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NMSU to host WAC tennis championships

NMSU Athletics
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 10:39pm

The 2014 Western Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament is scheduled to be played at the NM State Tennis Center as the New Mexico State men’s and women's tennis teams will host the three-day conference tournament this weekend, Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27. The event is free to the public on all three days.

The six WAC schools will compete for the conference championship beginning with two quarterfinal matches on Friday. Saturday will feature the two semifinal matches while Sunday is reserved for the championship match. All five women's matches are scheduled for a 9 a.m. (MDT) start. All five men's matches are scheduled for a 1 p.m. (MDT) start.

The Aggie women head into the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Joining NM State are top-seeded Idaho, No. 2 Texas-Pan American, No. 4 Chicago State, No. 5 Kansas City and No. 6 Seattle U. The top-two seeds, Idaho and UTPA, will get a bye during the first round and automatically play in the semifinal round.

NM State begins the conference tourney by facing sixth-seeded Seattle U during Friday’s second quarterfinal match. Chicago State and Kansas City meet in Friday’s other quarterfinal match. A win by the Aggies would mean they would face No. 2 UTPA in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Aggies finished the spring season with a 9-11 record. Two-thirds of those wins, however, came on their home courts, where NM State finished 6-2. The Aggies begin play at the conference tournament riding a four-match winning streak, including winning their final three matches at the NM State Tennis Center.

The Aggie men are the No. 1 seed in the tournament after finishing the spring with an 11-10 overall record in dual matches, including 3-0 against conference opponents. NM State beat Idaho 4-0 (Feb. 16) and both Kansas City (Feb. 17) and Grand Canyon (Apr. 12) by identical 4-3 scores. The Aggies were also 7-4 in home matches and won their final three matches of the spring schedule, all at home.

NM State is joined by No. 2 Idaho, No. 3 Seattle U, No. 4 Kansas City, No. 5 Chicago State and No. 6 Texas-Pan American. The top seed means the Aggies will have a first-round bye and, along with No. 2 Idaho, will not play until Saturday’s semifinal round.

The Aggies will meet the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 Kansas City and No. 5 Chicago State. Friday’s other quarterfinal match will pit No. 3 Seattle versus No. 6 UTPA.

Junior Patrick Pfister led NM State, which is coming off a 7-0 win over Texas-Permian Basin (Apr. 13), during spring play. Pfister finished the spring with a 13-4 singles’ record, doing most of his damage at the five position where he finished 11-2. He also won both of his WAC matchups.

Redshirt sophomore Paul Denele, sophomore Liam Goldberg and junior Germain Degardin also contributed to the Aggie cause, posting nine singles’ wins each. Denele, who finished the season on a three-match winning streak, also led NM State with 12 total victories in doubles’ play. Denele had six wins when paired with Pfister and another six with Naveen Manivannan.

Each team matchup at the WAC Tournament will consist of six singles’ matches and three doubles’ matches. One point will be awarded for each singles’ victory and one overall point will be awarded to the winner of two of the three doubles’ matches. The first team to reach four points advances to the next round.


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