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Rookie Rewarded

March 23, 2005

LAS VEGAS - UNLV fantastic freshman Elena Gantcheva earned her first career Mountain West Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Week honor the league announced Wednesday.

Ranked 22nd in the nation, Gantcheva went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles over the weekend as her school split a pair of matches vs. highly ranked teams.

She downed two ranked singles opponents in straight sets at the No. 1 slot -- Indiana's No. 99 Dora Vasteg and Duke's No. 35 Katir Blaszak -- and teamed with different partners to win twice in doubles. First, she and Mery Constanti won at the No. 3 spot to help UNLV win the doubles point en route to upsetting No. 27 Indiana 6-1 on Thursday. Gantcheva then paired with Sharon Marin at the top position to win and help the Lady Rebels again take the doubles point on Friday in an eventual 5-2 loss to No. 7 Duke.

Gantcheva improved to 25-3 overall in singles, including 9-1 in dual matches and 11-2 vs. ranked opponents.

She is the second Lady Rebel tennis player to earn the award this season after Anne Claire Ortiz-Luis was named on March 2.

UNLV's Henner Nehels was named this week's MWC Men's Tennis Player of the Week.



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