The New Mexico State University men's tennis team defeated Idaho 4-2 in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament to advance to the championship match for the first time in school history.
The win puts the Aggies in the WAC championship match for the first time since NM State joined the WAC in 2006. This will be the first time the Aggies will be playing in a conference championship match since 2000 when NM State lost in championship match while playing in the Big West Conference.
After receiving a first-round bye for finishing 2nd in the WAC, No. 52 NM State defeated No. 51 Idaho for the second time this season. NM State defeated Idaho 5-0 back on April 21 in Las Cruces.
NM State was able to win the match with one point to spare despite losing the doubles point. Senior Arthur Surreaux and sophomore Orlando Superlano lost to Alexandru Joitoiu and Lachlan Reed 8-3 in the No. 2 match and sophomore Luis Ramirez and freshman Marc Westgate fell to Abid Akbar and Andrew Dobbs 8-2 in the No. 3 match. The No. 1 match between senior Jim Brouleau and junior Matej Stakne against Marius Cirstea and Jose Bendeck was declared unfinished at 5-5.
In singles, the Aggies held strong and fought back from down 1-0 to win the four necessary singles match points to clinch the victory.
Surreaux led off the Aggie lineup with a 7-6, 6-1, victory over Cirstea in the No. 1 match. Superlano fought back from dropping the first set to defeat Joitoiu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the No. 3 match. Stakne defeated Akbar 6-1, 6-2, for the most convincing victory of the day. Ramirez won a closely-contested battle in the No. 5 match, defeating Bendeck 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.
NM State will face the winner of the Boise State/Fresno State match in the WAC championship match on Sunday, May 1.
NM State-4, Idaho-2
1. Arthur Surreaux (NMSU) def. Marius Cirstea (UI) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
2. Lachlan Reed (UI) vs. Jim Brouleau (NMSU) 6-4, 6-7(3-6), 4-3, unfinished
3. Orlando Superlano (NMSU) def. Alexandru Joitoiu (UI) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
4. Matej Stakne (NMSU) def. Abid Akbar (UI) 6-1, 6-2
5. Luis Ramirez (NMSU) def. Jose Bendeck (UI) 6-2, 6-7 (8-10), 6-3
6. Alan Shin (UI) def. Felipe Frattini (NMSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
1. Marius Cirstea/Jose Bendeck (UI) vs. Jim Brouleau/Matej Stakne (NMSU) 5-5, unfinished
2. Alexandru Joitoiu/Lachlan Reed (UI) def. Orlando Superlano/Arthur Surreaux (NMSU) 8-3
3. Abid Akbar/Andrew Dobbs (UI) def. Luis Ramirez/Marc Westgate (NMSu) 8-2