No. 4 UNLV Defeats No. 5 New Mexico, 4-2, In MW Championship Quarterfinals

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The No. 4 seed UNLV Rebels punched their ticket to the Mountain West Men’s Tennis Championship semifinals with a 4-2 victory over the No. 5 seed New Mexico Lobos on Friday evening at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the campus of UNLV. The Rebels, who will be making their first appearance in the semifinals since 2013, improve to 13-9 on the season. New Mexico wraps up the 2016 campaign with a 15-16 overall record. 

The Lobos secured the match’s doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and 2 positions. Bart Van Leijsen and Hayden Sabatka ousted UNLV’s Jakob Amilon and Ruben Alberts, 6-3, at the top spot. After a win by the Rebels at the No. 3 spot, Ricky Hernandez-Tong and Jorge Escutia clinched the point for UNM with a 7-5 win against Adam Gage-Brown and Evaldo Neto

Singles play opened with a win from the Lobos’ Hernandez-Tong at the No. 4 position over Neto, 6-0, 6-2. That was the last point of the match for UNM as the Rebels reeled off four victories in a row at the No. 3, 6, 2 and 1 spots. 

UNLV earned its first point courtesy of Alberts at the No. 3 position. The sophomore downed Escutia in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. The Rebels evened up the contest with a win from Richard Solberg over Michael Tran, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6.

The host Rebels clinched the match victory thanks to a pair of come-from-behind, three-set wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. After dropping the first set to Sabatka, 4-6, Alexandr Cozbinov bounced back to win the second and third sets, 6-4, 6-4. Just like Cozbinov, Amilon dropped his first set at the No. 1 spot to Van Leijsen, 5-7. The All-Conference performer rallied to win set two, 6-3, and the third set, 6-4, to advance UNLV to the semifinals.

UNLV will face Fresno State in the semifinals on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. PT. The match can be viewed live and for free on the Mountain West Network. For more information on the 2016 Mountain West Men’s Tennis Championship, including live stats and live video links, visit the Championship Central page on TheMW.com. 

UNLV 4, New Mexico 2
Singles competition 
1. Jakob Amilon (UNLVM) def. Bart Van Leijsen (NM) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
2. Alexandr Cozbinov (UNLVM) def. Hayden Sabatka (NM) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Ruben Alberts (UNLVM) def. Jorge Escutia (NM) 6-3, 6-2
4. Ricky Hernandez-Tong (NM) def. Evaldo Neto (UNLVM) 6-0, 6-2
5. Adam Gage-Brown (UNLVM) vs. Rodolfo Jauregui (NM) 5-7, 5-6, unfinished
6. Richard Solberg (UNLVM) def. Michael Tran (NM) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles competition 
1. Bart Van Leijsen/Hayden Sabatka (NM) def. Jakob Amilon/Ruben Alberts (UNLVM) 6-3
2. Ricky Hernandez-Tong/Jorge Escutia (NM) def. Adam Gage-Brown/Evaldo Neto (UNLVM) 7-5
3. Alexandr Cozbinov/Richard Solberg (UNLVM) def. Michael Tran/Rodolfo Jauregui (NM) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,3,6,2,1)

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