Men's Tennis Swings Into Conference Action With Lobos

March 28, 2002

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30th-Ranked Aztecs Open Conference in Sin City
The San Diego State men's tennis team travels to Las Vegas to open up Mountain West Conference play with three matches in three days. The 30th-ranked Aztecs play New Mexico on Friday, 74th-ranked Air Force on Saturday and 58th-ranked UNLV on Sunday. All three matches will be contested on the UNLV campus. San Diego State has won six of its last eight matches and enters league action with an 8-7 record. Six of the Aztecs' seven defeats this season have come to teams currently ranked among the nation's top 13 teams.

Weekly Rewind: Aztecs Go 1-1 Without Top Player Playing without All-America candidate Oliver Maiberger, the Aztecs posted a 1-1 record last week. San Diego State was an upset by then 71st-ranked Yale, 4-3. The Bulldogs won the final three singles matches to claim the victory and were rewarded this week by moving up to 47th in the national rankings. San Diego State responded with an impressive 6-1 win over 61st-ranked Princeton on Saturday. The Aztecs swept all three doubles matches and were victorious in one through five singles to snap a two-match losing streak.

SDSU Enjoys Second Week in the Top 30
Despite the loss last week, the San Diego State men's tennis team remained ranked among the nation's top 30. The Aztecs slipped from their season-best position of 25 last week to No. 30 this week. SDSU remains the highest ranked team in the Mountain West Conference. Updated individual rankings will not be released until next week, leaving sophomore Oliver Maiberger as the nation's No. 21 ranked singles player and Maiberger teams with Ryan Redondo to form the nation's third-ranked doubles team.

Where in the World is Oliver Maiberger?
Oliver Maiberger continues to be out ill with what is believed to be a viral infection. The sophomore, who is the top-ranked singles player and one-half of the top-ranked doubles team in the Mountain West Conference, is questionable for the three conference matches in Las Vegas this weekend. Maiberger missed both matches last week. In his absence, the two-through six positions in the singles lineup each moved up one position. That gave the top singles position to Felix Hardt, who posted a 1-1 mark at number one singles.The Aztecs shuffled the doubles lineup, moving Hardt and Valentino Pest from number two to number one and moving Travis Hasson and Gabe Coren to number two doubles. Maiberger's normal playing partner, Ryan Redondo was teamed with Khalid Naffa at number three doubles.

We Have More, We Have Four
Although shutout of the weekly award this week, San Diego State continues to set the pace with four Mountain West Conference Men's Tennis Players of the Week this season. The Aztecs have claimed four of the 10 awards since the honor debuted in late January. Junior Oliver Maiberger was the recipient on Jan. 30 and Feb. 13, while Felix Hardt claimed the honor on Feb. 6. Ryan Redondo earned the honor on March 19th and was the Aztec nominee this week.

Quality Losses
San Diego State sports an 8-7 record, but as the No. 30 national ranking would indicate, records can be misleading. Six of the Aztecs' seven losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top 13 nationally. SDSU has losses to second-ranked UCLA, third-ranked Illinois, fifth-ranked Stanford (twice), 11th-ranked Pepperdine and 13th-ranked Tennessee. The Aztecs are 4-1 against teams ranked, outside the top 13, and 4-0 against unranked competition. Of the 15 matches to date, 13 of San Diego State's opponents have been ranked at the time of the match. That trend will continue this week as two of the three league opponents SDSU will face this week are currently in the national rankings.

Quick Volleys
* The Aztecs are 8-7 after 15 matches this season, last year SDSU was 6-9 at this point during the season.
* Last year at this time the Aztecs were not ranked in the national polls, this season they are 30th in the final poll of March.
* Ryan Redondo has won six straight singles matches and owns a 10-2 record during the dual season. His 10 victories during the dual campaign are the most on the team, one ahead of Felix Hardt.
* The three primary doubles teams that coach John Nelson has used during the past month all sport winning records.
* Oliver Maiberger and Redondo, the nation's third-ranked doubles team, is 7-4 in the dual campaign while Felix Hardt and Valentino Pest (number two doubles) and Travis Hasson and Gabe Coren (number three doubles) are 5-2 and 6-3, respectively.
* Oliver Maiberger is 20-8 this season (includes the fall campaign), including an impressive 9-7 record against ranked opponents ranked at match time. He is 11-1 against unranked opposition.
* The Aztecs, who play their next two matches on neutral courts, are 5-3 in neutral site matches this season.
* San Diego State plays just two of its final eight matches at home this season.

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