Senior Rebels blank the Bulldogs
Men’s tennis wins final game of the season before MWC Championships
In the final home match of their UNLV careers, three seniors led the team to a victory over Fresno State University.
Preceding the match Bernard Schoeman, Johannes Markel and Charlie Alvarado were honored for senior day. The senior trio have played their entire careers as Rebels and finished them off with a bang.
Schoeman got out of the gates with an 8-4 win in doubles and ended his final day at the Fertitta Tennis Complex with a win in straight sets over Fresno’s Nikolas Papic. It was a great end to a career, but as he walked off the courts for the final time he wished it hadn’t gone by so fast.
“It’s pretty emotional, it happened so quickly,” Schoeman said.
His four years at UNLV went by in a flash, but there are plenty of shining moments for Schoeman to look back on.
“From the first trip when I was a young guy until now, it’s great,” Schoeman said. “Every trip is great, but the one that I think was the best was when I went with Mehdi [Bouras] to the NCAA’s in Stanford.”
The trip to the tournament capped off 2011 as one of the best seasons in UNLV doubles history for Schoeman, and will be one of the lasting impressions of his good friend Bouras, who died in March.
It is just one of the many permanent impacts that Bouras made on his coaches and teammates’ lives.
Alvarado celebrated his senior day by coasting to a straight-set victory over Sam MacNeil. Alvarado came to UNLV as a raw tennis talent, and has sculpted his game, and his outlook on life, in the four years at the university.
“It’s overwhelming but these past four years have taught me a lot, not just about tennis, but about life in general, and about how to be a better person, and to work hard for everything in life,” Alvarado said. “I’m truly thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had for the past four years.”
On the court next to Alvarado, the third senior Johannes Markel spiked his final home match over the net with a dominant win over Jeremy Quiroz. As he has done all year, Markel was a veteran anchor on the final court.
“One part I’m a little bit sad because it’s my last home match for UNLV, but the other part I’m glad that I’ve gone four years through every day practice and hard work, and now I look forward to doing something else,” Markel said.
Markel showed mixed emotions about his final match, but was sure about one thing — the best moment of his Rebel career is still to come.
“Unfortunately we haven’t won a conference tournament yet, so hopefully we will do that next week, so that will be my best moment.”
The team will head to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado Springs for the Mountain West Conference Championships starting on Thursday.