Men’s tennis gets rare road win
The men’s tennis team traveled to Logan, Utah on Friday with its mind set on bucking the road woes.
The team entered the trip 0-4 away from Las Vegas, and had been outscored 26-10 in that stretch. The perfect opportunity to snap the streak presented itself when they visited a struggling 9-13 Utah State team.
The Rebels had to brave through a five-hour weather delay, but they were able to get their first road win of the season in a 6-1 victory over the Aggies.
The teams began doubles play on Utah State’s outdoor courts, opposed to the indoor ones, and UNLV’s Dimitar Petrov and Jakob Amilon made quick work of Andrew Whiting and Sebastian Schneider, 8-3.
That was when the rain began to pour. The Rebels’ match versus California on Feb. 27 was cancelled due to weather, and it appeared this one awaited the same fate. The teams waited it out until the skies cleared, and play resumed at 5:30 p.m. PT.
The delay didn’t seem to affect UNLV, as it continued its dominance in doubles. Tamas Batyi and Willie Sublette edged out Utah State’s Dennis Baumgartner and Matt Thatcher on an 8-7 tiebreak. That pushed the Rebels in front 1-0, and they would never relinquish the lead.
In singles play, the Rebels jumped out to a 3-0 lead in a matter of minutes thanks to Amilon’s straight-set win over Tomas Cosmai (6-2, 6-4) and Ace Matias cruising past Baumgartner (6-3, 6-0).
The win improved Matias’ record this season to 19-9 — good enough for second best on the team. Matias won’t match his win total of last year (24) due to missing time with an injury earlier in the season, but his winning-percentage is still amongst the best in the conference.
The Rebels’ leader in wins, Denys Pume, improved to 27-8 on the season with his three-set win over Marcus Fritz (6-3, 5-7, 6-2). Pume has surprised everyone since transferring to UNLV from Oklahoma State last year. The junior from Ukraine not only leads the team in individual record, but also has 21 doubles wins this year.
The Aggies lone point of the match fittingly came from senior Fredrik Peterson on Utah State’s senior day. Peterson defeated Sublette in a three-set thriller (7-6, 2-6, 6-3).
UNLV was able to hold the Aggies’ other two seniors, Thatcher and Whiting, winless on its way to an easy victory.
The Rebels are now 9-2 in their last 11 matches, and are back above .500 in Mountain West play (3-2). The win propels UNLV past Fresno State and Nevada-Reno in the conference standings, and the Rebels now sit in fourth place.
Boise State sits atop the standings with a perfect 4-0 conference record. With no possibility of a regular-season title the Rebels are playing for seeding in Mountain West tournament, which runs from March 24-25 in Fresno, Calif.