Rivalry Renewed: Rebels Win First MW UNR Match
March 28, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The 73rd-ranked UNLV men's tennis team remained perfect at home this season with a 5-2 win over Nevada, Reno Thursday in front of a crowd of more than 200 at the Fertitta Tennis Complex in a match that held extra significance because it was the first between the schools as part of the Mountain West.
In what was the league opener for both programs, the Rebels, who have won seven straight, improved to 12-4 overall and 11-0 at home while the Wolf Pack, who joined UNLV in the MW this season, slipped to 8-6 overall.
Playing exactly one week after the jolting death of former star player Mehdi Bouras at the age of 24, the Rebel players wore patches with the initials "MB" on their sleeves to honor the 2011 Mountain West Player of the Year. The match also gave UNLV the jump on a possible three points in the Governor's Series, which the Rebels currently lead 13.5-10.5. If UNLV and the Wolf Pack do not meet again in next month's MW tournament, today's win means the Rebels clinch three more points for the Scarlet and Gray.
The hosts began the day by taking two of three doubles matches to earn a 1-0 lead. Ace Matias and Bernard Schoeman downed Victor Ouvrard and Robert Allan 8-4 at the top spot before Johannes Markel and Tamas Batyi clinched it with an 8-5 victory over Moez Echargui and Quentin Mege at No. 2.
In singles play, Markel breezed by Allan 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 5 spot; Matias doubled up Echargui, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 1; and Batyi clinched it with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Ouvrard on court two. UNLV earned its fifth and final point when Gilad Berman outlasted Sunago, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) at the No. 3 slot.
"We had a big crowd and the guys really fed off the fans' energy," UNLV head coach Owen Hambrook said. "We knew Reno was a tough team and we were ready to go, including getting off to a good start in singles."
Next up, the Rebels will close out their non-conference schedule on Saturday as Cal Poly comes to town. Doubles play begins at 11 a.m. and admission to all matches is free of charge.
Men's Tennis Match Results #73 UNLV 5, NEVADA, RENO 2 March 28, 2013, at Las Vegas, NV (Fertitta Tennis Complex)