Lady Reb Netters Headed To MW Title Tilt
April 27, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - Exactly a week ago, Wyoming upset UNLV 4-2 in a neutral-site regular-season meeting played in this same state. That match, however, was played indoors. On Saturday, the 65th-ranked Lady Rebels got their chance at revenge - playing outdoors this time - and eventually earned a spot in the Mountain West Championship match for the first time in four years.
After losing a tight doubles point, UNLV won four of five completed matches in singles play to defeat the Cowgirls 4-2 at the Air Force Academy. The Lady Rebels improved to 18-7 overall and will now face top-seeded and 39th-ranked San Diego State (22-4) in Sunday's final, set to begin at 9 a.m. PT (live scoring available at unlvrebels.com and TheMWC.com). The Aztecs defeated Nevada, Reno 4-1 in the other semifinal that actually clinched three points for UNLV in the Governor's Series because a possible rematch with the Wolf Pack was eliminated.
Head coach Kevin Cory's program has played in six previous MW championships, winning half of them. The school's most-recent league tournament crown came in 2008 with a 4-2 win over TCU. The Rebels and Aztecs have met just once before in the final as UNLV won 4-2 in 2002.
In singles play, UNLV got on the board with yet another blink-and-you'll-miss-it win from Lucia Batta at the second position. Batta, ranked 83rd in the nation, breezed past Kovacs, 6-1, 6-3, to improve her record in dual matches to a perfect 24-0 as a junior. Her 34-5 overall record put her into a tie with Marianne Vallin (1996-97) for the third-most wins in a single season at UNLV.
Wyoming took a 2-1 lead with a straight-set win at the sixth spot but next off the courts was Erasmus, who downed Nemcova 6-4, 6-3 at the fourth spot. Senior Ella Bourchier rallied after dropping the first set to come up with a big 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Jessica Parizher to make it 3-2 UNLV.
2013 MW Player of the Year Aleksandra Josifoska gave her team the clincher as the 35th-ranked junior downed Veronica Popovici, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 at the top spot. That improved Josifoska's record to 32-7, good for a tie for the seventh-most wins by a Lady Rebel. It also meant UNLV has two players with at least 32 singles wins apiece in the same season for the first time in history.
UNLV WOMEN ALL-TIME MWC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH RESULTS 2000, defeated BYU 5-2 2002, defeated San Diego State 4-2 2005, lost to BYU 4-2 2007, lost to BYU 4-0 2008, defeated TCU 4-2 2009, lost to TCU 4-1