaves the door wide open for the freshman to advance further in the central region in the years to come. She finished the season with a 23-12 singles record and was named to the MWCs all-singles team as well as to the all-doubles team. Sandy Lukowski earned a No.19 spot after getting several monumental wins during the season, including a victory over then No.-20 ranked Julie Smekodub of Tulane. Lukowski finished her junior campaign with a record of 11-8 at the No. 2 singles position.
Rounding out the Lobos top-notch regional showing is the doubles team of Kovacek and Lukowski. The two were paired together late in the season and combined their singles success to achieve victory together at UNMs No. 1 doubles spot. The duo caught the attention of the I.T.A with a 9-4 doubles mark which was good enough to earn it sixth place in the central region doubles ranks.
New Mexico finished third in the Mountain West Conference with a 5-2 mark and was 15-9 overall. The Lobos were ranked in the I.T.As national poll for the entire season and maintained a position of 60th or better for three months straight.9