Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRCUES, N.M. - Junior Matej Stakne of the New Mexico State men's tennis team was named as the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Month for October.
Stakne is the second Aggie this fall to be named WAC Player of the Month. Senior Arthur Surreaux received the honor for September.
Stakne earned WAC Player of the Month for his superb performance at the ITA Mountain Regional Championships Oct. 20-24. Stakne reached the semifinals of the singles bracket, farther than anyone from the WAC advanced in the tournament.
"A lot of the guys have had great fall seasons," said head tennis coach Carlos Vargas, "but Stakne's was one of the most satisfying for me as a coach."
Stakne won five singles matches in the bracket en route to the semifinals match against Enej Bonin of Denver University, falling short 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.
Stakne began by defeating Bruno Ferreira of Northern Arizona 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of 128. Stakne followed up by defeating Wessim Derbel of Nevada 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in the round of 64 and Simon Unger of Weber State 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the round of 32. Stakne earned a spot in the quarterfinals by defeating Patrick Kawka of BYU 6-4, 6-2 in the round of 16.
Stakne's best performance of the tournament came in the quarterfinal match against No. 3 seeded Yannick Weihs of DU when the match was pushed to a third set. Stakne came from behind to win the match, taking out his No. 3 seeded opponent 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Stakne was one of two Aggies to represent NM State in the quarterfinals. There was not a player outside of NM State in the quarterfinals representing the WAC.
Stakne was the only player not seeded in the top 25 by the round of 16. Of the six singles matches Stakne played, five were against opponents seeded in the top 25.
In just three tournaments this fall, Stakne has amounted seven wins, which is three more than he had in all of spring 2010.
"To see him bounce back was a great thing to see," Vargas said. "We always knew he had the potential in him to play great, and he came through."