Twice As Nice For UNLV Tennis

May 1, 2013

LAS VEGAS ( - The 2013 Mountain West Champion UNLV women's tennis team marked a first for the program when it received word that two of its players had earned spots in the NCAA Division I Singles Championship as the field was announced Wednesday.

Junior Aleksandra Josifoska (Skopje, Macedonia) became the eighth Lady Rebel to ever earn the honor by securing the league's automatic bid to the field of 64 by being the highest ranked player in the Mountain West at No. 35. The 2013 conference player of the year is 33-7 overall, including 19-3 in dual matches, and sits tied for fifth in school history for victories in a season.

Fellow junior Lucia Batta (Budapest, Hungary), who is currently ranked 83rd but figures to make a big jump in the national rankings later this week, returns to the event for the second straight year after earning an at-large spot. The 2012 conference player of the year has turned in a record-breaking spring as her 35-5 overall mark includes a stunning 25-0 record in dual matches. She is all alone in third place on UNLV's single-season list. She lost a tough three-setter in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The duo went a combined 15-0 in MW play this season and helped their team win the league tournament over the weekend to secure a spot in the NCAA team event as well.

"Getting two players in such an elite field is another big another milestone for our program," UNLV head coach Kevin Cory said. "I'm so proud of both Aleks and Lucia (pronounced LEW-chee). They are both great representatives of our program and university and are very deserving of this honor after the seasons they're having."

The 2013 singles and doubles tournaments begin the day after the NCAA team champion is crowned and will run from May 22-27 at the University of Illinois' Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The singles draw will be announced the night before the event.

The UNLV team opens its NCAA bid on May 10 by taking on Tulsa in Lincoln, Neb.