March 6, 2013
IRVING, Texas (SMU) - SMU Mustangs sophomore Arturs Kazijevs took home Conference USA Male Tennis Athlete of the Week honors on Tuesday after helping lead SMU to a 4-3 win over 70th-ranked Tulane on Saturday afternoon.
Kazijevs becomes the first Mustang to win the award since 2010. Kazijevs beat Joe Young of Tulane 6-1; 6-1 in the No. 1 position on Saturday, a result that proved vital as the Mustangs hung on to defeat the Green Wave in Dallas.
The Riga, Latvia native earned Co-Freshman of the Year honors a year ago from the C-USA and has been the top singles player all spring for the Mustangs, but admits that he can still improve.
"Right now I'm playing good," Kazijevs said. "I'm feeling good about my game, but still there are a lot of things to work on to become a better player."
SMU has won three of its last four matches, and with seven weeks left in the regular season, the Mustangs still have plenty of time to impress.
"The team is in good shape," Kazijevs said. "We just have to believe in ourselves that we can beat any other team."
Kazijevs is 4-3 on the season in singles, all at the No. 1 position. The sophomore is also 3-2 at the No. 1 position in doubles with partner Mischa Nowicki.
The Mustangs' next match is Sunday at Tulsa at noon, followed by a home event at the Samuell Grand Tennis Club against Radford next Tuesday afternoon.