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Courtesy: Western Athletic Conference
Vandals sweep WAC tennis honor
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/01/2014
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DENVER – Idaho’s Artemiy Nikitin and Victoria Lozano have been named the Western Athletic Conference men’s and women’s Tennis Athletes of the Week, respectively, for March 24-30.

“Both of these seniors continue to work hard and put up great results and it’s great to see them rewarded for their hard work and accomplishments,” Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said.

Nikitin, a senior from Omsk, Russia, went 2-0 at No. 1 singles on the week, beating Seattle’s Kevin Lynch in three sets (6-1, 3-6, 6-3) and Hawai`i’s Nils Schulhmann in straight sets (6-3, 7-5) as the Vandals went 1-1. Nikitin has now won three consecutive singles matches, all at the No. 1 position.

Lozano, a senior from Guadalajara, Mexico, went 2-0 in No. 1 singles and 1-1 in No. 1 doubles on the week, helping Idaho to a pair of 7-0 victories to improve to 13-3 on the season. Lozano swept Rye Hewett of LCSC - the No. 42 ranked NAIA singles player - 6-0, 6-0, and then won 6-4, 6-4 over Northern Arizona ace Johanna Vang. Lozano’s doubles defeat was by a narrow 8-7 margin. Lozano is 12-4 in singles play this season, and 13-2 in doubles with partner Almudena Sanz. She has won seven of her last nine singles matches.

The Vandal women, who are now 14-3 on the season, re-entered the ITA National Top 75 this week, at No. 74. It is the sixth week this season the Vandals have been ranked, and the Idaho women had never been ranked in the Top 75 prior to this season.

“Vicky has won in the top spots for this program for four years and taken it into the national rankings,” Beaman said. “The level of this program has gone through the ceiling compared to where it was when she arrived on campus four years ago.”

Nikitin is the fourth Idaho player to earn the honor this spring, joining Jose Bendeck, Odon Barta and Cristobal Ramos Salazar. Nikitin earned WAC Player of the Month honors in November. Lozano earned the honor for the second time this spring, and also earned Player of the Month honors from the league in October.

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