Top-seeded Fresno State was denied its second Mountain West women’s tennis title in the last three seasons, losing 4-2 to third-seeded UNLV on Sunday during the conference championships in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Bulldogs (19-9) opened by winning the doubles point, getting wins from No. 3 team Sofya Malysheva/Olivia Noble, who beat Iren Kotseva/Paola Artiga 6-3, and No. 2 team Sophie Watts/Anneka Watts, who topped Anna Bogoslavets/Cristina Moroi 6-2.
UNLV (24-1) evened the match by winning the first singles match to finish, with Aiwen Zhu beating Sophie Watts 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2.
Fresno State pulled back in front 2-1 on Mayar Sherif Ahmed’s 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Carol Yang at No. 1. But it was all Rebels from there as Bogoslavets beat Rana Sherif Ahmed 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3, Artiga downed Galina Bykova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 4 and Moroi swept Anneke Watts 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5.
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In winning the MW title for the fourth time overall and first since 2013, UNLV clinched the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Playoff pairings will be announced Tuesday.
Baseball – Freshman right-hander Edgar Gonzalez pitched five strong innings, and Austin Guibor hit his sixth home run of the season to lead Fresno State to a 4-2 victory over Air Force and complete a three-game series sweep of the Falcons in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Bulldogs (29-16, 17-7) pulled within a half-game of conference-leading New Mexico (30-16, 16-5) entering the Mountain West’s stretch run. Fresno State has six conference games remaining before the conference championship tournament May 25-29 in Albuquerque, N.M. New Mexico has nine.
Making his third start in the past eight days, Gonzalez allowing one earned run on seven hits and no walks. He struck out five before turning it over to relievers Brennon Williams (2-0), who got the win with two innings of one-run ball. Ricky Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings for his third save of the season.
Guibor’s home run got the Bulldogs rolling in the top of the second. Fresno State went up 2-0 on Jake Stone’s RBI double in the third inning.
Air Force (20-20, 9-13) tied the score 2-2 in the seventh on Tyler Jones’ sacrifice fly. But the Bulldogs responded in the eighth, getting Jesse Medrano’s go-ahead bunt single and Zach Ashford’s run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder.
Men’s tennis – UNLV’s Evaldo Neto outlasted Fresno State’s Patrik Pech 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-3 at No. 4 singles for the match-clinching points in the Rebels’ 4-2 victory over the Bulldogs in a Mountain West championship tournament semifinal matched delayed and moved because of weather.
The match begaem Friday at UNLV’s outdoor Fertitta Tennis Complex, but had to be completed Saturday at the indoor Lifetime Fitness Tennis Club in Henderson, Nev., because of thunderstorms.
Fresno State’s wins came from Mantas Bugailiskis over Ruben Alberts (6-2, 6-4) at No. 3 and Youssef Hassan over Adam Gage-Brown (6-2, 6-3) at No. 5. The Bulldogs finished 10-17.
Track and field – Keane Bland clocked the fifth-best time in school history while winning the 110-meter hurdles in 14.11 seconds to lead the Fresno State men at the Cal State Fullerton Five-Way Meet on Saturday.
The women’s team received wins from Dezirae Johnson (800 in 2:12.29), Njeri Omawahleh (400 in 55.10), Je’Nia Sears (long jump at 19 feet, 5 inches) and Vanja Spaic (javelin at 146-2).