Cougars Clinch Share of MWC Title With Big Win Over No. 56 UNLV

SALT LAKE CITY (April 12, 2002) ? The BYU men?s tennis team knocked off No. 56 UNLV 6-1 in Salt Lake City Friday to clinch at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. The streaking Cougars (13-7, 4-0) pushed their win streak to six matches, with a chance to win the title outright Saturday against No. 32 San Diego State (13-8, 3-1).

Almost as impressive as the current six-match win streak, the Cougars have won 12 of their last 14 matches. During the win streak, BYU has outscored its opponents 37-5. BYU will take at least the No. 2 seed at the MWC tournament, with a chance for the highest seed with a win over San Diego State.

?Our goal was to go into the conference tournament with the No. 1 or No. 2 seed,? BYU assistant coach Brad Pearce said. ?It would be nice to be No. 1.?

The Cougars took two of three doubles matches to grab the first point of the match. The No. 16-ranked team of Carlos Lozano and Gert Vilms won at No. 1, 8-4. The pair has won six straight matches and eight of nine, and they now hold an impressive record of 23-6 this season. Jeff Harbach and Jeff Olsen teamed at No. 3 to defeat Michaud/Tug of UNLV, 8-5, to clinch the doubles point.

BYU took five points in singles play, losing only one match. Lozano narrowly lost at No. 1 to the No. 85-ranked player in the nation, Thomas Schneiter, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Vilms won at No. 2 in straight sets, while Erik Nyman, Nic Losee and Olsen did the same at their respective positions. The match of the day came at No. 6, with Harbach winning in dramatic fashion. After losing the first set 5-7, Harbach rallied to take the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (3). The third set also went to a tiebreaker, with Harbach taking the match with the unbelievable score of 22-20 in the tiebreaker.

Saturday?s match against San Diego State will begin at 10 a.m. in Salt Lake City. The MWC tournament will begin in two weeks, Apr. 25-27, in Las Vegas.

FINAL RESULTS

DOUBLES

No. 1 No. 16 Lozano/Vilms (BYU) def. Eisinga/Salomon (UNLV) 8-4

No. 2 Maurer/Schneiter (UNLV) def. Losee/Nyman (BYU) 8-4

No. 3 Harbach/Olsen (BYU) def. Michaud/Tug (UNLV) 8-5

BYU WINS DOUBLES POINT

SINGLES

No. 1 No. 85 Thomas Schneiter (UNLV) def. Carlos Lozano (BYU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

No. 2 Gert Vilms (BYU) def. Romain Tug (UNLV) 7-5, 6-1

No. 3 Erik Nyman (BYU) def. Aviram Salomon (UNLV) 7-6 (12), 7-6 (5)

No. 4 Nic Losee (BYU) def. Thomas Michaud (UNLV) 6-4, 7-5

No. 5 Jeff Olsen (BYU) def. Leslie Eisinga (UNLV) 6-4, 6-4

No. 6 Jeff Harbach (BYU) def. Andres Maurer (UNLV) 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (20)

BYU WINS MATCH 6-1