Rebels Rebound With Upset Of UCI
Top four come up big in 4-3 victory over Anteaters.
Feb. 13, 2009
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV men's tennis team stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to snap a two-match losing skid with a thrilling 4-3 victory over No. 69 UC Irvine on a largely cold and overcast Friday at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
The Rebels, who already have posted more ranked wins than all of last year with three, improved to 6-2 while the Anteaters, an old rival from the Big West Conference, fell to 0-3.
The visitors opened the day by taking two of three doubles matches for one team point. UNLV's only triumph came on court one after the point was already decided when the 54th-ranked duo of Elliot Wronski and Luca Barlocchi came back to down Wes Miller and Khunpol Issara 8-7 with a 10-8 triumph in the tiebreaker.
In singles play, UCI quickly picked up straight-set wins on courts five and six to move ahead 3-0. All of the four remaining matches split sets and the Rebels' rally started at No. 4 where Wesley Burrows downed Stephen Stege 6-0, 7-5 to improve his senior record to 14-3.
Freshman standout Mehdi Bouras then upped his rookie record to 7-1 with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 2 over Sam Gould. The match was tied at 3 after Barlocchi outlasted Steven Henderson 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 to make the junior 11-5 overall. All eyes turned to the top of the lineup where Wronski, ranked 111th, was battling Miller point for point. The entire match would be decided by a third-set tiebreaker and the senior from Great Britain took it 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) to improve his singles mark to 11-5 on the season.
"After losing the doubles point convincingly, I think coming back to get the remaining match at No. 1 gave us some momentum," UNLV head coach Owen Hambrook said. "Even when we fell behind 3-0 I knew our `big four' would keep us in the match the entire way. Irvine is one of the best teams we've played and they will be a force in the Big West Conference this season. I'm proud of how we stayed with it and out-competed them in the end for the win."
UNLV will take the rest of the weekend off and return to the courts on Feb. 21 by hosting a doubleheader vs. UC Riverside (10 a.m.) and Utah State (2 p.m.). Admission is free of charge.
UNLV MEN'S TENNIS RESULTS
UNLV 4, #69 UC IRVINE 3
At Fertitta Tennis Complex, Las Vegas
DOUBLES -- (UCI EARNS ONE TEAM POINT)
SINGLES -- (UNLV EARNS FOUR TEAM POINTS)
1. #111 Elliot Wronski (UNLV) def. Wes Miller (UCI) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2)
2. Mehdi Bouras (UNLV) def. Sam Gould (UCI) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
3. Luca Barlocchi (UNLV) def. Steven Henderson (UCI) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Wesley Burrows (UNLV) def. Stephen Stege (UCI) 6-0, 7-5
5. Khunpol Issara (UCI) def. Bryan Miller (UNLV) 6-3, 6-4
6. Fabian Matthews (UCI) def. Attila Toth (UNLV) 6-4, 6-3
1. #54 Wronski/Barlocchi (UNLV) def. Miller/Issara (UCI) 8-7 (8)
2. Jon Kazarian/Zach Tsai (UCI) def. Burrows/Toth (UNLV) 8-5
3. Gautam Vaidayanathan/Henderson (UCI) def. Bryan Miller/Bouras (UNLV) 8-3