UNLV Rebels Men’s Tennis team defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 4-2 to improve its overall record to 11-8 and its Mountain West Conference record to 3-1 on April 14.
“That’s what college tennis is all about,” Head Coach Owen Hambrook said. “This was one of the most exciting matches I’ve witnessed and I’ve been here a long time.”
The Rebels victory evens the season record at one game a piece between the two teams. The Wolf Pack defeated the Rebels 4-1 at the ASU Spring 8-Team Tournament on February 26.
“The guys wanted this one badly. [Reno] beat us pretty easily two months ago at the tournament in Phoenix at Arizona State,” Hambrook said. “[Reno] was definitely something we had on our radar.”
The Rebels bounced back from trailing a set to earn a point in the doubles round after being down a set-point.
On No. 1, Delmas N’tcha and Juan Batala started strong for the Wolf Pack. However, Milos Dabic and Max Verboven fought back to give the Rebels a 6-4 win.
The Wolf Pack won No. 3, with Loris Ziswillerand and Benn Satchel defeating Aaron Bailey and Dusan Rsovac with the final score of 6-4.
The doubles point was decided by the No. 2 matchup of Matheo Coupu and Youssef Hassani of the Wolf Pack against Anton Ornberg and Jack Atherton of the Rebels. The court remained competitive, and the score was even at 3-3. However, the Rebels were able to pull away with a win against the Wolf Pack on No. 2 with the final score of 7-6 (7-5) and earned a crucial point on the scoreboard.
“[Doubles] was extremely close,” Hambrook said. “It could have gone either way.”
The Rebels got off to an explosive start in the singles, winning five of its singles’ first sets.The bright spot for the Wolf Pack was in No. 6, where Ziswiler took home a win in two sets, however, only after Verboven defeated his opponent N’tcha 6-2 6-2 in a quick two-set victory. After each team won a court, the doubles point gave UNLV the 2-1 point advantage.
In No. 5, it was a close matchup between Rsovac and Satchel. Rsovac defeated Satchel in a tight two-set victory 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-1) to put the Rebels one court away from victory.
The Wolf Pack stayed resilient, extending No. 2, 3, and 4 into a third match. To win the match, Reno would have to sweep the Rebels in No. 2,3, and 4.
Hassani started the rally for the Wolf Pack, defeating Dabic 6-3 on the third set to climb the Wolf Pack within one court, making the score 3-2.
The rally was too little too late, with the Rebels closing out the game on No. 2, where Ornberg secured the win for the Rebels with a final score of 4-2.
“[Ornbreg] one of those guys that you want on the line,” Hambrook said. “Antons have been awesome for us for four years.”
The Rebels improved its ranking in the Mountain West Conference to No. 3 overall with the victory against Reno.
On April 15, the Rebels faced off against Montana State in its last home game of the season. After that, it will play the remainder of its regular season conference games on the road.
The Rebels face off against the Air Force Falcons on April 20 and the New Mexico Lobos on April 22.