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PORTLAND -- It s a special time for a group of students at the University of Portland. The UP men s tennis team has four seniors and they are going out in style.

I m really proud of every single player on the team, especially the seniors, says Michel Hu Kwo, a senior and the number one player on the Pilots team.

We came in together and now we re graduating all together, the four of us, he says. We re all in the lineup and we ve been cheering and helping each other on and off the court. Yeah, I m really proud of them.

The Pilots are riding a wave of momentum and have cracked the national rankings for the first time in two years. They beat 64th-ranked Santa Clara last weekend and have already clinched the at least a tie for third in the WCC. They are ranked 75th in the country.

In addition to Hu Kwo, the other seniors are Ratan Gill, Justin Guay and Alex Ferrero, who was injured last week against San Francisco.

We have a special team this year, says Aaron Gross, who has been head coach for 18 seasons. There are four guys that all came in together. We ve overcome a lot of adversity.

We ve tried this year not to approach it as if we have to beat this team or not lose to that team, says Gross. It's just like, 'OK, whoever s out there, lets go get em and see what happens,' and it s been a successful approach with this team.

The Pilots play at San Diego Friday and then at BYU on Saturday The Conference Championships are next week, starting Wednesday in San Diego.

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