No. 3 San Diego State Takes Out No. 6 UNLV In Quarterfinal Round Of 2015 Mountain West Men's Tennis Championship

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – No. 3 San Diego State posted a quick 3-0 lead and then used a gutty performance at No. 5 singles from Milen Ianakiev to take a 4-2 win over No. 6 UNLV in Thursday’s quarterfinal round and advance to Saturday’s semifinals. The Aztecs will take on No. 7 Nevada at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The 2015 Mountain West Tennis Championships are being held at the new McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium, hosted by the University of New Mexico.                                              

San Diego State eked out the doubles point with an 8-6 tiebreaker win at No. 3 doubles splits and one and two. The squad of Marko Goles-Babic and Santiago Cevallos won that tiebreaker on a mini-break of serve to give SDSU an early 1-0 lead. The Aztecs, 38th in the latest ITA Rankings, then jumped to a 3-0 lead after 2014-15 MW Co-Player of the Year Freddy Gelbrich posted a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 1 singles, and Hendrik Jebens posted a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 2, giving SDSU a 3-0 lead.

UNLV bounced back with wins at six  by Ruben Alberts and Jakob Amilon at three to cut the lead to 3-2, but Milen Ianakiev clinched the match with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 win, breaking serve in the third game of the third set, and then controlling from there on out. Of equal importance was the match on court 4, where Goles-Babic, despite being hobbled by a braced leg, had just broken serve to tie his match at 5-all in the third set.             

“Really proud of our Co-Player of the Year Freddy Gelbrich,” said San Diego State head coach Gene Carswell. “It was a very gutty performance by Milan and Marko. I thought Marko getting his match back to 5-5 was important, in case things didn’t work out for Milan, which fortunately they did.”       

San Diego State, looking for its first championship since 2005 and first title match appearance since 2010, improved to 18-7 overall. UNLV ended its season at 13-10.

Notes:  Every match of the Mountain West Tennis Championships is available on the Mountain West Network, powered by Campus Insiders. Download the Mountain West app to your phone or tablet to catch all the action … San Diego State is now a perfect 6-0 against UNLV in the Mountain West Tournament, having previously defeated the Rebels in 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2014 … the Aztecs have lost in the semifinals in each of the last three tournaments, each time to the New Mexico Lobos … history is on SDSU’s side in its semifinal matchup, as no No. 7 seed has ever won a semifinal matchup to advance to the championship match.