Goncalves Named WAC Men's Tennis Player Of The Year; Vargas Coach Of The Year

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State men’s tennis team took a clean sweep of the all-conference awards Thursday night, claiming both Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and Player of the Year honors.

Aggie head coach Carlos Vargas took home his second WAC Coach of the Year honors in three seasons after leading NM State to its third-consecutive regular-season title. Vargas guided the Aggies to a 16-5 mark despite spending almost three months on the road that consisted of 18-straight matches.

Christofer Goncalves, who has wreaked havoc on WAC opponents this season was named the 2017 WAC Player of the Year after going undefeated in conference play (5-0). The Barquisimeto, Venezuela, product finished the regular-season 25-6 overall with a 15-4 record in dual play. This is also the third-straight year the junior has earned first-team accolades.

Joining Goncalves on the First-Team All-WAC list is Stijn de Haan, who ended the year 18-7 overall and 13-3 in dual play. The Veldhoven, Netherlands, native was the only other Aggie to go 5-0 in conference play in singles.

Enrique Asmar, Mauri Benitez, Sergi Espias and Luis Flores all earned Second-Team All-WAC honors after helping NM State go 25-5 in singles play. This is the first all-conference award for the foursome.

Asmar wrapped up his sophomore campaign 19-6 overall on the year and 12-4 in dual play after splitting time at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles slots. Benitez was right behind his fellow sophomore, posting an 18-9 overall record and 9-6 mark in dual action.

Espias, a junior transfer, had the second-most wins in singles play for NM State at 23-6 in his first season with the Crimson & White. He spent most of his time at the No. 4 singles position with three matches scattered between the second and third slots. Flores, a freshman from Toluca, Mexico, wrapped up his first collegiate season 17-9 overall with a 10-7 mark in dual play where he played at the No. 2 singles position.

Goncalves and Flores also took home First-Team All-WAC honors for doubles after posting an impressive 21-7 overall record. The Aggies’ top doubles team also went 12-5 in dual play and 4-1 in WAC contests.

NM State’s No. 2 doubles team of de Haan and Benitez earned Second-Team All-WAC distinctions with their 15-11 overall record this season. The two combined to go 11-6 in dual play and 4-1 in conference play, matching Goncalves and Flores’ mark.

New Mexico State looks to defend its WAC Championship title beginning at 1 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, April 29, at the NM State Tennis Center. The Aggies await their challenger and will play the winner between Chicago State and Seattle U, who are scheduled to square off on Friday, April 28.