May 25, 2001

Union's run at national title ends for men's tennis
while Union senior earns 100th win


Lexington, Ky. - The anticipation was high and the taste of victory close for Union University's Men's Tennis team. With four consecutive wins in addition to the TranSouth regular season and tournament titles, and their first NAIA Region XI Championship, Head Coach Gary Johnson's No. 9 ranked squad was poised to make a legitimate run at the national title in Lexington, Ky., during the recent national championships held there.

Opening the national tournament with a 5-1 victory over Walsh University of Ohio, Union cruised through the first round match winning three singles matches and two of three doubles matches. Jonathan Labella, Mario Cobo, and Balazs Tili each won their singles matches in straight sets. In doubles, Union's Tili and Leandro Carvalho along with Brandon James and Phillippe Sylvestra picked up wins against Walsh.

Awaiting Union in the second round was the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Georgia Southwestern State University. Union battled tough by winning three of the five singles matches, getting victories from Labella and Tili. However, in doubles, Georgia Southwestern swept all three matches, improving their record to 25-5, while the Bulldogs finished the season with a 16-5 mark.

Tili, a Union senior playing his last collegiate tennis match against Georgia Southwestern, recorded his 100th career victory, the first Union player to pick up 100 wins in a career.  "We were hoping his (Tili) match would end in time," said Coach Johnson. "Another match was getting close to giving Georgia Southwestern the fifth and deciding point, but luckily, he got the win." Tili's overall career record is 100-11, including a perfect 28-0 record his junior season.

Union hopes to secure a few spots on the NAIA All-American team announced later this summer, particularly for senior Mario Cobo, according to Johnson. Should Cobo receive the honor this season, he will be the only athlete in Union history to be a four-year NAIA All-American.

Johnson, recently named TranSouth Conference Coach of the Year, said he was proud of how the team handled Georgia Southwestern. "We played the No. 2 seed very tough and had a chance to beat them. We've signed some new guys that can build on this season and hopefully make another run next season," said Johnson.



Media Contact:  Steven Aldridge
Phone:  (901) 661-5027
Fax:  (901) 661-5182

Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Baseball | Softball | Women's Cross Country
Sports Information | Golf | Men's Tennis | Women's Tennis | Men's Soccer | Women's Volleyball