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Aggie Men's Tennis Repeats As WAC Champions | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Aggie Men's Tennis Repeats As WAC Champions

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

BROWNSVILLE, TX - The New Mexico State men's tennis team came out on top, 4-3, in a thrilling back-and-forth match against Missouri-Kansas City and captured its second-straight Western Athletic Conference Championship.

With the win, the Aggies (12-9) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive season and fourth time in program history (1997, 2000, 2015).

Sophomore Christofer Goncalves played the hero once again for NM State against UMKC (17-8) on Sunday. With the match tied at 3-3, Goncalves dropped the second set in a tiebreaker to Andrey Smirnov 7-6 (8-6). However, the Barquisimeto, Venezuela, native didn't shy away from the pressure and pounded Smirnov 6-3 in the third set to clinch the match for the Aggies. Sunday's win for Goncalves gave him his 10th-straight victory in singles action and 23rd victory overall on the year.

After taking the doubles point, UMKC took a 2-0 lead after Strahinja Trecakov was bested by Airam Castellano at the top singles position. Liam Goldberg put NM State on the board moments later when he ousted Uldis Gaismins 6-3, 6-2 on court No. 3.

Mauri Benitez, a freshman from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, knotted things up after he defeated Vinh Pham at the No. 5 singles slot 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 for his fourth-consecutive victory. However, the 'Roos regained the lead thanks to Amaury Navette beating out Enrique Asmar at No. 6 singles 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).

By the time UMKC took the 3-2 lead, Stijn de Haan had already dropped his first set 6-3 to Mike PSarros. But, the freshman never backed down and fought tooth-and-nail to take the second 7-6 (7-3) before cruising to a 6-2 victory in the third set – which tied the match up at 3-3.

The NCAA Tournament selection show for men's tennis will take play on Tuesday, May 3, at 3:30 p.m. (MT). Fans can watch the selection show online at www.ncaa.com.