Freshman Duo Wins Balloon Fiesta Invitational Title

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico State men's tennis team concluded the Balloon Fiesta Invitational with the freshman pair of Daniel Fernandez and Naveen Manivannan capturing the doubles title of the Cherry flight.

Fernandez and Manivannan defeated fellow Aggies, senior Luis Ramirez and junior Marc Westgate, 8-5, en route to the crown. Sophomore Germain Degardin and freshman Yannick Blank also won third place of the draw after defeating sophomore Luke Manley and junior Alex Clinkenbeard of Denver, 8-4.

"Overall, it was a good tournament for us and I'm satisfied with the way we played," head coach Carlos Vargas said. "We have a very talented group and continue to improve every week."

In the Cherry singles flight, Ramirez lost a three-set struggle in the finals to New Mexico's sophomore Sam Iftikhar, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. In the third-place match, Fernandez beat junior Mads Hegelund of UNM, 6-1, 6-1.

"Ramirez continues to make his senior year his best by reaching both finals," Vargas said.

In the Silver doubles flight, sophomore Eduardo Cabrita and freshman Stahinja Trecakov earned a win in the third-place match with an 8-1 victory over sophomore Frederick Bjorne and sophomore Preben Bjorne of Denver. In the consolation final of the doubles draw, freshman Jeremy Harlas and freshman Guilherme Carvalho lost a close match to UNM's redshirt junior Evan Corona-Saunders and redshirt sophomore Simon Hegelund, 9-8.

In singles action of the Silver flight, Westgate collected a third-place win over junior Dominic Bermudez of Northern Arizona, 6-1, 6-3. Degardin beat freshman Jack McCullers of Air Force, 6-2, 6-1 in the consolation final.

In the Turquoise flight, Cabrita fell in the finals of the draw to UNM's sophomore Mitch McDaniels, 6-2, 7-6. Manivannan claimed the third-place match after senior Patrick Schimmelbauer suffered an injury. Trecakov won the seventh-place match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Air Force's freshman Andrew Parks.

In the final of the White flight, Blank fell in three sets to Air Force's junior Alex Lineberry, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. On the consolation side of the bracket, Carvalho fell to Simon Hegelund of UNM, 6-2, 6-1, and Harlas lost to senior Robert Martin of Northern Arizona, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.