The UNLV women’s tennis team knocked off top-seeded San Diego State 4-2 in the final of the Mountain West championship on Sunday at Air Force Academy, Colo.
No. 2 seed UNLV won the conference title for the fourth time and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, which begin May 10.
The Rebels took two of three doubles matches to go up 1-0, then three of the five completed singles matches. Mountain West Player of the Year Aleksandra Josifoska teamed with Janine Erasmus for a doubles win, and her victory at No. 1 singles clinched the title.
After getting blanked in the second set, Josifoska rebounded to claim a 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 victory over Julia Wais. Lucia Batta (No. 2) and Iren Kotseva (No. 6) also won for the Rebels.
“This was a great college tennis match between two evenly matched teams,” UNLV coach Kevin Cory said. “We knew after losing by a point at their place that we’d be facing a tremendous challenge today. San Diego State has been a big rival of ours for many years, and we expected nothing less than an intense battle.
“I’m thrilled that our Mountain West Player of the Year was able to clinch it for us. She’s a fighter and just refuses to lose.”
■ BASEBALL — At Albuquerque, N.M., UNLV, clinging to hopes of an NCAA regional bid, blew a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and lost to No. 24 New Mexico 14-13 in 10 innings at Albuquerque, N.M.
The Rebels (19-27, 5-7 MW) seemed to be in control after late-innings surge of four runs in the seventh, five in the eighth and three in the top of the ninth gave them a 13-7 lead. Joey Armstrong had a two-run double, and Justin Jones followed with a two-run single in the eighth.
But the Lobos came back and ultimately won when Sam Haggerty’s sacrifice fly scored John Pustay, who reached on a triple.
■ SOFTBALL — At Reno, Katie Uriarte’s two-run triple in top of the seventh inning lifted UNLV to a 5-3 victory over UNR. Stefany Valentino went 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored for the Rebels (19-27, 5-7 MW), Pauline Monreal homered, Emily Haslinger was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Uriarte added a double and finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
■ TRACK AND FIELD — At Irvine, Calif., Cortney Miller and Emily Blok led the UNLV track and field team at the Steve Scott Invitational. Miller won the hammer throw with a toss of 170 feet, 9 inches, and Blok won the 200-meter dash (23.54 seconds), led off the winning 4x400 relay team and took second in the 100.