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Sysoev Earns Third MW Freshman of the Week Honor

by Frank Mercogliano

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — For the third time this season, Nikolay Sysoev has been named the Mountain West Freshman of the Week.  Sysoev, who hails from Russia but came to UNM via the Florida prep circuit where was was the No. 7 rated recruit in the state, was also named Mountain West Freshman of the Week on January 25 and on February 8.

Sysoev’s honor tied him with UNLV freshman Dusan Rsovac, who has also been named MW Freshman of the Week three times.

In his only match of the week, Sysoev, playing at No. 6 singles, toppled Nevada’s Loris Zisswiller 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 6-3.  Sysoev was down 5-1 in the opening set and fought off five set points before ultimately dropping that set.  After the 5-1 start, Sysoev won 17 of the final 23 games, earning the fourth and clinching point in UNM’s 4-1 win over the defending Mountain West champions in Nevada.

The win moved the Lobos, who are ranked No. 73 in this week’s computer rankings, to 11-5 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West.  UNM is one of two unbeatens left in the league, and the Lobos face the other unbeaten this week.  UNM takes on No. 61 Boise State on Friday at 4 p.m. in a match that will decide first place in the league, with the winning having a huge advantage int he race for the regular season title and the lone conference tournament bye into the semifinals.